The most important person working at Apple isn’t its CEO Tim Cook.
It’s design boss Jony Ive.
You know how when Apple launches a product it always shows a video of a guy with an accent talk about how the product came to be?
For years, Ive was responsible for the look and feel of Apple’s hardware. If you love your super light MacBook Air or the metal and glass of your iPhone, you have Ive (and his team) to thank. Last summer, Cook gave Ive a new responsibility; he’s now in charge of how Apple software looks, too.
This morning we read a fun story about Ive — about how he almost didn’t join Apple.
A team of Fast Company reporters led by Max Chafkin put together an oral history of how, through the power of design, Apple went from getting its butt kicked by Windows 95 to becoming the world’s most valuable company. The story is available as an ebook on iTunes. It’s called “Design Crazy.”
The Ive hiring story was published on Fast Company today, in a short excerpt from “Design Crazy.”
1992: “HERE LIES THE GUY WHO HIRED JONATHAN IVE”
ROBERT BRUNNER, founder, Apple’s industrial design group (now founder of Ammunition and the designer of Beats headphones): I sometimes joke that when I die, my tombstone will say, “Here lies the guy who hired Jonathan Ive.” Jonathan had shown up at my old firm, Lunar, on a bursary scholarship. He was this quiet, polite English kid with these models. They weren’t just well-designed objects; he’d actually engineered them. I thought, wow, this is someone I’d like to have on my team.
When I first got to Apple in 1989, I called Jony to see if he was interested in coming to work at Apple. He said no. He’d just started his own firm, Tangerine, and he wanted to see it through. In 1992, I hired Tangerine for this mobility project called Juggernaut. I have to admit part of the reason was because I wanted to see if I could get him interested in Apple. They built some wonderful models. When Jony came over to show them, it was a beautiful, sunny weekend in California. And when I asked again if he was interested, he said yes.
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