Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
Ask Apple: Why Isn't Jony Ive the Face of the Company?
16 points by sleewoo on Dec 14, 2017 | hide | past | web | favorite | 11 comments

A CEO is not just a figurehead.

While Apple is often regarded as the quintessential design company a large part of their continued economic success is built on their supply chain. Tim Cook is the right person to ensure this key factor to Apple's success. It's not glamorous but for a global company like Apple it's essential.

Yes. It really cannot be overstated how amazing the Apple operation is - over the course of a year they make, distribute and sell half a million iPhones every day. All while having some of the highest environmental and human standards in their supply chain (I'm not saying those standards are good enough, just that they appear to do more than many other companies).

When you start to consider the numbers, it gets quite crazy - 200 million iPhones a year need 200 million LCD/OLED panels to be made and delivered to factories in sync with production demand, same for NAND flash (Apple buys about 20% of the world's capacity for NAND production every year, and given that starting capacities are 64GB these days, Apple must be buying at least 12 Exabytes of flash a year). They also then need 200 million of their custom CPU/GPU chips to be fabbed, 200 million aluminium cases, etc. etc. Right down to 200 million little SIM ejection tools to put in the 200 million instruction booklets in the 200 million boxes.

It boggles my mind when I start to think about it all :)

Apple is at the junction of technology and art (at least that’s what their marketing has said since its beginning). Jobs had a passion for typography, knew how to program and design logic board, and also had a mystical / philosophical side. Would Ive be able to convincingly explain that the latest arm cpu architecture is a breakthrough, or talk about the latest apple filesystem ? I don’t think he would. He seems like a pure « outside » design guy. I’ve only seen him talk about materials, shapes, and manufacturing process, but never about what’s inside the box ( i may be completely wrong, because i don’t know the guy).

And you also need to be a great salesman, which most artistic oriented people hate.

Note that by this definition, Cook isn’t a good replacement as well. He seems very much concerned by « doing good » or moral / ethical issues than jobs was (at least publicly), and he likes to invite famous people to talk about the products, but i don’t feel the same passion for this junction of tech and art that can only rise when you’re personally living in that junction.

Steve Wozniak makes it sound like Jobs barely knew how to program, so I'd be very surprised if he knew anything about designing logic boards.

He doesn't even like to present at keynotes. The most he does is voice-over for videos. I think he hates the excessive exposure.

I don't think it has anything to do with a hate for exposure. Rather, a keynote is live. A video is edited. A video can be designed to show exactly what you want to show, in the way that you want to show it. A stand-up presentation, albeit powerful in its own rights, just may be too raw for him. He doesn't want to do keynotes. But if exposure was the issue then he wouldn't be in all of those era-defining videos.

Isn't the answer simply that he doesn't want to be?

I'm sure I've seen him answer this question in interviews in the past.

I think i seen that too - Jobs wanted him to take the role - but he didnt want to

This is the best question I have read all day and I've spent hours on Quora. Hoping for substance!

A question similar to this is on Quora by the way: https://www.quora.com/Why-doesnt-Jony-Ive-present-at-Apples-...

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact