His most fevered creations never even make it out of the lab. He works by a process of evolution, and failures simply die on the workbench. One Apple senior executive remembers his first visit there: ‘The creations they were working on were all over the map, crazy stuff. It was always very experimental, material that the world is not quite ready for. Even within Apple, the design team is very secretive.’
On the rare occasions Ive speaks in public his conversation is strictly limited to design topics.
‘I get an incredible thrill and satisfaction from seeing somebody with Apple’s tell-tale white earbuds,’ he says. ‘But I’m constantly haunted by thoughts of, is it good enough? Is there any way we could have made it better?’
Guiding everything he does is his unlikely relationship with Jobs.
‘It’s an amazing synergy. It’s about the leader of a company valuing design and the leader of design valuing the company,’ says Thomas Meyerhoffer, who worked in Ive’s design team for three years.
Almost as fascinating as Ive, is the profile’s subtext of how Britain lost this man to America. It’s a weird thing to be obsessed about in these globalized times we live in.