Jonathan Ive, A Man Too Important To Be Silhouetted On a Green Screen

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The first thing this writer thinks about whenever he thinks about Apple isn’t how great the tech stuff in their products are, but rather, how they’ve managed to create such consumer-focused products, how they’ve made product design their top priority, and how, through all of this, they’ve built a veritable cult of personality for themselves. But how? And who? To answer this, Business Week just did a great story on the man behind the curtain, Apple’s Senior VP for Industrial Design, Jonathan Ive. Here’s some:

Most of Ive’s team live in San Francisco, and rumor has it that the starting salary for the group is around $200,000, some 50% above the industry average. They work together in a large open studio with little personal space but great privacy. Many Apple employees aren’t allowed in, for fear they’d catch a glimpse of some upcoming product. A massive sound system pumps up the music. Ive invests his design dollars in state-of-the-art prototyping equipment, not large numbers of people. And his design process revolves around intense iteration — making and remaking models to visualize new concepts. “One of the hallmarks of the team I think is this sense of looking to be wrong,” said Ive at Radical Craft. “It’s the inquisitiveness, the sense of exploration. It’s about being excited to be wrong because then you’ve discovered something new.”