Category Archives: Asides

Interesting links.

One theory I have is that there’s some secret “developer full-time employment act” that means these programmers have to do something even if it’s just replicating work that’s already been done. Kind of like New Jersey where every gas station is full serve (that had to be some full employment gambit back in the day).

Sounds like something that could be written today about Vox, Buzzfeed, Gawker, or any of the quixotic CMS projects at Washington Post, NY Times, Conde Nast, et al, but it was actually written in 2007.

Jobs’s taste for merciless criticism was notorious; Ive recalled that, years ago, after seeing colleagues crushed, he protested. Jobs replied, “Why would you be vague?,” arguing that ambiguity was a form of selfishness: “You don’t care about how they feel! You’re being vain, you want them to like you.” Ive was furious, but came to agree. “It’s really demeaning to think that, in this deep desire to be liked, you’ve compromised giving clear, unambiguous feedback,” he said. He lamented that there were “so many anecdotes” about Jobs’s acerbity: “His intention, and motivation, wasn’t to be hurtful.”

Your one #longread today should be the New Yorker’s profile of Jonathan Ive by Ian Parker. This anecdote resonated with me from the time I (poorly) did design for a living, and how much patience and stoicism are part of the job when working with a deciding stakeholder, often known as a client:

Bob Mansfield, a former senior hardware engineer at Apple, who is now semi-retired, recently described the pique that some colleagues felt about Ive’s privileged access. As he put it, “There’s always going to be someone vying for Dad’s attention.” But Mansfield was grateful for Ive’s cool handling of a C.E.O. who was “not the easiest guy to please.” Mansfield’s view was “Jony puts up with a lot, and, as a result of him doing it, people like me don’t have to.”

This also made me giggle.

Brunner is proud of the Beats brand, but it took him time to adjust to a design rhythm set as if for a sneaker company: “Originally, I hated it—‘Let’s do a version in the L.A. Lakers’ colors!’ ” He laughed. “ ‘Great. Purple and yellow. Fantastic.’ ”

Check out the entire thing.