Sunday, March 23, 2014

Jony Ive: The Genius Behind Apple's Greatest Products by Leander Kahney

I am an Apple enthusiast, and I look forward to books about the company. I was not that impressed, though, with this particular book on Jony Ive. This book was immensely readable, but I found that I knew most of the information already. While I appreciated the (seemingly brief) presentation of Ive's biographical details—such as his link to evangelical Christianity in his younger days—I was seduced by the promise of a revelatory look into Ive's design studio, where all would be revealed.

Ive seems a kind person in public, and the book suggests that this is a genuine personality trait on his part. But he comes across a bit like Jobs in the Isaacson biography: arrogant and somewhat narcissistic. But I don't doubt Ive's altruistic motives in designing at Apple (though I suspect many might), and I don't doubt his genius. I am a very big fan of Apple design, and it was the Bondi Blue iMac—and an early version of OSX—that really captured me way back in 1998 or so. I suppose I wanted to read a book about the design language that Ive developed at Apple. Instead, I got a dissatisfying glimpse behind the scenes of one of my most compelling worlds.

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