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How Technocrats Triumphed at Apple


Jony Ive, Apple’s design chief, with the company’s chief executive, Tim Cook, at an Apple event in 2018.

Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

After two years of development, thousands of engineering hours and countless days agonizing over the suppleness of leather and strength of gold for Apple's bold new product, the company's design chief, Jony Ive, was thrust into a high-stakes debate over the most primitive concern: a tent.

It was 2014, and Apple's future, more than ever, seemed to hinge on Mr. Ive. His love of pure, simple lines had already redrawn the world through such popular products as the iMac, iPod and iPhone. Now, he was seated at a conference table with Tim Cook, the company's chief executive, the two men embodying nearly 40 years of collaboration, with one designing and the other assembling the devices that turned a failing business into the world's largest company. They both wanted another hit, but Mr. Ive was pushing for a product reveal more audacious than any in the theatrical company's history.

The Apple Watch was slated to be introduced at a local community college auditorium near the company's Cupertino, Calif., headquarters. To bring cosmopolitan gloss to a suburban landscape of strip malls, Mr. Ive recommended removing two dozen trees and erecting a lavish white tent.

 

From The New York Times


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