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Jony Ive: The Genius Behind Apple's Greatest Products

3.94  ·  Rating Details ·  3,333 Ratings  ·  223 Reviews
“Different and new is relativelyeasy. Doing something that’sgenuinely better is very hard.” —Jony Ive
In 1997, Steve Jobs returned to Apple as CEO with the unenviable task of turning around the company he had founded. One night, Jobs discovered a scruffy British designer toiling away at Apple’s corporate headquarters, surrounded by hundreds of sketches and prototypes. It wa
Hardcover, 274 pages
Published November 14th 2013 by Portfolio (first published 2013)
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Jan 05, 2014 Steve rated it it was ok
I have to declare my hand here as I have had a long association with Apple, from commercially programming the Apple IIe through 10 years working for the company, to the many friends I still have there. I approached this book with an open mind - could Leander Kahney have persuaded the famously private Jony Ive to speak? The answer is a resounding 'no'. This book admits its failure to open up many primary sources, except as far as the beginnings of Jony's career is concerned. The rest is mostly re ...more
Eric Franklin
Mar 31, 2016 Eric Franklin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people in the tech industry
Shelves: 2015
This book is positively chockablock with insights regarding Apple's unique Industrial Design and Product Development process, making it a worthwhile read for people in the industry trying to get a better sense of how Apple keeps managing to churn out hit after hit. What makes Apple unique and how did it come to place Industrial Design at the core of it all?

* Don't create a product just because you can be competitive. Build a product where you believe you will own the category.
* Focus. Kill produ
Dec 22, 2014 Santhosh rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Chris O'Brien
Oct 25, 2013 Chris O'Brien rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013
Nice read by a long-time Apple reporter. It's a challenge because in part, Ive's life story is sorta dull compared to Steve Jobs. No crazy fruititarian diets. No LSD trips. And in the telling, Ive never seems to experience setback. So the drama factor is low. Still, the book does a good job of explaining the messy and complex details of product design, which are laborious and tedious and rarely feature the simple narratives that later become myth.
Ben Gillam
Jun 21, 2014 Ben Gillam rated it really liked it
Interesting read, reveals some alternate views on the apple history not from Steve Jobs perspective. Jony Ive is an amazing designer and very interesting to read about. Book was a little slow to get going but worth seeing it through.
VijayaRaghavan S N
Mar 24, 2016 VijayaRaghavan S N rated it really liked it
I would say the book deserves a rating of 4.5 stars which can be rounded off to 4 stars. It is rounded off to 4 stars and not 5 because of Walter Isaacson and his biography on Steve Jobs (titled Steve Jobs). I did a grave mistake of reading the book 'Steve Jobs' before this one. And so, my definition of a biography was set at soaring heights by Isaacson. The amount of research and number of pages on the guy on whom the book is based on defined the book 'Jobs' and which in turn defined what a bio ...more
David Schwan
Jan 17, 2015 David Schwan rated it it was amazing
A great book but probably many would find dry and over detailed, I however found it had the right amount of detail. The author gives us an in depth look at the Apple Industrial Design Group (IDg). Having been a long time Apple user (since 1980) it was great to see some of the underlying thought processes involved in the design of Apple products. This book goes beyond just design and shows us how Jony Ive has pioneered many new manufacturing processes, he has extended the way many things are buil ...more
Alex Devero
May 31, 2015 Alex Devero rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography
Well written book giving you chance to explore the life of Apple's head of design Johny Ive. Book also covers the process how Apple created its products and what it is like to work there. Enjoy the closer look into some of the secrets of Apple's design practices and how Johny Ive made it to the top.
Apr 06, 2015 Gavin rated it liked it
Good Profile of Jony Ive. I wish it was more detailed.

Favorite Quotes from the book:


(Referring to one of Jony's teachers in design school)
“And he had these fantastic big brushes in his pocket. When he came round, he wouldn’t just stop and talk to us; he would make us brush off what we were working on and clear a little space. Even if it was terrible, and in our minds didn’t deserve any clearing of space, there was something about respecting the work; the idea that actually it was important
Mar 23, 2014 Alex rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: No one
Save yourself the time, money, and headache and read something else. I am hard pressed to think of anyone whom I would recommend read this book over any number of freely available articles and interviews online.

That's your "TL;DR". There's a lot that really disappointed me in this work; here are the three most salient issues.

1.) The title is "Jony Ive," which would lead you to believe that this book is a biography about Sir Jony Ive's life thus far. (This is, of course, what I was interested in
Arun Balaji
Oct 18, 2016 Arun Balaji rated it really liked it
Jony Ive, a British designer and a great man behind the design of most of the Apple products. Leander really penned it nicely and it amazed me when they mentioned as it is even possible for them to run Apple without Jobs but hard without Jony Ive. Though everyone had a belief that Jony may take up the CEO role, the calm man proved that he is interested in designing products (his passion) rather than running the business. As a company, Apple concentrated only on the design, the finish of their pr ...more
Apr 19, 2015 Jay rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business, audiobook
An interesting book covering the life of Jony Ive and the design issues at Apple during Ive's employment. I have not kept up on Apple design over the years but have read a number of articles along the way, so I found that most of the topics and discussion in this book about Apple products were familiar. There were also quite a few new things I learned about the products, the design process, and in particular about Jony Ive. Two things bothered me though. First, Ive apparently didn't participate ...more
Apr 16, 2014 David rated it liked it
I really wanted to like this. I had been hoping for a rich, detailed look at Ive, who has been so instrumental in Apple's resurgence since the first iMac. It was a quick read and I finished it in a few days, but in the end I found it kind of light, like a sports hero book for a young adult audience. There were several stories I had wanted to hear more about--like how the iPhone demo in early 2007 was so fragile that they spent frantic weeks figuring out exactly in what order to demo the things f ...more
Feb 19, 2014 irfan rated it it was amazing
An excellent read that is able to elucidate the fanatical approach that Jony has regarding all things related to design in Apple. From the verbal catfights, the use of ONLY polished aluminium screws on a casing, the universal approach to design to be culturally inclusive, the tens of models of the home button on the iPhone prototypes, the relationship of the Helvetica Nueu font with retina display, the move away from skeumorphism in iOs7, and many, many more stories, all told with the ultimate a ...more
Jon Lay
May 10, 2016 Jon Lay rated it really liked it
Nice book. I think it's a little bit harsh to criticise the author for not managing to line up any fascinating new interviews from someone who is extremely publicity-shy. It's not a patch on Isaacson's biography of Steve Jobs of course, but that was always likely to be the case.

If you're interested in design then, as others have said, this is a great look into how Apple's design team has evolved over the last few decades. There's some great stuff about industrial design and Apple's relationship
Jan 09, 2014 Sean rated it it was ok
Shelves: ux-books
It had its inspiring and interesting bits. But it read almost like a commercial for Apple. Almost completely sugar-coated and noncritical, which doesn't do Ive justice. Also I had unrealistic expectations that this might reveal more about Apple's famously secret design and production processes, but, hey, they're famously secret.
Mike Ball
Jan 02, 2014 Mike Ball rated it it was amazing
Great look into the priorities and mindset that makes Apple products different, and the man behind the magic. Too bad the biography is all based off of anecdotal information and a few sources, but it's the closest thing we have describing how Apple comes up with their products.
Aug 29, 2016 Iman rated it it was amazing
This is the perfect compliment to the book Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson as this fills in the events of Apple's decline during Steve Jobs absence and you get to see why Steve Jobs adhered so much to Jony's requests during a production of a product.
Nov 10, 2015 Amrith rated it really liked it
Excellently researched. Has some very interesting insights into the working of both Jony Ive, and, by extension, Apple.
Arthur Castro
Dec 27, 2015 Arthur Castro rated it it was amazing
A história do braço direito de Steve Jobs, suas particularidades e os trâmites para conseguir o que queria. Interessante o livro mostra em determinados momentos um lado pouco conhecido do Sir Ive.
Mars Brownsen
Dec 27, 2013 Mars Brownsen rated it really liked it
Highlights why we need less mba folks and more people who can make stuff. Love what it says about education. craftsmanship and pride are key to making brands that matter.
Tim F
Jan 06, 2017 Tim F rated it really liked it
A fan of Apple would think that Steve Jobs was the one who ran the company, designed products, and controlled everything about Apple. Well they would be wrong, since Steve did control most parts of the company, theres a reason Apple is still putting out great designed products with Steve long departed from the world.After reading about Steve and Woz, only Jony's story was left to explore in the great minds of Apple Inc. Jony Ive was the mastermind behind the whole Apple product line revival ,wit ...more
Oct 23, 2016 Abhishek rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
It's a strange compilation about Apple, about Steve Jobs, about rise of ID at Apple and its impact world wide, and many other things. It is not what I would call a biographic capture of Jony Ive, even though it tries to sell itself as just that. The author idolizes Jony and had zero access to the man he is writing about. He's done a decent job of investigative journalism but if this had to be about Jony, it would have been less than half its present thickness and would have included a deeper ins ...more
Nov 21, 2013 Breakingviews rated it liked it
By Richard Beales

Jonathan Ive is the British perfectionist who leads Apple’s design team. A new book about him by journalist Leander Kahney shows his huge influence uniting form and function at the U.S. tech giant. But Ive the man remains largely hidden behind a screen that’s as obsessively crafted as any of the company’s gadgets.

Widely known and highly decorated in the design world, Ive isn’t always given his due as an architect of the company’s resurgence alongside Apple co-founder Steve Jobs.
Josh Vickerson
Dec 19, 2016 Josh Vickerson rated it really liked it
This book is an excellent insight into both Jony Ive, and the design process at Apple. Full of fascinating anecdotes, this shares a lot about a truly interesting man and his work.
Jan 12, 2017 Harold rated it it was amazing
Really enjoyed the deep journalism into one of the best product designers of our age.
Adrian Luben
Nov 20, 2016 Adrian Luben rated it it was amazing
Great inspiration and true passion!
Blaga Marius
Oct 18, 2016 Blaga Marius rated it it was amazing
The interesting story of one the bigest talents in industrial design. And the story continues
lele Sheng
Oct 09, 2016 lele Sheng rated it really liked it
good story
Nov 28, 2013 Robert rated it it was amazing
Fascinating insights into someone whose passion has changed the world.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was well written and takes you on a tour of Jony Ive's life from child prodigy to now the world's best known and most respected industrial designer. After reading this book, it is easy to see the synergies between Jonny Ive and Steve Jobs. Both have or had the ability to see the big picture as well as the minute details. Both are or were perfectionists, on a mission to create a better product
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Leander Kahney is managing editor, formerly a senior reporter at Wired News, the online sister publication of Wired. He is the author of The Cult of Mac , Cult of iPod and Inside Steve's Brain. Kahney is best known for his popular blog, Cult of Mac (The Cult of Mac Blog). As a prominent writer on Apple- and Mac-related topics, Kahney was once theorized (incorrectly) to be the identity of Fake Stev ...more
More about Leander Kahney...

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“The thing is, it’s very easy to be different, but very difficult to be better.” 5 likes
“The late eighties was a good vintage. ID was not yet fashionable so a lot of people were doing it for the right reasons - to make good design, not become stars.” 1 likes
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