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Jony Ive still thinks of Steve Jobs every day

Jony Ive

In a new podcast interview, ex-Apple chief designer Jony Ive has told of his hard early years at the company, and how hard it was leaving.

Jony Ive left Apple in 2019, and reports since have claimed it was because of dissatisfaction with the company following the death of Steve Jobs. Speaking on the “Life in Seven Songs” podcast, he said leaving was more about needing to go on to the next phase of his life.

“I mean, it’s a very natural thing, isn’t it, that there are chapters and leaving Apple was in some senses, you know, a terribly hard thing to do because I did and I do love the company so, so hugely,” he said. “And there’s just times when, you know, it’s time for the next chapter.”

His next chapter concerned forming a design company named LoveFrom, which initially had Apple as a client.

“I had two areas of focus,” he continued. “There was the goal to build the most extraordinary creative team that I could… and the other goal was to do that in San Francisco.”

Asked about meeting Steve Jobs for the first time, he said he remembers it very clearly.

“I was shocked that he had the patience and the curiosity and interest to come and meet and to spend as much time as he did just looking through the work that was going on in the studio,” said Ive, “which was very different from the work that we were, you know, developing and ultimately shipping.”

“What was remarkable to me was where I could think and process myself and develop a perspective and an opinion and develop ideas, but could barely describe them,” continued Ive, “here was somebody who could almost without thought, it made it appear effortless to describe really complex feelings and perceptions of ideas and opportunities.”

“And so there’s not a day that I’m not aware of him or aware of the loss,” he said. “There’s not a day where I’m not grateful for the time, you know, that we got together and for what I learned and what we discovered.”

Jony Ive’s playlist

“Life in Seven Songs” is a new fortnightly podcast from The San Francisco Standard. Much as the BBC’s “Desert Island Discs” has been doing for over 80 years, the show asks an interviewee to select music that is significant to them and their life.

In the case of the new podcast, Ive’s picks are:

  • “De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da” by The Police
  • “Main Theme/Carter Takes a Train” by Roy Budd
  • “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone” by The Temptations
  • “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” by Simple Minds
  • “Define Dancing” by Thomas Newman
  • “40” by U2
  • “This Is The Day” by Ivy

Coincidentally, it’s now 10 years since Apple infamously installed U2’s then-new “Songs of Innocence” album on every user’s iPhone.