Jonathan Ive on Design and Apple's Focus on Great Products Instead of Profits

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jul 30, 2012.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001


    Wired UK reports that Apple design chief Jonathan Ive participated in a keynote session today at the UK Trade & Investment department's Global Business Summit on Creative Services in which he offered up some of his thoughts on the creative process at Apple and other anecdotes about his two decades at the company. While he had previously shared some of his thoughts on design, his comments today offer a bit more perspective on how things work at Apple.
    Ive, who shared his unsurprising view that design should be a "prerequisite" and not simply one aspect of product development, also repeated several mantras that have been commonly quoted by Apple executives, calling good the enemy of great and noting that Apple says "no" to many, many good ideas in order to focus all of its energies on a select few great ones.

    Ive also made reference to Steve Jobs' return to Apple in 1997, noting that he brought a fresh view in which the company focused on making great products with the belief that profits would follow, rather than focusing first on profits.
    Ive has long been a very private individual, but has begun opening up a bit more to the public as Apple's stature has grown and accolades for his group's design work have continued to roll in. Ive was knighted in late May, and he noted at the time that Apple's current projects are "the most important and the best work" his team has done with the company.

    Article Link: Jonathan Ive on Design and Apple's Focus on Great Products Instead of Profits
  2. spiderman0616 macrumors 68030


    Aug 1, 2010
    Ive is a genius--though if you go by the forum comments lately, I think a lot of people assume he doesn't work there anymore after Jobs' death.
  3. Mr.Tuvok macrumors newbie

    Aug 10, 2011
  4. sulpfiction macrumors 68030


    Aug 16, 2011
    Philadelphia Area
  5. Peace macrumors Core


    Apr 1, 2005
    Space--The ONLY Frontier
    Nice words Jony. Let's see you make a new Mac Pro now ok ?
  6. Reach9 macrumors 68020


    Aug 17, 2010
    In America
    what an incorrect statement. Every competitive company's goal is to maximize profits. Their goal is to make money.
    Jonny is trying to make it look like Apple is different than any other company, when in it's definition it's the same as Samsung, RIM, Google etc, ... their goal is to make money.
    Apple makes great products to get money, but money is still the main driving force.

    Also, if a two-toned iPhone is their 'best work yet'.. then i'm unpleasantly surprised.
  7. Allenbf macrumors 6502

    Jul 7, 2012
    Elsewhere, USA
  8. Ochyandkaren macrumors 6502

    Apr 3, 2010
    Great to hear that. Let that mindset to marketShare grabbers who*res

    :): I never doubt that.
    ;):Apple biz model would not allow it.
    :apple:: Reason to weight on copy-cats. When creativity only is yr raison d'être for growing/surviving in the cheap-cheap land you have to.
  9. Zunjine macrumors 6502a

    Jun 26, 2009
    Subtext: I'm angry! I hate the world! I hate you! I need a hug!!!
  10. TimAlia macrumors newbie

    Sep 3, 2007
    So that Podcasts app... is that focused on great product or profits?
  11. nick_elt, Jul 30, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2012

    nick_elt macrumors 68000


    Oct 28, 2011
    My B.S alarm is going Kah-razy!! Iphone 4s anyone??
  12. Skika macrumors 68030

    Mar 11, 2009
  13. Cheffy Dave macrumors 68030

    Cheffy Dave

    Feb 5, 2007
    Sunny Florida, on the Gulf Coast in Homosassa Fl
    Jonathan is the soul of Apple!

    Quite the genius! I am ruined by his Retina Display in the iPad,so much so,that it is all I will buy,so it is mandatory for any purchase.I fear the MBA's will never see them however, due to untethered power needs of the display.I would like to see it in the iMac,as well as the TB Cinema Display. Please make that happen Sir
    I highly admire this man!
  14. boss.king, Jul 30, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2012

    boss.king macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2009
    If your goal isn't making money, then why not lower your profit margins and sell your stuff at a reasonable price?

    Edit: before telling me why I'm wrong, please read beyond page 1.
  15. Rennir macrumors 6502

    Jan 13, 2012
    If you disagree with his point, you realize you won't be able to pull the "But Apple is just a company like every other company in the world! Their main goal is profits!" excuse every time the NYT or some other source publishes an article lambasting Apple for being unethical right? :D
  16. Risco macrumors 68000


    Jul 22, 2010
    United Kingdom
    Jonny, you might be a great designer but don't try to hoodwink us in to thinking profits do not matter. If they really are irrelevant, why do you have the highest profit margin out of all the manufacturers!
  17. Thunderhawks Suspended

    Feb 17, 2009
    Yes, incorrect statement you. He is not saying making money is unimportant.

    He simply mentions that Apple's way of doing business is different. You can believe that or not. They just know that the money will come.

    There is actually a proof that Jobs vision almost bankrupted them and they were saved by Microsofts money.

    I see plenty of hair raising designs and products "designed" by US companies.

    Take Black & Decker, Sunbeam, Broan, Faberware and the list goes on uurrrrgh

    The phone is not out yet and as much as people hated the iphone 4, they will hate the next one too until they see it, hold it etc.

    Ive likes the Rams design philosophy and simplicity is a beautiful thing.

    Between the saturation in electronics and no real new idea around, I just hope Apple can keep things up for a while.
  18. RoboCop001 macrumors 65816

    Oct 4, 2005
    Toronto, Canada
    When he says "we're not in it to make money" he could just as well be talking personally, about himself, or his team. Not necessarily Apple in general.

    But he could also believe that Apple really puts product first, profit second.

    We're not there, we can't know that.

    Obviously every company must make money, and therefore it is absolutely the goal. Because without money you can't operate.

    Maybe individually - and this doesn't go for everyone - the people at Apple and other companies aren't just thinking about making money. But as a whole, when people become a company, then the company becomes a "thing" that "wants to make money." But I still don't think it's 100% the goal, at least not in the broad sense. But sure, some companies are just scamming everyone.

    For me, I'm thinking it's like the chicken and the egg scenario. Which came first... the want to make money? Or the want to make great products? Maybe it doesn't matter. Because either way, you end up with great products from Apple (most of the time).
  19. 50548 Guest

    Apr 17, 2005
    Currently in Switzerland
    Apple has ALWAYS (well, at least since the late 90s) been driven by DESIGN, not by PROFIT - it's clear that Ive was referring to the fact that it's not about designing the cheapest crap at the lowest cost to sell it at high's about designing the BEST possible device and THEN reap the rewards.

    If you can't understand this basic principle, you can't understand why Apple is successful nowadays.
  20. Ryth, Jul 30, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2012

    Ryth macrumors 65816

    Apr 21, 2011
    You're absolutely crazy if you think Apple is anything close to the company that is Samsung, RIM, etc. Their views on everything are completely opposite. Apple has ALWAYS been about the superior product and user experience. You cannot argue this because they've never worried about market share in PCs or other products.

    And RIM, that's a good one. Look where they are at now.

    Of course Apple's goal is to make money...BUT instead of taking a money first, design second approach, they took the exact opposite...and you cannot argue this because it's working.

    Look at MS...their goal is to make money. But it's their first goal. And here is the statement from Ballmer that explains why they are no longer the superior company...

    There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance. It's a $500 subsidized item. They may make a lot of money. But if you actually take a look at the 1.3 billion phones that get sold, I'd prefer to have our software in 60% or 70% or 80% of them, than I would to have 2% or 3%, which is what Apple might get.

    Apple created a superior device and the profits followed. Same with the iPad. Same with the iPod. Same with whatever else they come out with 90% of the time.

    Meanwhile most of these other companies you mentioned are completely fine with putting out tons of versions of phones a year so they can maximize profits instead of developing and banking on ONE superior product. How many phones does Samsung make, have out on the market?'s talking about Apple. Jonny Ive IS Apple just as much as Steve Jobs was.

    I'm pretty sure Jonny is speaking for Apple and about Apple. This has ALWAYS been their philosophy. Design first. Profits second.

    Game changing products don't come along every year. It's just not possible.

    What Apple has done in the last 10 years is mind blowing from a business perspective and disruptive force.

    iPod - Destroyed CD/portable market. Changed Music industry forever. New business model.

    iPhone - Destroyed most phone makers. Only few remain. Smart phone era is born. Portable 'computer' in your hand.

    iPad - Destroying PC/Laptop market. Individuals realizing that tablet is all they need vs bulky desktop/laptops.

    That is all within a 10 year period. Staggering.
  21. spiderman0616 macrumors 68030


    Aug 1, 2010
    And this is why you're not in charge at Apple. Of course they care about their revenue--they can't go on as a company without it. But they are not thinking about revenue when they design products. They're just thinking about making the best product they can. Jony isn't paid to worry about exactly how many millions or billions the next iPad is going to bring in for Apple. He's paid to come up with the best design idea that he can.
  22. pesos macrumors 6502a


    Mar 30, 2006
    LOL! What total BS. Profit margin is ridiculously high. What he really means is "great design is one of the many tools we employ in order to make sure we make a buttload of $."
  23. Zunjine macrumors 6502a

    Jun 26, 2009
    I'm truly saddened by the degree of cynicism around this place.

    Apple makes money, yeah, of course it makes money. But that's as a consequence of making great products, it isn't the purpose that drives them. If you want to make money you don't go into product design - you become a banker or lawyer. You can make plenty of money doing all sorts of stuff that's a darn sight less risky than launching innovative new products like the iPad or the iPod.

    Why is it so many people want to believe the worst about others? If you really think such things, why the hell are you even here? Go and spend some time talking about something that makes you happy, eh?
  24. blubyu macrumors member

    Feb 10, 2010
    Because they can. It's really that simple.
  25. spiderman0616 macrumors 68030


    Aug 1, 2010
    This. Google's goal on the other hand is quite different. Let's get Android in front of as many people as we can so we can make more money on ads and drive them to more Google services. God--if Apple switched to that strategy, I'd switch back to all MS products.

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