During his tenure at Apple, Jony has been rarely seen and seldom heard, even during big marketing showcases, like the annual WWDC. To me, he is a mystery. This type of character is rare in the design world, I think, which is why this book appealed to me. I wanted to know more about who Jony Ive is and where he came from. I wanted to know more about who was actually making the creative decisions at Apple and how that process worked. I wanted to learn more about where Apple had been before the iPhone and where they might be headed after it. Jony Ive: The Genius Behind Apple’s Greatest Products did not disappoint.
It covers everything from Jony’s early school days in Chingford, the influence his father had on his design career and how he ended up going to university at Newcastle Polytechnic all the way through his early days at Apple, the power struggles he went through, the myriad product successes (and failures) he endured and how his influence has and continues to shape Apple’s design.
Given the amount of secrecy Apple protects its products and processes with, Leander Kahney’s Jony Ive: The Genius Behind Apple’s Greatest Products does a nice job of digging deeper than the surface of Apple propaganda and connects the dots between major events in the company’s timeline.
Prior to reading Jony Ive: The Genius Behind Apple’s Greatest Products, I had very little understanding of what the term “industrial design” meant. But this book does a great justice to the field of work in its description of Jony’s inspirations, work process and the way he pushes the boundaries of possibility. It reveals things about the design of Apple products that most people never notice—the hard work and great consideration that goes into every minute detail—something Jony takes great pride in.
The story of Apple’s shift from an engineering-driven culture to a design-driven one is very fascinating. And hearing the story as told from the perspective of Jony Ive, who fought for the change alongside Steve Jobs, was really interesting. Even with Jobs’ passing, Apple’s innovative spirit lives on, and Leander Kahney’s Jony Ive: The Genius Behind Apple’s Greatest Products provides a lot of insight into how that continues to happen through the leadership of Jony Ive.
In a company that was born to innovate, the risk is in not innovating…The real risk is to think it is safe to play it safe.