Jony Ive by Leander Kahney

Jony Ive

By Leander Kahney

  • Release Date: 2013-11-14
  • Genre: Biographies & Memoirs
Score: 4.5
From 30 Ratings
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“An adulating biography of Apple’s left-brained wunderkind, whose work continues to revolutionize modern technology.” —Kirkus Reviews

In 1997, Steve Jobs discovered a scruffy British designer toiling away at Apple’s headquarters, surrounded by hundreds of sketches and prototypes. Jony Ive’s collaboration with Jobs would produce some of the world’s most iconic technology products, including the iMac, iPod, iPad, and iPhone. Ive’s work helped reverse Apple’s long decline, overturned entire industries, and created a huge global fan base. Yet little is known about the shy, soft-spoken whiz whom Jobs referred to as his “spiritual partner.”

Leander Kahney offers a detailed portrait of the English art school student with dyslexia who became the most acclaimed tech designer of his generation. Drawing on interviews with Ive’s former colleagues and Apple insiders, Kahney “takes us inside the creation of these memorable objects.” (The Wall Street Journal)


  • His geometry of thought is unique and inspiring.

    By DeonK
    "The atmosphere became “charged with ideas” once Jony was in charge." We all heard this saying "Be the change you want to see in the world", right? Look at what Jony Ive and his team did to the world through their work - they upgraded people's expectations of aesthetics, design and usability. They didn't go about lecturing and preaching why things should be a certain way. Many companies in the world are looking up to them for leadership in design. I don't know of any other company that designs products that are so clean and posses immaculate cohesion across all elements when you experience them. Complete and unified. After having experienced Apple, you will see start to notice disharmony and clutter when you interact with other software, and because Apple upgraded your thoughts and expectations for better aesthetics through your interaction with their technology. ​ This books is very inspiring and upgrading. You will see why Apple is successful, what they have been through and how they evolved into who they are now. I included my most favourite gems from the book below. Every page is a journey. Get it, it's awesome. ~~~~~ "When you move on, you leave some things behind. The floppy drive, which I will argue until I’m blue in the face, is really antiquated technology. I’ve heard the complaints, but if there’s not some sort of friction in a move forward, your step is not as consequential as you’d like to believe it is." "Jobs had made the sudden independence of design possible at Apple. “In most people’s vocabularies, design means veneer,” Jobs told Fortune shortly after retaking the reins at Apple. “But to me, nothing could be further from the meaning of design. Design is the fundamental soul of a man-made creation.” "They [ideas] came from brainstorming sessions, not from focus groups or market surveys. “We don’t do focus groups—that is the job of the designer,” said Jony. “It’s unfair to ask people who don’t have a sense of the opportunities of tomorrow from the context of today to design.” "If you just sit there for ten minutes and move the display around, you quickly forget about its design. The design gets out of the way,” Jony concluded. “We are not interested in design statements. We do everything we can to simplify design". (Jony talking about his design team) "I do not want any of my guys thinking about cost. They should not even care about the cost because that is not their job." "IDg became the most visible and prestigious corporate design group in the world, won more design awards than the rest of the computer industry combined and reached a level where further improvement meant using its own work as a yardstick rather than the competition’s.” "Jony said. “We design the user’s perceptions of what those objects are, as well as the meaning that accrues from their physical existence, their function and the sense of possibility they offer.” They discussed topics like “objects that dispense positive emotions.” "But Jony offered a key insight: “It’s also very inhuman and very cold. Because of the industry’s obsession with absolutes, there has been a tendency to ignore product attributes that are difficult to measure or talk about. In that sense, the industry has missed out on the more emotive, less tangible product attributes. But to me, that is why I bought an Apple computer in the first place. That is why I came to work for Apple. It’s because I’ve always sensed that Apple had a desire to do more than the bare minimum. It wasn’t just going to do what was functionally and empirically necessary. In the early stuff, I got a sense that care was taken even on details, hard and soft, that people may never discover.” "It was the first time he felt the humanity of a product. “It was such a dramatic moment and I remember it so clearly,” he said. “There was a real sense of the people who made it.” “It was a company that certainly wasn’t innovating,” Jony said at the time. “We lost our identity and looked to competition for leadership.” "Apple’s products looked like they came from four different companies, not one. It drove Jobs crazy." "There were layers and layers of middle managers, many who had come from Dell or HP and didn’t understand the design-driven approach." "I remember very clearly Steve announcing that our goal is not just to make money but to make great products,” Jony later recalled. “The decisions you make based on that philosophy are fundamentally different from the ones we had been making at Apple." "Another factor was undoubtedly that Jony was frustrated with consulting. He had achieved what many designers dream of: a successful practice with a lot of freedom. But consulting also restricted his ability to truly make an effect. “Working outside a company made it difficult to have a profound impact on product plans and to truly innovate.” "To most people a lid is a just lid, but Jony gave it special attention. “It’s the first thing you see and the first thing you interact with,” Jony said. “Before you can turn the product on, you must first open the lid. I wanted that moment to be special.” "To enhance that moment, Jony designed a clever, spring-loaded latch mechanism; when you pressed the lid, it popped open." (talking about iMac) "Marketing experts advised that an un-expandable desktop would be commercial suicide." “Even though Steve didn’t draw any of the lines, his ideas and inspiration made the design what it is” "Apple had lost ground in the market because they were trying to be everything to everybody instead of focusing on the real needs of their customers.” "When we are at these early stages in design . . . often we’ll talk about the story for the product—we’re talking about perception. We’re talking about how you feel about the product, not in a physical sense, but in a perceptual sense.
  • Awesome

    By App1eFanB0Y
    Leander did a really good job. Jony Ive was a great read! I recommend it to anybody who is an Apple fan
  • Catnip for Apple fans

    By D-man North
    This is a terrific read packed with inside baseball on all things Apple. I could almost imagine myself running the cappuccino maker during a brainstorming session at the Design Studio.
  • Great!

    By Pierre.a.roy
    I listen to Leander on the cultcast, read his articles on the cult of mac, and this book was truley great, my father purchased it for me and i read it in almost 4 days! Gread read
  • Great book!!!

    By BjorgumFamily
    A great book that shows how much the people at apple care.
  • Did it again

    By Beerhunter291
    Leander's latest release is a must-read for any follower of the Cult of Mac. The depth of research is evident as this comprehensive story of Jony Ive is complete and entertaining. This title will be a welcome addition to any iBooks collection.
  • Ok wow.

    By karancp
    Apple is a gem. And to create it took a lot of manpower. There were many people involved in its success. Steve and Jony were undoubtedly one of the most significant influences, in my opinion. So it is great to read about the other genius behind Apple's products. Since this book conveys the message so well, it definitely gives readers the other facet of Apple's success. Please do grab a copy, or whatever. Just make sure you end up reading it.