Photo: SimonQ via Flickr
Jonathan “Jony” Ive, Apple’s design maestro, was regularly frustrated with his good friend, and boss, Steve Jobs taking all the credit for Apple product’s design.
“I pay maniacal attention to where an idea comes from, and I even keep notebooks filled with my ideas,” he said. “So it hurts when he takes credit for one of my designs.”
Still, Ive said the company owed everything to his former CEO. Despite his frustrations, the two were very close. Ive had an abundantly privileged relationship with the company’s former CEO Steve Jobs, Jobs new biography released today revealed.
“The ideas that come from me and my team would have been completely irrelevant, nowhere, if Steve hadn’t been here to push us, work with us, and drive through all the resistance to turn our ideas into products.”
The biography’s author Walter Isaacson called Ive and Jobs “soul mates” in the search for “true” simplicity rather than surface simplicity. The two would regularly assess the value of each individual part in a product like a Mac.
“Jony had a special status,” Jobs wife Laurene Powell Jobs said. “Most people in Steve’s life are replaceable. But not Jony.”
Those privileges weren’t limited to lunches and regular visits at the end of the day. Ive holds a private design studio on the ground floor of Apple’s campus shielded by tinted windows and a heavy locked door. Not even high-level Apple employees are allowed into Ive’s office. Ive was untouchable.
Almost every day, Jobs would have lunch with Ive and wander around his private design studio. Usually it was just the two of them together in Ive’s design studio, Isaacson wrote. Much of the design conversation was a back-and-forth, compared to Jobs usual prickly demeanor with his underlings, he wrote.
“We kept going back to the beginning again and again,” Ive said. “Do we need this part? Can we get it to perform the function of the other four parts?” Jobs would ask of Ive.