Design Crazy: Good Looks, Hot Tempers, and True Genius at Apple

Design Crazy: Good Looks, Hot Tempers, and True Genius at Apple

Max Chafkin

Language: English

Pages: 88


Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Apple Inc. is one of the most successful—and influential—companies of our time, the transformational innovator that made computers not just personal but beautiful everyday objects. Technology met design, and our culture was altered forever.

And yet very little is known about life inside Apple. The company is pathologically secretive—even with its own designers—about how it comes up with its groundbreaking products: iMac, iPod, iPhone, iPad, and the next “insanely great” thing on the horizon. Here, for the first time, the men and women who worked for and alongside Steve Jobs share their remarkable thirty-year story. How Apple survived nearly catastrophic failure early on. How Jobs and his team came to understand and execute design like no one else. And how their philosophy ultimately changed the world.

This Fast Company original ebook is unlike any other book about Apple. Author Max Chafkin led a team of reporters that spent months interviewing more than fifty former Apple execs and insiders, many of whom had never spoken publicly about their work. The result is a compelling and deeply revealing oral history of how design evolved at the most creative enterprise of our time, the company that one former executive says “taught the world taste.”

Former colleagues describe Jobs at his most brilliant and bombastic—hurling unsatisfactory products across the lab and insulting employees, yet also singling out and celebrating craftsmanship and original work. Without a doubt, Jobs is the single most important figure in the company’s history. But overlooked in Apple’s carefully cultivated mythology are the other ingenious men and women who’ve left an indelible mark on Apple, some of whom think they deserve much more of the credit. At Apple, the stakes were big, and so were the egos.

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were all outcomes of trying to create an experience that was distinctly Apple and that was different from the kind of experience most people would have had with technology. MIKE FISHER, director of visual merchandising (later chief creative officer at JCPenney) There was nothing except the computer. So I think the first [display] window that I did was an OS X window. The other one was a digital platform window that had, like, CDs in it, because there was no other equipment. We had to

before we opened the first one—and trashed three and a half designs. One was very trade-show-feeling, like at a Macworld. One was very much museum-like. We ended up with the design of those early stores with those kidney-shape tables. TIM KOBE We started with the white Corian tables, because the first products were brightly colored and we needed a neutral palette for them to look good on. And then, as the products started getting whiter, we switched to the maple tables. DOUG SATZGER

frames per second. Nothing like it existed. There wasn’t anything like it in the same universe. ANDY GRIGNON Every Apple event starts months in advance. They have a special room over in Building 3. It’s a mini version of the stage. All the computers and everything else is set up there. Stage guys tag and photograph everything, and then they re-create it on the big stage. Every cable is plugged in the way it was. For the early rehearsals, everyone is joking around. But then when it goes to

positioned for business. But there was no business-quality printer, there was no storage. MacWrite was the original word processor, but if you wrote ten pages, you lost everything you’d written. GUY KAWASAKI There was some irrational exuberance. We just thought it was so obvious that Mac was so much better. We thought, How could you not want one? But if you worked for a Fortune 500 company and they said “Use MS-DOS,” are you going to quit? And initially there was no software—no Lotus 1-2-3

platform at the time was the G3 Desktop, so we leveraged that design to build the iMac. DOUG SATZGER When Steve saw the first iMac that was built from the engineering drawings, he looked at the keyboard. If you remember, the iMac had little pinstripes on the back surface of the keyboard. Steve noticed that the pinstripes were off by probably a quarter of a millimeter in spacing. And he didn’t say, “I notice that these are off.” He said, “Why did you change that?” And we were all just like,

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