Apple’s Senior Vice President of Industrial Design, Sir Jonathan Ive, was interviewed by British paper The Telegraph, where he reiterated the company’s focus on design rather than profit. Sir Jonathan has often stressed this fundamental concept, a theme that was implemented by his mentor, the late Steve Jobs.
Sir Jonathan Ive
“Our goal isn’t to make money. Our goal absolutely at Apple is not to make money. This may sound a little flippant, but it’s the truth,” said Ive. “Our goal and what gets us excited is to try to make great products. We trust that if we are successful people will like them, and if we are operationally competent we will make revenue, but we are very clear about our goal.”
“Apple was very close to bankruptcy and to irrelevance [but] you learn a lot about life through death, and I learnt a lot about vital corporations by experiencing a non-vital corporation. You would have thought that, when what stands between you and bankruptcy is some money, your focus would be on making some money, but that was not [Steve Jobs’s] preoccupation.”
While Apple may not be focused on making money, it’s doing just that. The company recently announced Q3 profits of US$8.8 billion on $35 billion in revenue, but even during its recent financial results conference call, CEO Tim Cook emphasized that he and his company were “maniacally focus[ed] on making the world’s best products.”
Sir Jonathan is attending the British Business conference in London where he made his remarks.