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Jony Ive is leaving Apple!


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Jony Ive is leaving Apple!
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kscherer
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2019-06-27, 17:22

Just saw this.

Don't even know what to think of it yet, but the design master, Jony Ive, is leaving the helm to start his own firm.

Well, good luck and thanks for the fun, Jony!

Boise State! … Boise State! … Boise State!
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chucker
 
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2019-06-27, 17:39

Well, this is quite something.

First, I've never worked there and obviously never been in a design meeting, so it's a bit hard to know from the outside looking in what true role he's played over the years.

I do believe he gave (with help from his team, I'm sure) the company significant cues towards not just one design language, but really two: the brief three-year period of 1998 that saw translucency, color, and pinstripes, as represented in hardware obviously by the iMac but various other products as well, and in software by Aqua.

Then, as a 1.5 if you will, he was probably involved in the Brushed Metal era.

And then starting with the May 2001 white iBook and the October 2001 iPod with iconic white earbuds, the era of white plastic, various shades of aluminum combined with glass, and thin, flat, right-angle shapes.

The first era was funnily brief in retrospect. And perhaps the second era has been so long. If we assume that there is a problem; that there has been tension brewing, I would pinpoint it to that: the only way for this second era to go was even thinner, and even flatter, with even starker colors. Can we do an even purer aluminum? Maybe we can make it darker this time. Maybe throw in a few shades of gold-like color.

(Can we make the iMac thinner on its sides? Why would we do that? Well if we're being honest, we're running out of ways to iterate this design.)

There were outliers to that — the iPod, especially the iPod nano, was available in quite a few colors. There's the iPhone 5c. And now the XR. There's bands for the Watch. But for the most part, the entire line-up is now an dark grey aluminum or steel back, with a thick black bezel around a glass display. Very classy. Also kind of boring, eighteen(!) years in.

The first era, instead, was full of whimsy and variety. It went too far at times; nobody wants a Flower Power iMac. It went not far enough other times.

Maybe it is in fact time for a new era. For aesthetical reasons — people want something new — as well as for practical ones: a good argument can be made that the 2016 MacBook Pros would overall have been a better product if only they had been ever so slightly less thin.

I'm not sure how Ive worked himself into this one-trick pony situation, but if I were to take a rather uneducated guess, the answer would be: because he truly thinks that's a great way to keep reiterating. And now perhaps a critical mass of other managers has started revolting.
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kscherer
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2019-06-27, 17:59

It could also be that Ive has shot his wad at Apple; that he cannot see any new design ideas. Thus, he is leaving while at the top of the game. The next design iteration will belong to someone else and, should it fail, it will be their fault, not his.

Boise State! … Boise State! … Boise State!
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chucker
 
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2019-06-27, 18:15

Quote:
Originally Posted by kscherer View Post
It could also be that Ive has shot his wad at Apple; that he cannot see any new design ideas.
Oh yeah. It does seem like he felt he had nowhere to go. Whether that's career-wise (he wasn't going to be CEO any time soon) or aesthetic-wise (a 1mm thick iPhone wasn't going to happen).

Quote:
Originally Posted by kscherer View Post
Thus, he is leaving while at the top of the game. The next design iteration will belong to someone else and, should it fail, it will be their fault, not his.
Cynical.

Apple should have a new design direction. It doesn't need to be better. (Bubbly fruit colors arguably weren't a good design in a functional sense, but they got people talking!) It just needs to send the message that stuff is happening.
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chucker
 
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2019-06-27, 18:29

Gruber has a take. It's… quite something:

Quote:
There’ve been rumors for years that Ive had one foot out the door, that his last real interest at Apple was designing Apple Park, not Apple products.
Yeah, I forgot about that. It does seem like he got bored of computer hardware design and took a stab at architecture. The result doesn't seem bad, but also may have stalled plenty of other important developments at Apple for years.

Quote:
But in the post-Jobs era, with all of Apple design, hardware and software, under his control, we’ve seen the software design decline and the hardware go wonky. I don’t know the inside the story, but it certainly seems like a good bet that MacBook keyboard fiasco we’re still in the midst of is the direct result of Jony Ive’s obsession with device thinness and minimalism.
(How funny would it be if there's a direct correlation of internal conversations between "the first reports of failing 2019 MacBook Pro keyboards appear to be in" and "that's it, we're done with this crap. You've been promising over and over that it's really fixed now promise pinky swear and it just isn't"?)

Quote:
This organizational structure makes no sense to me.
It depends a lot on how hands-off Jeff Williams will be. Part of the problem with the previous structure, IMHO, was this idea that industrial design and human interface design are closely related skills that can both report to Ive. We're still seeing the effects of that misguided notion in weird decisions like an iPhone-style time picker in a Mac app.

If we're lucky, this new structure is really saying: yeah, they're both design, but they're distinct teams.

Perhaps this is more of a case of Jeff's title being a poor choice.
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kscherer
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2019-06-27, 18:42

Yeah, I read his, and it's good. I was going to link, but, nah. I couldn't be bothered.
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chucker
 
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2019-06-27, 19:34

Quote:
Originally Posted by kscherer View Post
Yeah, I read his, and it's good. I was going to link, but, nah. I couldn't be bothered.
I wasn’t expecting him to come down so clearly on “Jony leaving is good”.
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PB PM
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2019-06-27, 19:37

About time, Apple needs some new design ideas, because the stuff Jony has come out with over the past 5 years or so are looking very old and tired.
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709
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2019-06-27, 19:57

RIP "alyuuuminium" vids.
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drewprops
Magnificent Basturd™
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2019-06-27, 22:44

A great run!

A good time for a new direction!

One more line for more exclamation points!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!4




...
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Quagmire
meh
 
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2019-06-30, 19:17

Was Ive's disinterest in Apple products the reason why we have been seeing the same damn iPhone design ever since the iPhone 6? The iPhone X was a much needed breath of fresh air, but it looks like the next iPhone will still be based off the X design and not a new one.

Reason why the iMac is still on the 2012 design?

The only exciting Mac design lately has been the new Mac Pro. Every other Mac is still using the same case design when it originally debuted.....

giggity
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chucker
 
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2019-07-01, 01:35

I don’t think a new iPhone design every two years was going to be sustainable, but supposedly, it’s critical to Chinese sales.

Now the iMac, OTOH…
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Quagmire
meh
 
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2019-07-01, 07:09

Probably every 2 years wasn't going to be sustainable, but I think 3 years is the happy medium.....

WSJ also has a story on it( through a paywall). If true, sounds like Ive really had to fight for the Apple Watch for it to come into existence. And it really sounds like under Cook, Apple is resting on its laurels instead of wanting to take on big risk, high reward type of projects that occurred under Jobs.

https://www.macrumors.com/2019/07/01...leaving-apple/

giggity
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chucker
 
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2019-07-01, 09:01

Complicated story.

"The bean counters have taken over" may be part of it, but… not necessarily that big a part. Here's another quote:

Quote:
Around the time, Ive told the New Yorker he'd become "deeply, deeply tired,"
Imagine having a job so cushy you can make millions and still complain to a newspaper that you're "deeply tired". Takes a fair amount of hubris.

There's a certain risk we'll have several years of MBA- and business analyst™-optimized "designs". There's also a real chance we'll end up with a new team of designers who actually want to do the job they're paid for.
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Quagmire
meh
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2019-07-01, 09:42

Quote:
Originally Posted by chucker View Post
Complicated story.

"The bean counters have taken over" may be part of it, but… not necessarily that big a part. Here's another quote:



Imagine having a job so cushy you can make millions and still complain to a newspaper that you're "deeply tired". Takes a fair amount of hubris.

There's a certain risk we'll have several years of MBA- and business analyst™-optimized "designs". There's also a real chance we'll end up with a new team of designers who actually want to do the job they're paid for.
Certainly a complicated story and not trying to paint the bean counter taking over as the sole reason.

How do we interpret that deeply tired remark? Getting burned out? Burned out how? Workload related? Creatively related? Getting tired of designing electronics and want to go into a different sector?

giggity
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chucker
 
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2019-07-01, 10:56

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quagmire View Post
Certainly a complicated story and not trying to paint the bean counter taking over as the sole reason.
Oh I wasn’t saying you were.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quagmire View Post
How do we interpret that deeply tired remark? Getting burned out? Burned out how? Workload related? Creatively related? Getting tired of designing electronics and want to go into a different sector?
Probably any number of those. The remark just really rubs me the wrong way. Like, take a sabbatical, travel the world, whatever, but to tell a newspaper that you’ve been tired for years? It’s… maybe a tad too honest and seems a slap in the face for customers, colleagues, and investors. (Yes, it’s also human. And yet…)
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kscherer
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2019-07-01, 12:19

I think that guys like Jony Ive have a ton of side projects along with their normal work load. "Deeply tired" may be 100% true. Rich people get burnt out just like the rest of us. Then add in all the flights to Hong Kong, London, Shanghai, Israel, and everywhere else your designs are being built and tested. I mean, jet lag is real! I'm not trying to make excuses for the guy, but "tired" is an apt word for most wealthy business execs. They don't get where they are by chasing skirts in the Bahamas. They get there by working 16 hour days for years!

Most of the wealthy people I have met are exhausted by the time they reach retirement. It's hard work! We only see the cutesy photos the media spreads about; we don't see the real world hours worked by many of these people. At some point even the super-charged, highly competitive types who are willing to destroy themselves for fame and notoriety will burn out.

I don't blame him for leaving; starting his own low-stress design firm. Sit back while clients run to him and his team and pay top dollar for "My new chair was designed by Jony Ive" crap. Sounds like a pretty sweet deal. The guy has "Norman Rockwell" superstar fame and will get whatever price some Hollywood plastic surgeon is willing to pay for that exclusive 15,000sf "Designed by Jony" home in Beverly Hills.

Boise State! … Boise State! … Boise State!

Last edited by kscherer : 2019-07-01 at 12:31.
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chucker
 
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2019-07-01, 14:25

A former boss of mine continues to be quite the workaholic in his early 50s, running three companies in rather distinct fields. One day, I assume, he too will be tired.

In fact, six years ago, I think he had such a phase. Sales prospects didn’t excite him; projects were always the same. He didn’t deliver. He clashed with the other bosses.

He got fired.

(We still hang out a few times a year, and in recent years, I feel like he’s regained his mojo!)

And maybe that’s what bugs me here. Rather than recognize that it was time to move on, he spent years on projects like Apple Park and the Apple Watch Edition (gold! OK, no takers? How about ceramic!), and AirPower (according to the WSJ).

That, too, may be an unfair simplistic take, but he’s kind of provoking it in me by saying he was “tired”.

I’m not saying Jony didn’t work hard. I am saying (and he seems to be as well) that in recent years, he maybe didn’t. Or worked on relatively frivolous things out of self-interest. And maybe that compensated for a twenty-year streak of overperforming, sure.

So anyway, this departure seems like a win for both sides.
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kscherer
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2019-07-01, 14:59

Quote:
Originally Posted by chucker View Post
So anyway, this departure seems like a win for both sides.
I agree. But, I also agree with Gruber that the design team direction going forward seems off. Time will tell.

Edit: Well, this is interesting. Tim Cook is calling the WSJ article "absurd" and says it is a total fabrication.

Let's say that Tim Cook is calling it straight. If so, then where in the hell are these "reporters" getting their information? Is it just dreamed up in the middle of the night? Is their "source" a mole who is trying to discredit Apple? Or perhaps the WSJ? Does anyone do their homework?

Boise State! … Boise State! … Boise State!

Last edited by kscherer : 2019-07-01 at 16:33.
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PB PM
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2019-07-01, 20:57

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quagmire View Post
The only exciting Mac design lately has been the new Mac Pro. Every other Mac is still using the same case design when it originally debuted.....
I wouldn't say the Mac Pro's design is exiting, in the least. They didn't want the new Mac Pro to look like the G5/first gen Mac Pro, so they made the holes bigger, whoop, whoop!

I cannot think of any Macs that still use the design they had on launch, other than the Macbook/Macbook Air. The iMac has four different distinct designs, and is nothing like what first shipped in 1998. The Mac Mini is on it's second design, going from a mix of aluminum and plastic to a smaller all aluminum case (I don't count changing it from silver to black as a design change). The MacBook Pro's have had several design changes since the first ones shipped in 2006, they've gained much larger trackpads, much smaller bezels, and the biggest change was when it went to the current unibody design in the late 2000's.
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chucker
 
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2019-07-02, 00:52

Quote:
Originally Posted by kscherer View Post
Edit: Well, this is interesting. Tim Cook is calling the WSJ article "absurd" and says it is a total fabrication.

Let's say that Tim Cook is calling it straight. If so, then where in the hell are these "reporters" getting their information? Is it just dreamed up in the middle of the night? Is their "source" a mole who is trying to discredit Apple? Or perhaps the WSJ? Does anyone do their homework?
That’s not how I read that. Key sentence: “A lot of the reporting, and certainly the conclusions just don’t match with reality.”

Which I would imagine is partially true: some reporting will be exaggerated, remembered incorrectly, painted (inadvertently or not) in a particular light. And for the conclusions, we’ll, the author seems to have a predefined narrative he’s trying to fit.

One example. The author argues that the lack of Jony Ive White Room video at this year’s WWDC shows that something was amiss in the relationship. It’s true that no video was shown, but:

• one was in fact produced with him talking about the Mac Pro
• there were very few videos at all at this keynote, presumably because it was already quite packed and long
• WWDC is not primarily (and sometimes not at all) about hardware, but with few exceptions (iOS 7’s UI design language comes to mind), Ive videos are. An event like the annual iPhone event or an iPad or Mac introduction makes more sense for this assertion.

It just seems like too easy an attempt at a hit piece.
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kscherer
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2019-07-02, 15:39

Well, if you feel like a long read, Dilger has released his take.

Edit: fixed link

Last edited by kscherer : 2019-07-02 at 16:04.
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PKIDelirium
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2019-07-02, 16:01

Your link is bad, and you should feel bad!

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kscherer
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2019-07-02, 16:05

It was, and I did.
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chucker
 
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2019-07-02, 18:40

Quote:
Originally Posted by kscherer View Post
Well, if you feel like a long read, Dilger has released his take.

Edit: fixed link
I am shocked, shocked to see Dilger paint Apple as the misunderstood victim and everyone else as the evil conformist masses who just don’t understand Apple’s genius.

There’s got to be some point where “I only have one conclusion to draw in every single article, ever” becomes tiring?

The irony is that Dilger is a necessary part of the very punditry ecosystem he’s criticizing (much like the Macalope, but unfunny). He’s the yin to the Apple is doomed/has peaked yang.

He actually makes dome good points in this article. But it’s marred by his trademark insufferable “why doesn’t everyone love this company as much as I do” style.

:/
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709
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2019-07-02, 19:26

Perfectly put.

I find DD fun and informative enough, sometimes, in a podcast that I listen to with one earphone in sort of way.
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Bryson
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2019-07-03, 13:19

Are we sure that Dilger isn't The Macalope? The writing style is pretty much the same.
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drewprops
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sagacious-d
 
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2019-07-04, 10:56

After ruminating on his departure it was past time. The good news (for us): Jony/Apple's obsession with thinness may finally be relenting to accommodate better performance.

https://gizmodo.com/apple-might-star...o-g-1836104621

If true, I like this new ethos.


...
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chucker
 
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2019-07-04, 11:29

Quote:
The MacBook Pro line supposedly won’t see the new scissor switch keyboards included until 2020
Sucks for me (that’ll make mine six years old!) but is plausible. Not only because they’ve just updated them, but also because that’d be in time for Comet Lake-H, bringing them to up to 10 cores (yet still not 10nm).
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kscherer
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2019-07-04, 12:43

I still think they're gunning for all touch-based virtual keyboards (as in Touch Bar but full surface).
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