Tuesday, January 4, 2011

NPR on the Steve Jobs - Jonathan Ive partnership at Apple.

An interesting look at Steve Jobs' partnership with Jonathan Ive Apple's chief designer at NPR, there's transcript here and the audio file. Jonathan Ive is of course the famous lead designer of various pieces of ground breaking Apple hardware since the radical candy colored imacs that started Apple's renaissance to practically everything Apple today including the 'retina' screen iPhone 4. Ive is a cornerstone  of Apple's success.

Although typically close mouthed Apple wouldn't comment on the piece, NPR does gives some fascinating and seldom reported insights to Steve Jobs relationship to Ive and Apple's secretive internal creative process.

Here are some choice quotes from NPR:
LAURA SYDELL: At Apple, people often refer to the two men as Jives because they're so close. They often talk quietly over lunch in the company dining room or stroll around the grounds at the Cupertino headquarter.....

Mr. KAHNEY: He (Jobs) found Jonny Ive in a basement surrounded by hundreds and hundreds of prototypes of all these prototype projects and recognized immediately that he had a talent there that should be put to work......
SYDELL: Jobs is equally obsessed with details, says author Leander Kahney. The night before the iPod was introduced to the press, Jobs discovered that the headphone jack didn't make a click when you plugged in the headphones.
Mr. KAHNEY: So he ordered the engineers to dismantle them all and put in headphone jacks that made a nice satisfying click when you plugged the headphone in. So these guys stayed up all night and then had to repackage the iPods in the morning to give to the journalists and the press. And it was kind of nutsy. I mean, who does that kind of thing? Who's going to notice? 
Da Apple Juice Squeeze: yep, headphone jack clicks: that's Steve Jobs and Apple. Obsession creates great products.

NPR's report is worth a look or listen.