Bill Buxton on Apple

(a copy of his lecture on Innovation is here)

he mentions a couple things I’ve not heard before about Apple. (Admittedly I don’t keep up on all things Apple)
The history and case studies of the miraculous Steve Jobs return don’t mention that within 24 hours of his return he called the Wall Street analysts and told them that the companies turnaround would be based (in Bills version) on two words: “Industrial Design” (among other things too)

Can anyone confirm that?

I would certainly say it’s feasible.

This earlier interview with John Sculley (former Apple CEO during the “dark” ages) focuses hugely on Apple and gives many merits to their pursuit of design perfection.

Long but a great read. Makes you wish that corporations as a whole could be built on grounds of such excellence, but thats what happens when you promote bean counters to CEO’s.

That is a great lecture by Bill, here is a more direct link:

I LOVE the portion about the difference between competency and expertise. Comparing it to Mathematicians and Plumbers.

Great video. I saw Bill two years ago in Montreal. His book is great too. I think he gives the best description of ID of anyone.

Just watched this…best talk about the intersection between design and business I have seen…maybe ever.

My favorite:

I knew Ives had been with Apple since the Newton, and believed Jobs gained his appreciation for design while at NEXT, but if Design was paramount to the turnaround strategy right from the first 24 hours of Jobs return - why wasn’t the business press all over it? (they were certainly all over his return in general)
Even if the WSJ/HBR types couldn’t stomach design as the tool for driving the bottom line - why havn’t the Fascompany/Businessweek (or even Innovations) been beating that drum ever since? (not just the success of the results starting with the iMac, but that it was a consious strategy)
can anyone verify Buxton’s version of the the call to the analysts?

Probably because “making stuff cool” doesnt fit into a six sigma matrix. Look at most any successful product company and you will see they have good design coupled with a cool brand image, impossible to beat.

Also, jobs appreciation for design started with the IIe when frog designed the “snow white” language, frog also designed all of the Next products… He credits the beginning of his love for design with a typography class he happened to take in college…Just a little trivia.

that’s interesting about the typography class, I remember what a big deal the NeXT logo was.

Supposedly this somewhat by chance typography class is the reason that Mac pushe multiple fonts! You never know where things will lead. Frog’s early work with Apple in the early 80s (pre Apple IIe) prompted the opennin of a silicon valley office… Now SF is the HQ. Things happen and evolve over time into importance. That class was not important at the moment, but it was impotent that it did happen at that moment, and it’s impact multiplied over time. That is difficult to report on I think.