Remember how I did not buy that the role of product curator moves about at Apple? Well it’s pretty clear. In a recent Press Release from Apple on increasing collaboration between hardware, software and services, we can see:
Jony Ive will provide leadership and direction for Human Interface (HI) across the company in addition to his role as the leader of Industrial Design. His incredible design aesthetic has been the driving force behind the look and feel of Apple’s products for more than a decade.
What is also interesting to note is that Scott Forstall, the creator of iOS, is out. The rumors say that he was asked to leave because of the Maps debacle, and his Steve Jobs’ style of leadership. Scott is an Apple veteran from NeXt, and was close to Steve. This was probably why he enjoyed some protection in his way of working. Om Malik nails it when he said: “Forstall forgot he was Steve’s guy, not Steve Jobs.”
WOW! What a huge shake up. But here are two points to note.
Firstly I’m super excited that Jony Ive is head of ALL design at Apple. This means he is responsible for the design of all hardware, software and services. It’s about time, and a clear mandate that Design needs to be a central and comprehensive activity at the highest levels of an organization. One can only imagine the extent of the unifying design role that Steve Jobs played at Apple when he was alive. This change reflects that there is a hole that needs to be filled, and aptly filled by none other than Jony Ive, an Industrial Designer.
Secondly, if you think that you can behave and/or run a company like Steve Jobs, you can forget such illusions of grandeur. There can be only one Steve Jobs. The rest who try will just be seen as jerks.
Brian is the Founder and Design Director at Design Sojourn, a Design Led Innovation Consultancy. He is a multi-award winning design leader, and specialises in strategic design and innovation programs that drive successful organisations. Brian’s 20-year career in design, driven through a deep understanding of human behavior, spans over multiple domains such as consumer electronics, government, healthcare, non-profit agencies, hospitality, F&B, retail, online solutions and best in class service experiences.