Meta Design Links: 29 Sept 2007
It breaks my heart to see such wonderful design work from so many talented designers go to waste but the announcement that the One Laptop Per Child Foundation is offering a 2-for-1 sale in the U.S. of the beautiful little machine should mark the end of this grand–and deeply flawed–effort. ~ Bruce Nussbaum
I have to tip my hat and acknowledge that this was a super human effort, but I have to agree with Bruce to a certain extent.
In my mind, I find this project was a grand scheme thought out by people who felt their better way of life can transcend across cultures and be equally relevant. It’s pretty much a big brother; I know what’s best for you approach.
The question was should be, is a Laptop the right product for this problem in the first place? Why not one computer, but add more teachers and build more schools? Also there are some discussions that the mobile phone might be a better replacement but it is not an apple (communication) to orange (learning) comparison.
I do understand much research was done, but were there conversations with people it was meant to target? What about the environment the OLPC needs to live in? Electricity something we take for granted is not always available in 3rd world countries, so will it sit in the corner discharged?
At the end of the day, I’m sure there were both top and bottom end considerations in the design process, but this to me is more of a problem of Design by Committee. To many cooks spoil the broth, doing to many things and satisfying too many partner’s needs.
I’m glad they have finally saw the light and gone for the 1 for 1 deal, as this is something that I have long felt as the right way to proceed.
2) Jonathan Ive for CEO!
I for one believe that the multi-disciplinary designer mindset makes a good path to the CEO chair, but the question comes down to the individual that is Jonathan Ive.
Currently this post does take a leap of faith on some assumptions on the relationship between Ive and Jobs as well as the Apple design process. A process that we actually know very little about as Mr Ive is very PR shy. Fortunately we do know that Jobs talks to Ive a lot.
But ultimately this discussion comes down to the characteristics of great CEOs of which one is Vision. For sure Ive does what more designers should do and that is “Strategy Visualization”, but the question is that does he have the vision and strategic thinking skills that Steve Jobs has? If he does then he will make a great Apple CEO, but from the rumors of the “Iron Fist” management style (not necessary bad) that Steve Jobs runs Apple, I’m not so sure.
What we see today in Apple’s product repertoire could be a result of a very tight brief originating from Steve’s fertile mind.
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