compassion, collaboration & cooperation iN transistion
THE man behind Apple
Only one country has made the modern world twice. BRITAIN. We industrialised first
and paved the way for the mass production of everything from cogs to togs. Two
centuries later, two rather shy blokes from London have defined the 21st century as the
technology century. Sir Tim Berners-Lee from East Sheen invented the world wide web,
then a chap from Chingford put it in our hands, our pockets and our ears. We’ve been
taking it — him — with us ever since.
We use Jonathan Ive’s products to help us to eat, drink and sleep, to work, travel,
relax, read, listen and watch, to shop, chat, date and have sex. Many of us spend
more time with his screens than with our families. Some of us like his screens
more than our families.
For years, Ive's natural shyness, coupled with the secrecy bordering on paranoia of his
employer, Apple, has meant we have known little about the man who shapes the future,
with such innovations as the iMac, the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad. but last month,
he invited me to Cupertino in Silicon Valley where Apple is based, for his first in-depth
interview since he became head of design almost 20 years ago.
For a man whose products are all called i Something, it's surprising that "I" in one
word Ive scarcely uses. He talks constantly about his team or Jobs, using "we". This is
not "aw-shucks" falls modesty or darkish US corporate-speak. "I don't like being singled
out for attention. Designing, engineering and making these products requires large
teams" he says.
The simple truth is, Ive hates fuss and relishes simplicity. You can see that from
his products. They may be revolutionary, hi-tech magic boxes, but they look so
elegantly simple that you know what they are for and how to use them the moment
you first pick them up.
"WHEN you think about technology and what it has enabled us to do so far, we're not even close to any kind of limit. It's still so, so new"
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