Sir Jony Ive: Apple's design guru sat for a rare interview which, for the most part, is behind a paywall. That still has not stopped it from leaking all over the free web. You will find detailed write-ups of this interview almost everywhere you look except here. What you will find here is a bit of commentary on what I found to be the most compelling line in the interview. Read on:
"We’re surrounded by anonymous, poorly made objects. It’s tempting to think it’s because the people who use them don’t care — just like the people who make them. But what we’ve shown is that people do care. It’s not just about aesthetics. They care about things that are thoughtfully conceived and well made."
This is the quintessential Apple philosophy in a nutshell. There are two elements of this quote I want to point out. The first is the fact that we are surrounded by anonymous, poorly made objects. Ask yourself why so many objects are anonymous. The second most numerous tablets sold on the planet have no label. They are simply known as "white box" tablets. They represent the majority of Android tablets.
Buy one of those tablets and enjoy using it for a day. And that greatly exaggerates the amount of enjoyment you are likely to get. If you are inclined to call customer service for the numerous problems you will encounter, you are out of luck. There will have been no more though put into satisfying customers than there was in making the product in the first place. There is no accountability for such a product. There is no company name you can look up or remember. There is no one at the end of the paper trail. It would take a detective to sort it out. The majority of objects you encounter are of this ilk.
Apple is something different. It has a name and logo you know, with a reputation to uphold. They have a phone number and website with real humans standing by who speak your language and understand your dialect. 24hrs. a day, every day, Apple stands accountable for every product they produce. No company in the world is held to Apple's standards. They draw the most scrutiny, and hold up to it well. This cannot be said for any of Apple's competitors. Just try calling Google customer service for any of their products. Have fun getting help for that Samsung thingy. As for that square of glass you bought called, "Walmart tablet", good luck with that.
Sir Ive understands that the people who make these products don't care about anything more than a quick sale. He also believes that average people do care about the quality of the product they own. That is only true for a small segment of the population. Most people cannot afford quality products, and are forced to settle for what they can get. They have surrendered to the inevitable junk they are destined to own.
The line that represents Apple's core is the one about products that are thoughtfully conceived and well made. Every Apple product is conceived with a purpose in mind. It is not there for the purpose of being sold. Apple could sell anything with an Apple logo on it. They don't do that. They make things that they feel are essential in function. Apple believes that the only products that should be made are those that can justify their right to exist.
An Apple product begins with a lot of thought and rationalization. It has purposeful focus. It must exist for some purpose other than the fact that it could be sold. Apple accepts accountability for that product, and how it effects the life of the user. By contrast, when Samsung makes a product, it is to be first into a market they know Apple is about to enter, or to be a fast follower into a market Apple has already entered. They are also driven by the desire to sell the most of something, or to have their finger in every pied that might pay out a nickel or two. They care only about the moment the product is counted as a sale. The give no thought to the product and end user after that point.
Apple simply doesn't operate like that, and that's why I love them as a company. That is not to say that they always succeed in their lofty goals. They don't. They have had some notably disastrous misfires over the years. But their successes are so great because their guiding star is so bright, and always kept in focus. We know Apple's. What is Google's guiding star? Microsoft's? Amazon's? Samsung's? Blackberry's? Exactly! You don't know it because they don't have one. They are the named leaders of the nameless junk by which we are surrounded.