The New York Times interviewed Jony Ive to discuss Tim Cook and Apple product development. The piece is worth a read, as it eludes to more of Jony’s design workflow, as well as his experience with Tim and Steve.
What interests me most is the impatience Jony and his team encounter. The public feels, at times, that it takes Apple too long to get products released. Apple shows this veneer of calm, patient creativity, which can mislead the public to jump to the wrong conclusions about Apple’s creative team. People judge the work they cannot see, and in Apple’s case, it looks at times like they aren’t getting things done quickly, as the public expects them to.
In truth, Jony and the team relate to this inside Apple, as they too grow impatient with their work.
The benefit of hindsight is we only really talk about those things that did work out. You have this sense that you’re working on something incredibly hard. When working on projects, you have this determination. You just keep going. If doing anything new, you’re very used to having insurmountable obstacles. At some point you have to make a call — at some point you have to say, “We’ve stretched this and we’ve come up against laws of physics, which we cannot change.”
When that’s your day to day, you’re so consumed by the products and the problems and the challenges, that it’s actually quite easy to be impatient.
It’s very stirring to hear from your heroes that they struggle with the same immature emotions. The people like Ive, though, acknowledge the impatience as trivial in the larger scheme of things. The product is the focus—the wellbeing of Apple’s craftsmanship. It takes a tremendous amount of character to weigh your experience at work and know what’s worth your time years on end.