Who's got the hottest hardware? That's hard to say of course, but Apple certainly causes a buzz whenever they release a product of any kind. Steve Jobs definitely makes a commanding figurehead for Apple, as iconic as Bill Gates over at Microsoft. But who's doing the heavy lifting, design-wise, over at Apple? Business Week highlights Jonathan Ive:
But the headliner of the show made a decidedly less showy impression. Shambling onto the stage with a nearly shaved head and dark T-shirt, Apple Computer (AAPL ) Senior Vice-President for Industrial Design Jonathan Ive looked like grad student who had gotten lost on the way to Starbucks (SBUX ). The 39-year-old Brit slouched unfabulously in his seat and quietly answered questions from conference host and award-winning editor, Chee Pearlman. Despite countless invitations, he refused to trumpet his own design prowess or to dish on what it's like to work with his perfectionist boss, Steve Jobs.
The man who, after Jobs, is most responsible for Apple's amazing ability to dazzle and delight with its famous products, chose instead to talk about process -- what he called "the craft of design." He spoke passionately about his small team and how they work together. He talked about focusing on only what is important and limiting the number of projects. He spoke about having a deep understanding of how a product is made: its materials, its tooling, its purpose. Mostly, he focused on the need to care deeply about the work.
Apple shares are up 1273% over the last ten years. Read about the enigmatic man that helped Steve Jobs bring Apple back from the brink, and put waxy earbuds on everybody.
Read about the man behind the curtain.