Jonathan Ive on Apple’s dark days: ‘It was extraordinarily painful’
Sir Jonathan Ive, Lead Designer talks about his ineptitude at early PCs and sticking with an almost bankrupt Apple
Jonathan Ive, Lead Designer at Apple has admitted that working for the company during the early 90’s was ‘extraordinarily painful’.
Joining Apple in the 90’s Ive started out as one of the designers working on the MessagePad 110 and the Apple Newton tablet, it was then that Apple hit its lowest point, nearing bankruptcy.
“It was extraordinarily painful but remarkably educational to experience the company so close to bankruptcy.”
Ive suggests that perhaps the reason he remained with Apple was due to the frustrations he had felt towards conventional PCs at the time.
“I thought I must be technically inept, but the computers that I had been expected to use were absolutely dreadful”.
Remarking on his time at the company the designer went on to describe one of the hardest attributes he learnt when applying his perfectionism to the Apple brand.
“You have to be very courageous as a team to say, ‘This isn’t good enough, let’s stop’. As you learn those lessons as a team it gets easier to make that call.”
Expanding on this rather brutal approach to development Ive is keen to point out that while the decisions were tough they were for a very clear reason.
“Your sense of a brand is really defined by your sense of the product, I’ve never understood how people can think that you can describe what you want the brand to be and sort of legislate that in a way that’s not entirely driven by the product.”
To read the full interview with Sir Jonathan Ive pick up the latest edition of T3 both for print and iPad.