Even though Apple has produced excellent products and does make mistakes, many people take entirely for granted the products APPLE produces. Here’s some of what goes on at APPLE, via May-Li Khoe who worked at Apple for 7.5 years. Excellent interview.
Rene Ritchie of https://www.imore.com/ heard the news of Jony Ives leaving APPLE. He decided to interview someone who actually worked at APPLE. Read on to gain insight into how products are created and produced at APPLE. It is not a process that is common to most companies.
Rene Ritchie: Welcome to the show. Thank you so much for joining me.
May-Li Khoe: Thanks for having me. It's great to see you.
Rene: Your background, just for anybody who doesn't know already, is in design and prototyping.
May-Li: Design, prototyping, and most recently, it's also in design leadership.
Rene: I loved what you were writing on Twitter because the news last week broke about Jony Ive leaving Apple and instead of piling on with a hot take, you decided to share some of your experience on actually working with people in industrial design. It was fascinating to me.
May-Li: I feel like, having been in this industry for 20 years -- I was at Apple for 7.5 -- it just feels like so many people don't understand the nature of what makes Apple so great and what is it that allowed Apple design to succeed. It's also like a plunge into cold water for a lot of Apple designers when they leave Apple and realize that nothing else works that way.
It's always been a big mystery to me because so many people say, "We really value design and we really care a lot about design," and, yet, when you look at a lot of the rest of the industry, it's a dramatically different environment around the design team.
Rene: It's not the same culture.
May-Li: It's not the same culture. Exactly. I think people don't talk about that. Either that or they don't know. The crux of it is that the operations at Apple to support design -- the operations, the engineering, everything else around it allows the design to blossom and allows it to happen.
It isn't just like somebody goes off into a room, like Jony and Steve went off into a room and Jony made some miraculous sketches and then, unicorns and sparkles appear and then this design and then, question mark, question mark, question mark, profit.
May-Li: There's machines literally being invented, and molecules literally being rearranged in order to support amazing design. It's not just like the design work happens and then, we can all go to the beach. [laughs]
Rene: I think, to your point, people don't realize that you can say you want a chamfered edge, but you have to figure out the machine that's actually going to chamfer that edge for you. Then, you have to source all those machines. You have to get them into production, and you have to run at sufficient yields that you can actually sell those things for a non-obscene price.
May-Li: You've got to make sure that the machining that happens and the material you get is actually the material that you said you were getting, that it withstands a bunch of pressure. You need to machine the machines that pressure test. All of that stuff needs to happen within a certain kind of timeline across oceans.
I remember when Tim was named the successor after Steve and people were like, COO? Really? I was like, yes, because if there's one thing this company cannot screw up right now, it's its operations.
They make hardware and making hardware is hard. How many kick starters have we seen just bomb because people don't realize how hard it is to actually manufacture and fulfill a whole bunch of physical goods.
Details at the link…