Blog Archives

Sir Jony: I’ve Been Waiting to See Your NeXTStep

Apple loses $10 billion in value as iPhone's designer Jony Ive resigns

(Sir Jony Ive. Photo by Business Today)

We’ve all been waiting to see what world-class technology designer Sir Jony Ive’s next step would be. Now we know that his creative diet will no longer be Apple-centric.

Apple’s 52-year-old Chief Design Officer Sir Jony Ive will be stepping down to form a new design firm called LoveFrom with designer friend Marc Newson.

Fast Company published a synopsis of LoveFrom’s origin, which was originally from a Financial Times article that scored an exclusive interview with Sir Jony Ive.

“There was an employee meeting a number of years ago and Steve [Jobs] was talking . . . He [said] that one of the fundamental motivations was that when you make something with love and with care, even though you probably will never meet . . . the people that you’re making it for, and you’ll never shake their hand, by making something with care, you are expressing your gratitude to humanity, to the species.”

“I so identified with that motivation and was moved by his description. So my new company is called ‘LoveFrom’. It succinctly speaks to why I do what I do.”

His departure is a seismic shift.

Steve Jobs and Sir Jony Ive were to Apple from 1997 through 2011 what Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak were to Apple from the mid-70s through the mid-80s.

And Apple’s stock certainly experienced a seismic change yesterday, according to Business Insider.

Upon news of Ive’s departure, Apple’s stock dropped about .087% in after-hours trading, as of the time of writing— which doesn’t sound like a lot, but at Apple’s scale, meant that it shaved off about $8 billion of its market cap. If the loss holds by the time of the opening bell on Friday, Apple will be worth about $910 billion. 

Aside from the late Steve Jobs, the second most important person at Apple — from contributing to the design and creation of the iMac in 1998 to a wide range of consumer products as well as Apple Park in the present day — has been Chief Design Officer Sir Jony Ive. His team’s breakthroughs involving the iPod, iPhone, and Apple Watch, for instance, have defined Apple as a global leader in consumer tech with sleek, cool design and ease of functionality. During major product reveals, Sir Ive’s voice can be heard describing the inner workings and minute details of Apple’s most popular products.

What does this mean for the iconic Apple products designer and his former company? 

Pressure. Lots of pressure.

While Apple will be one of the clients at Sir Ive’s LoveFrom design firm, the creative team in Cupertino, CA under the overall guidance of CEO Tim Cook will have to figure out a new signature design that will surprise consumers — current and potential alike — with the same awe as the revolutionary iMac in 1998 with its non-beige or black, fun translucent frame. We need to see something(s) we’ve never seen before. Apple needs to make a common smartphone (plus iPod, iPad, etc.) look and feel brand new.

Apple needs to deliver an exciting, game-changing aesthetic.

Perhaps it’s fitting that we’ll likely be given our first glimpse into Apple’s future vision sometime in 2020. With no Woz, Jobs or Ive, Apple is in unchartered design and storytelling waters. We’re going to find out just how water-tight Apple’s products (and design ingenuity) are without three of its most influential giants.

It won’t be the first time Apple has been pressured to imagine and deliver a society-altering NeXT step.

Discovering the Bones of a Football Stadium

The Discovery Channel + Sports?

Yes. It’s true.

In the spirit of recent news regarding new innovative soccer stadiums in Europe, as covered here on Jimmy’s Daily Planet involving Real Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur, let’s dive deep into an enlightening perspective of the building process for a football stadium (applies to American and European football equally) that’s not normally fit for front page news.

Discovery UK, staying true to its M.O., dove into the groundwork of how American football stadiums are built for its latest (ad)venture. Specifically, the University of Phoenix Stadium was examined.

Tackling this fascinating subject matter–which again still qualifies for stadiums dedicated to the world’s game–should certainly earn some views at the pub whilst sipping on a frosty pint during halftime of Champions League.

Today’s UEFA Champions League schedule at 3 p.m. ET:

  • Ajax vs. Juventus
  • Manchester United vs. Barcelona

Interestingly, like the version of football favored in Europe, constructing a stadium requires acute attention to detail, innovation in design and patience for achieving the ultimate goal.

The following blueprint isn’t for your average LEGO set.

Interior and outer design, size, sound control and distribution, the impact of weather, pitch condition, and many other essential variables and constants must be addressed–and can be addressed–in a variety of ways when building a new major sports stadium. Thankfully, Discovery UK has provided at least a few answers that will hopefully satisfy our understandable curiosities concerning our particular tastes in sports stadiums.

Given that sports stadiums are a community’s calling card and identity, knowing the bones (so to speak) of our favorite stadiums around the world is valuable knowledge. An awesome power, really. Because, like sports, once we understand the fundamentals, we can then begin to innovate in ways that redefine perception locally and beyond for generations to come.

What’s your favorite sports stadium(s)? Why? What experience(s) impacted your opinion(s)?

Isn’t it amazing how our cherished memories of watching sports live are only partly about the game? That’s what’s really beautiful about “the game” in the abstract.

Oh, substitute hot dogs for well-done mini bratwursts and we’re all good, Discovery UK.

Aston Martin Creates New Space in the SUV Market

Wow.

Was Niander Wallace driven around in Aston Martin’s futuristic SUV featured below in ‘Blade Runner 2049’?

Once again, cars are increasingly evolving as the next supercomputer.

The Lagonda’s elegant exterior is an eye-catching vision until the doors open to an interior that is equally stylish and technologically innovative. Perhaps the most surprising element inside this SUV is the gracious spacing for the four total seats in two rows.

On this note, is British car maker Aston Martin remodeling the modern SUV or sedan? The Lagonda SUV is reminiscent of the expensive Maybach sedan interior. With all sorts of money and time being thrown at creating driver-less cars, the next battle between car manufacturers will be designing for either convenience or utility.

Doesn’t the “u” in SUV stand for utility? It’s clear that Aston Martin is challenging the shelf life of this acronym.

The Lagonda is the epitome of luxury and should be viewed as a mere prototype for general design and limited offerings, like its silk-stitching, cashmere, and state-of-the-art computer infrastructure via “the key.” Considering this, the current specifications for this SUV are largely irrelevant. Any of us could make or design something this grand with all the money and resources of Aston Martin. The exciting part, and why this reveal is noteworthy, is because the Lagonda may very well prove to be the template for cars 10-15 years down the road.

The curve of innovation is slow but steady. It’s one of the great, continuous victories of capitalism. And Aston Martin is firmly planting a new flag on this ever-evolving line by presenting an ambitious–albeit unrealistic for anyone not named James Bond–car of the future.

“A dream will not become an innovation if there is no realization.”
–Ciputra, an Indonesian billionaire businessman 

What comes after realization?

According to Aston Martin, ladies and gentlemen, it doesn’t involve starting an internal combustion engine.

iPhone: Episode VIII

Which beloved entity has the more influential following in modern culture:

Apple or Star Wars?

Apparently, to those closest to both, it’s a virtual tie of sorts?

Apple’s earbuds were inspired by the dark side, or more specifically, the stormtroopers from Star Wars, according to an interview with Apple’s chief designer Jony Ive in The Wall Street Journal. Ive reportedly told Star Wars: The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams he had the “look of the original Stormtroopers in mind when he designed Apple’s earbuds.”

It’s also interesting to note that the costume designer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Michael Kaplan, told Vanity Fair in 2015 that Apple itself inspired the new stormtroopers of the First Order. “With the Stormtroopers it was more of a simplification, almost like, ‘What would Apple do?’” Kaplan said at the time.
–Thuy Ong, The Verge, “Apple’s earbuds were inspired by the dark side, says chief designer Jony Ive”

As a reference, here’s a stormtrooper in The Force Awakens.

With iPhone 8 on the horizon for release later this year, Apple will likely begin to slowly work its way back towards the top of our news feeds. And particularly since the iPhone 8 will be the 10th anniversary iPhone, the speculation (never-ending with Apple products) concerning this forthcoming version of the globally popular mobile device is focused on a wide variety of game-changing features for an Apple phone. This includes rumors of a borderless screen, wireless charging and the potential removal of the physical home button (not the home button feature, but just the actual button).

Interestingly enough, those rumors almost pale in comparison to what’s been revealed in the quotes above from brilliant designer Jony Ive and the costume designer for The Force Awakens.

As a newspaper editor would say, “That’s the lead.”

Even more is the fact that Apple is great at storytelling, specifically the customized story of each of its consumers by providing them the opportunity to define a phone, tablet or computer through countless apps and user photos, music, videos, etc. The surprisingly awesome news that key figures from both Apple and Star Wars influenced each other in profoundly cool ways makes an Apple-Star Wars crossover promotion seem like a pop-culture slam dunk.

So, The Last Jedi is the eighth Star Wars major motion picture set for release this Christmas and Apple is set to sell its eighth iPhone at the end of this year.

Hmmm…

(Please re-read the headline of this blog post).