A very long portrait of Jonathan Ive. There are way too many things to quote here, so I’m picking this one.
One morning at Apple’s headquarters, a few weeks earlier, Ive recalled how, in 1997, the company seemed to be dying around him. “Every story you’d read, every morning before coming to work, started with the phrase ‘The beleaguered computer maker, Apple,’ ” he said. Ive was then thirty; after five years at the company, he had become its head of industrial design. â€œThere was a Wired cover that had a big Apple logo with a crown of barbed wire, as thorns, and underneath it just said, ‘PRAY.’ I remember this because of how upsetting it was. Basically saying: either it’s going to just go out of business or be bought.”
It’s remarkable how Apple went from effectively bankrupt (no joke: the company was 90 days from going bankrupt) to what it is today. A lot of Apple fans like to make fun of Michael Dell’s comment that Apple should just shut down and give its money to shareholders, but at that time, that comment was entirely, 100% accurate.
The only reason Apple got back up on its feet was Steve Jobs, and nothing else. This recovery was a miracle, and nobody – nobody – saw it coming. This miraculous recovery will be taught in schools and universities for centuries to come.