End of an Era: Steve Jobs

Jeff Reynolds jeff at siphonophore.com
Fri Aug 26 14:29:09 EDT 2011


sorry i have no blog so ill present my thoughts here to the list...

This is an unending discussion with my design partner about the  
current state of design. Gene worked in the Eames office when very  
young and was able to see the magic that someone that has that  
attention to detail and the ability to focus their talents to bring  
the design out -- not create it -- from the chaos. Jobs was one of the  
few folks in any level or power that really understood this with a  
passion and a sheer force of will to make it happen in the last few  
decades. I am really hoping he has left a mark w/in Apple the company  
to nurture this and allow classical design to shine on and not be  
demoted to the level it has at most companies of having the say so  
equal to the rest of the staff on design issues or being done by  
someone who cant do a pencil sketch to save their lives.

there is a reason apple stores are always full of people playing with  
the toys and if you watch they are stroking them and feeling the  
curves on the products. you dont see that kind of basic monkey  
interaction even in a store filled with designer handbags that cost  
$25k each and are thought to be the height of design today... Jobs  
also was brilliant on finding those things that are deep in the human  
heart, linked to that basic monkey brain to touch first then do the  
rest. if you can touch those basic things gracefully and quickly in a  
human they will embrace what you are presenting with a hungry passion.  
it will be truly universal and more immune to the tides of culture and  
style. Even the store itself is done so cleanly that you can take a  
picture from just about any angle and you wont get a bad shot, that is  
really hard to do! the stores strike that fine balance of framing the  
product to set it off cleanly, but fading into the background when the  
eye is onto the product.

I agree with Kevin, luck is a part of it, but Jobs was able to create  
his own luck by both sheer will and also knowing the true basics of  
design as the points to start from applying that fantastic will.

I had to laugh at Kevin's mention of the demos. i saw his second  
public demo of the next cube while a grad student at UC Berkeley. I  
went to see Jobs and the cube but never even thought i would ever even  
think about wanting one -- at $10K, that was a fortune to me at the  
time. It was a tough audience there of folks that respected him, but  
were mostly dubious about this 'business' machine that cost so much.  
well, he spellbound the whole crowd of 1000 or so in the chem lecture  
forum over the hour or so and had every single person walking out the  
door thinking of how they could sell something, mortgage a child, or  
rob a gas station to come up with that $10K. it was truly amazing.

wall street thought his success was brilliant business maneuvers, but  
it was this love of design i think was his ace in the hole to set up  
the business situations (he also is a great business mind as well) to  
his advantage in situations that looked like he could not win.

Jobs, Waz and Atkinson and others at Apple had a profound effect on my  
life over the years and i thank them all deeply for it! they provided  
me with tools that allowed me to do things that i think had a small,  
positive effect on the world and do it in a way that even the design  
of the their tools effected my own design process and sensibilities in  
a positive and productive way.

here is to hoping that his stepdown will give him the time to focus  
that sheer force of will onto his own life and get as much of his  
health back as possible.

cheers

jeff

On Aug 26, 2011, at 1:00 PM, use-livecode-request at lists.runrev.com  
wrote:

> Thursday, August 25, 2011, 8:40:20 AM, you wrote:
>
>> If all Americans loved their work the way he did, we would be
>> unparalleled in the quality of products we produced.
>
> ...and with that in mind...
>
> https://plus.google.com/107117483540235115863/posts/gcSStkKxXTw




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