Jony Ive Talks Design, Steve Jobs, Future Tech and More on Stage at TechFest 2017
Oct 6, 2017 11:13 am PDT by Juli Clover
Apple design chief Jony Ive spoke this afternoon at TechFest 2017, an event held in New York City. Ive sat down for an interview with The New Yorker editor David Remnick to answer some questions about his design philosophies, his time at Apple, and what it was like working with Steve Jobs, who served as a "wonderful teacher" for Ive.

Ive's TechFest talk wasn't streamed live, but Business Insider was on hand at the interview and shared a live blog with some of Ive's responses and discussion points, and The New Yorker also shared several quotes on its Twitter account.


Perhaps the most interesting part of the conversation centered on upcoming technology Apple is exploring. Ive said that there are "certain ideas" Apple has in mind, and that the company is "waiting for the technology to catch up with the idea." In response to a question about whether he was still hungry for new designs and new products, Ive answered "Absolutely."

He went on to say that there are "many opportunities" around displays, and as silicon becomes smaller and more efficient, "the opportunities are extraordinary." Ive also says he's excited about AI and the kind of "good tools" it can lead to.
"The phone we just announced a few weeks ago. That technology is something we'd been working on for five years. We had prototypes. This is an interesting one, theres's a tendency, and I understand it, with the benefit of hindsight, it all seems inevitable."

"For 99 percent of the time, it didn't work for us. For 99% of the development cycle all we had were things that failed."
Developing new products, says Ive, requires a mix of curiosity and focus, to ask the right questions while staying focused on getting a product into development. "There are 55 reasons it hasn't been done before," he said. "So you have to be so focused, determined." Ive says maintaining that level of focus is "exhausting."

Ive touched on his relationship with Steve and the ideals that Jobs instilled in the company. Money was never the focus for Steve Jobs, even when he returned to the company and started making major cuts to the product lineup at the time. "The focus was 'the products aren't every good, are they. Let's focus on making some good products,'" said Ive.

Sometimes design inspiration at Apple comes from poorly designed products, and that was the case with the iPhone. According to Ive, a loathing for the current phones at the time motivated Apple to come up with something new. "You think there has to be a better way of doing it," said Ive.

Apple executives have said several times that Apple's products are designed for people and not for profit, a sentiment that Ive echoed in his interview. "Most things are built in an opportunistic way, to a cost, or to a schedule, they're not built to people," he said.

On the topic of design overall, Ive says that he remembers the process most fondly, not the product. He says he's been fortunate to work with extraordinary people. "If I get to sit down for 2 hours with one of the world's best silicon chip designers, I could not be happier," said Ive.


Top Rated Comments

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9 months ago
"For 99 percent of the time, it didn't work for us. For 99% of the development cycle all we had were things that failed."

And then the deadline came so we shipped it.
Rating: 47 Votes
9 months ago

Article quote:

"Sometimes design inspiration at Apple comes from poorly designed products, and that was the case with the iPhone. According to Ive, a loathing for the current phones at the time motivated Apple to come up with something new. "You think there has to be a better way of doing it," said Ive."


I like this quote. Because I feel this is so true about Apple, where they want to make a product better and a more refined experience than what the competitors do. This is what separates Apple from everybody else and what makes their products and software so unique.

I would fully agree with you when you stated that 5 years ago. The Apple of today has lost that vision. Their software is buggy, their designs are compromised and they got leapfrogged in every category today.
Rating: 24 Votes
9 months ago

Apple executives have said several times that Apple's products are designed for people and not for profit, a sentiment that Ive echoed in his interview. "Most things are built in an opportunistic way, to a cost, or to a schedule, they're not built to people," he said.


What planet does he come from? This is so not true coming from a company who has the biggest profit margins on all its products from any. :mad:
Rating: 24 Votes
9 months ago
Article quote:

"Sometimes design inspiration at Apple comes from poorly designed products, and that was the case with the iPhone. According to Ive, a loathing for the current phones at the time motivated Apple to come up with something new. "You think there has to be a better way of doing it," said Ive."


I like this quote. Because I feel this is so true about Apple, where they want to make a product better and a more refined experience than what the competitors do. This is what separates Apple from everybody else and what makes their products and software so unique. They don't want to be the first, they want to be the best.
Rating: 17 Votes
9 months ago

For someone that designs incredible culture defining devices, he has a TERRIBLE dress sense. He dresses like my grandad. Good God man, use your gazillions to get a stylist. Or a mirror. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Huh?



Let him be?
Rating: 17 Votes
9 months ago
Cook, Ive, Cue, etc. all need to retire so Apple can hire on fresh new talent like Microsoft had to do. Their old thinking and complacency are dragging down the products and services.
Rating: 16 Votes
9 months ago
Ive is lazy. Same phone design for four years in a row. Nothing new about the Mac portable line unless you count their asinine obsession with thinness & removal of ports professionals use on a daily basis. Creating an absolutely imbecilic design for the Mac Pro and then letting it languish for years to say nothing of his horrific sense of software "design".

He needs to be shown the door with Cue holding it open for both of them
Rating: 15 Votes
9 months ago
Smartphone kings
Rating: 14 Votes
9 months ago
he should stop talking about design and start doing design.

iphone 8: lazy
iphone se: lazy
ipad: dear god how many more years of that tired design?

im aware i own all these products and love them, but for the love of god give these things a genuine refresh. what does he honestly do all day, year in, year out?
Rating: 13 Votes
9 months ago
Everytime I hear Ive speak, it grates on me. out of every 1,000 words out of his mouth, maybe 5 of them actually have meat and substance. the rest is verbal masturbation of superfluous and self gratuitous back patting.

When you utlimately look at the designs with Ive's names on it, he's essentially only got a couple claims to fame that he has ridden on the backs of with minor tweaks for most of his career.

and those products were heavily influenced by prior art.

this isn't to say the iPhone isn't a great looking device. Though the iPhone 6 design we have today was more bland and iterative of the smartphone market than his own design.s The iPhone 5 would be the last true iPhone to carry the distinctive iPhone look/feel. Everything he's put his name on since has been "thinner" and iterative at best. From the MBpro to the iPhone 6. Even the Apple watch looks identical to the iPhone 1, in a smaller form factor.
Rating: 11 Votes

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