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Jony Ive

The Genius Behind Apple's Greatest Products
Narrated by: Simon Vance
Length: 8 hrs and 45 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (855 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The best-selling author of Inside Steve's Brain profiles Apple's legendary chief designer, Jonathan Ive.

Jony Ive's designs have not only made Apple one of the most valuable companies in the world; they've overturned entire industries, from music and mobile phones to PCs and tablets.

But for someone who has changed the world as much as he has, little is widely known about Apple's senior vice president of industrial design. Unlike his former boss and creative partner Steve Jobs, Ive shuns the spotlight. Naturally shy and soft-spoken, he lets his work speak for itself and concerns himself only with his craft.

In the first book to focus on Ive, Leander Kahney offers a rigorous and systematic examination of a remarkably creative career and provides insight into the principles underlying Ive's success.

Having covered Apple as an editor since the 1990s and interviewed Ive on numerous occasions, Kahney offers a unique perspective on how this man designs killer products that attract fanatically loyal customers.

©2013 Leander Kahney (P)2013 Random House Audio

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

A history of apple though the lens of design

I was hoping for more bio about Johnny. This read like a typical history of Apple covered by the many Steve Jobs biographies.

It does offer some new insight, but the secrecy of Apple and lack of direct interviews with Ive was disappointing.

The book is also very sterile, a linear narrative of the history of Ive and apple.

Narration is solid and well preformed. It expresses the calm British tone i've heard from interviews with Ive.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Was hoping to get to know the man behind the name.

What did you like best about Jony Ive? What did you like least?

In short, it is not his story, it is a story about him. Most of the book is about telling the resume of this great artist. The story is told in third person most of the time and you don't get the feeling you are being entered into his mind, or understand who the person is. It tells the story of Apple, and it tells the story of how Jony got there, but not how Jony felt in certain occasions, or what went through his mind during different challenges. I was hoping to get more first person insight into his world, but it is okay of a book.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

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Best "Apple" book in years!

GREAT background research (it couldn't have been easy with this subject matter!!). I hope there is a follow-up book in the future covering iPad Pro, Apple Pencil, Apple TV, Apple Watch and of course the Apple Car. ;-)

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Not an authorized bio - don't expect Isaacson

I didn't know this wasn't an authorized biography. I did note that it was short in length, but I was eager to learn more about the lead designer at Apple.

I got a long list of accomplishments and insight on what he did and what was done but bottom line is I still don't feel like I know what he's like as a human being. Even little facts - I would expect to be able to know things like, what was his starting salary at Apple? I did learn that he made something like 50 million once... but where did he start? What was his first meeting with Jobs like?

There are some good observations - particularly I enjoyed the sequence of manufacturing iphones/imacs, detailing from the aluminum billet, the laser drilling, painting, etc. There are about 2 parts where the manufacturing detail is laid out. Apple doesn't disclose it, but it seems Kahney got some sources and also intuited some of it out. Painting, thermal expansion, tooling, properties of plastic vs glass vs aluminum, all of these are things I hadn't thought about.

Very much missing are nice anecdotes, like the ones in Isaacson's "Steve Jobs," that could really give Ive a depth of character. If you read Isaacson's book, you might remember the bit about somebody seeing Steve in his Porsche shouting on the phone - "make it more ____ing BLUE!" or some other great tidbit that gave you insight into his character. Nothing there, and I missed it. For example, Ive and Rubenstein would yell at each other. What did they yell? did they curse? were they funny? No quotes. And then supposedly Rubenstein got fired by an ultimatum, "he goes or I goes," but that's delivered more as a hearsay rather than a direct quote.

Anyway, it's an unauthorized bio on a guy who's really private so it's a tough task to tackle... that's why that's my headline.

10 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • Steve
  • Ventura, CA, United States
  • 01-28-14

OK, but not compelling

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

No. I am more interested in the person than all the technical background on products and design. It was big on technical and short on depth re Jony Ive as a person.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Too much an Apple story

Having an design background I had hoped to hear a lot more detail about Jony Ive’s personal life. This is the genius behind so many Apple products and who was revered by Steve Jobs but sadly the book seems to race through his early years and of the thinking of all the award winning designs we get only a glimpse of the mind of the man. The book reads more as an overview than a biography.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Good, simply

This book is so simply and well written. It does not overembellish. It does not dumb down. It is not boring nor is each chapter written as an isolated story sometimes repeating information from a previous chapter (I felt Walter Isaacson’s Jobs biography did this a bit). It celebrates a designer and his work without over-glorifying simple things or suppressing the joy and fun and happy mistakes of the process.

Leander scrapes up all he can scrape up from a famously secret company, and Simon reads the book at just the correct pace. It’ll feel slow at first, but it’s correct. I recommend resisting the urge to speed it up.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Tim
  • PROVO, UT, United States
  • 04-08-16

Very interesting!

I love reading about people who influence society, particularly in the world of technology. I had never heard of Jony before reading this. I will say, a great majority seemed to be about Apple, and how it was influenced by Jonny, rather than focusing on Jony's experience at Apple. it seemed to go on a lot about Apple quite a lot when I wanted to hear more about Jony, but nonetheless, it's still a really good book. 4/5

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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It’s a Eulogy

Jony is a talented artist and a great designer. However, after listening for the first 2 hours, the book comes across as more of a eulogy than an adjective reflection of his life. Just saying Jony was a genius and hard working is not enough to distinguish him from other artists. The book could do better at communicating Jony’s special ingredient.

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Love it!

Very insightful story about multiple personalities around Jony Ive and Apple history. I would recommend.