May 3, 2015 // By Mark Smith
Jonathon Ive is not a household name, but the products he designs are. He is the force behind the design for all of Apple’s products. This week we were introduced to the Apple Watch. We also learned that Apple has shipped its 700 millionth iPhone. It will take years for us to understand if the Apple watch will have the same impact on technology that the 8 year old iPhone has had, but in any case no other company comes close to garnering the media attention and speculation that Apple does. And no one else has been behind the design of products that collectively have sold over 1 billion units.
What makes Apple designs special is that every time they design a product they start with a clean slate. They work hard to throw out any assumptions that people may have about what they are designin/g and creatively figure out what the customer wants, even though the customer usually does not know what they want. As Henry Ford said a century ago. “If I asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” Thankfully he figured out a way to make cars affordable to the masses rather than developing faster horses and thankfully Jonathon Ive figured out we want something beyond a flip phone.
Thanks to the efforts of Apple design teams, we now have a wristwatch we can talk to (and pay $15,000 for if we want – who says that a gold watch for retirement is out of fashion…), a device we can hold in our hand that can keep us entertained with games and movies anywhere, and, most remarkably, a device that men are willing to ask for directions. Who would have thought 8 years ago that the iPhone would be behind these remarkable changes to our lives?
Apple is not the only company to discover that a good design can make or break a technology. A/t Magenic, we have a world class design group that we leverage to make our solutions better. As with Apple products, very often we see that the design of the solution provides (as Steve Jobs said) the “innovation that distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” Every day we innovate to make our solutions work better through the creativity of our technologists and our designers.
Ask yourself – are you looking at a problem and considering all options without a preconceived notion of what the solution should be? Are you asking questions to learn about the assumptions that have been made in the solution to discover an opportunity to make the solution better? Are you bringing the right resources to the problem to innovate a solution that helps our customers become market leaders?
While none of us may invent a product that affects hundreds of millions of people, we can leverage our collective talents to design and develop solutions that make our customers /leaders and help them make hundreds of millions of dollars.