Jonathan Ive, an icon in the tech world has never been up for interviews, partly due to Steve Jobs’ notorious insistence that Apple’s execs remain under the radar. That is, until the TIME interview that was released today.
Behind the design of some of the greatest innovations in the past decade, the iPod, iPhone and iPad are among his babies. The British-born designer sat down with TIME Magazine’s John Alridge last month on a not-so-sunny day in California.
Perhaps the most interesting thing to come out of this interview isn’t the fact that he was taking part in it. It was the occasional insight into his life at Apple, as well as his relationship with the late Steve Jobs. For example, the tireless effort they put in making the inside of their devices, such as the iPod, look good. Even though the majority of consumers would never see it.
It didn’t make any difference functionally. We did it because we cared, because when you realize how well you can make something, falling short, whether seen or not, feels like failure.
That sentiment can be seen stretched across all projects that Ive has been a part of. Months are spent on nothing more than the concept design, much less the actual manufacturing of the prototype. He lovingly crafts every piece, designing and redesigning until he knows he has succeeded in creating something truly magical.
He was a perfectionist, and it leaked into every part of his life, and the lives of his peers.
We’d get to the hotel where we were going, we’d check in and I’d go up to my room. I’d leave my bags by the door. I wouldn’t unpack. I’d go and sit on the bed and wait for the inevitable call from Steve [Jobs]: ‘Hey Jony, this hotel sucks. let’s go.’
It is so easy to imagine that happening.
Anyone who is interested in the personal workings on Apple should check out this interview. The tech company is well known for their intense secrecy. Just as they were always known for being obsessed with modern design and innovation, and being the trendiest product on the shelves. This is perhaps the best peek behind the curtain that has ever been presented, spoken honestly from a man who has been at the center of product development for years.
His hope for the future seems to be high.
We are at the beginning of a remarkable time, when a remarkable number of products will be developed. When you think about technology and what it has enabled us to do so far, and what it will enable us to do in future, we’re not even close to any kind of limit. It’s still so, so new.