Apple employees anxious

From "Over 1/4 of Apple: Jony's departure will hurt Apple" posted Friday on Blind's Work Talk Blog:

We wanted to ask verified Apple employees what they really think about Ive’s departure and how impactful they think it would be for their company. We also surveyed the tech community on this issue. Key Points:

    • Just 51% of Apple employees believe that Ive’s departure will result in no change.
    • The other half believe that there will be an impact, and more Apple employees believe that there will be negative impact due to the departure.
    • More than 77% of Apple employees are hopeful that Apple will remain as a tech design leader
    • Over 90% of those who stated that Apple would have 'positive impact' or 'no change' stated the company would remain as a tech product design leader.
    • For those who stated the departure would have a negative impact, only 32% stated that Apple could remain as a tech product design leader [emphasis Blind]

Cue the chart:

Apple employees anxious jony ive

Click to enlarge. Survey data here

My take: Blind, "the anonymous app for the workplace," elicited responses from 104 verified Apple employees who got paid for their answers. We can't tell how many worked in retail, how many in industrial design.


  1. Paul Brindze said:
    Real click-bait report. Obvious major sampling issues plus, as you mentioned, who knows what part of Apple these folks came from.

    Top that off with Apple’s we’ll know secrecy on future designs. So only a tiny fraction of employees have a clue where the bags are headed in next few years, and actual day to day impact of Ives over last few years.

    In short, this is probably less useful than a survey of random folks on the street, and certainly less impactful than a survey of fund managers.

    July 6, 2019
  2. David Gleason said:
    I remember the years 2002-10 having lunch in Caffe Macs watching Jony and Steve together talking day after day. They really were a team, and their thoughts and visions merged remarkably well. Jony without Steve was somehow carrying on the tradition, but as Steve warned before his death, “Don’t ask what I would do; do the right thing.” With Jony leaving, the dynamic duo is gone; now Apple must find a new design approach, new leaders, new vision. This is the opportunity of a lifetime for some strong designers; it will take great leadership to guide them and not squash their new vision.

    July 6, 2019
  3. Fred Stein said:
    Click on the link to the survey data. It’s a mess.

    July 6, 2019
  4. George Row said:
    The opening paragraph of the TeamBlind article has three mistakes.

    The first one factual – Ive has worked at Apple since 1992 not 1998 as they asserted. The other two could have just been sloppy editing – or no editing at all! (They called his new company “LoveFirm” and they used the word “the” where I am pretty sure they meant “that”.

    We all make typing mistakes, but three going uncorrected in the opening paragraph leaves me unsympathetic when I get to the sloppy, leaning towards sensationalist, use of percentages when they get to the numbers, and unconvinced about how they obtained and “verified” their sample.
    All in all, given their company name, this seems on balance to be a case of the “blind misleading the blind”.

    July 6, 2019
  5. Jerry W Doyle said:
    “Blind” gives us a non-scientific survey. It tells us little compared with information commenters on this blog already have purported on the impact of Jony Ive’s departure on Apple’s future, and whether Apple will continue as a tech product leader in the absence of Jony. The answer to the first question is “none,” and the answer to the second is “yes.”

    The end of Sir Jonathan Ive’s era at Apple was over after the first wave of Apple employees moved into the new Apple campus. That was Sir Jony’s last Apple project. If one wanted to speculate, one could say Jony’s era ended with the passing of Steve Jobs.

    Steve Jobs was as deep into Design as Sir Jony. In fact, Jobs is on record stating “Design is how it works.”

    Jony got his projects completed because of Steve. Jobs is on record stating: “… Jony works directly for ‘me.’ There’s no one who can tell him what to do, or to butt out. That’s the way I set it up (organizationally).”

    Jony Ive has gone on record stating that Steve had to fend off objections by manufacturing engineers supported (at that period by Rubinstein) who tended to raise practical cost considerations when faced with Ive’s aesthetic desires and various design whims.

    Jobs is on record stating that when we took design ideas to engineers “… they would come up with thirty-eight reasons why they couldn’t do it. And I said, ‘No, no, we’re doing this.’ And they said, ‘Well, why?’ And I said, ‘Because I’m the CEO, and I think it can be done.’ And so they kind of grudgingly did it.” (Steve Jobs)

    Ken Segall often denotes that one of Apple’s secret sauces for success was Steve Jobs’ refusal to take “no” for an answer. When someone comes up with an idea in business, this is a word that often is heard, “No.” There always is a thousand reasons why something can’t be done, only a few of which can’t be circumvented with creative thinking. (Ken Segall)

    In Segall’s own words: “… Rarely would Steve tolerate a negative response when he wanted something done. Unless you could prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that there was an immovable object in the way, he expected you to do the job. If you couldn’t, he’d find someone who could, and that wouldn’t bode well for ‘your’ future as part of (Steve’s) group.”

    Ken Segall lauds how Steve Jobs mastered one principle of Simplicity by wanting what he wanted and wasn’t about to take no for an answer.

    Since Jobs believed Design is how it works, Jony had a true advocate, an ombudsman support from Jobs who had Jony’s back, and who made Jony’s ideas come to fruition.

    If Steve Jobs were alive, would the MacBook keyboard fiasco attributable to Jony Ive’s obsession with device thinness have occurred? We’ll never know. I do know this fact. Tim Cook is nowhere into Design. Based on reporting, Tim Cook rarely visited the ID unit where Jobs almost daily would “pop-in” with ebullience to discuss design with Jony.

    Don’t get perturbed with me for writing these comments, but I often observed on product announcement day when examining the pictures of Jony showing Tim Cook the products and describing them to him that Tim’s reaction appeared that of a person who was seeing the product for the very first time! Steve Jobs would have known every little intimate detail of that new product. Jobs would have breathe it to life, as did Jony; and he would have lit a fire under the engineers to make it work, if they balk!

    Little doubt exists in my mind that Jony Ive never got the support commensurate with the level of support he received from Steve when engineers stated, “… It can’t be done!”

    Apple has evolved as a company. It is different today. Steve Jobs is gone. Jony Ive is gone. It is the end of an era.

    I have been fully invested in Apple since 1997, never cashing a single share. My devotion to the company, my deep conviction that Apple will continue to grow and bring us amazingly great products that will germinate further my Apple investment, is as impassioned, as fiery and as feverish today as ever since 1997. So, surveys such as the “Blind,” are meaningless to me.

    July 6, 2019
  6. Posted by theloniusmac as a comment to MacDailyNews’ repost of this item:

    Things hadn’t been quite the same since Wyatt died. Most of the old posse had died, been killed, or moved on. Doc Holiday was still around but, he was beginning to show his age, and a general lack of interest in law man work. He, like Wyatt was after all, an outlaw at heart.

    Some of the boys, and girls, and undefined, began to complain about Holiday. Word got round to Ringo, the leader since Wyatt died, that Holiday was… a liability.

    Everyone knew what had to happen. They say that even priests have to settle up now and again, and we were gun fighters. Anything but priests. So it came as no shock when Ringo asked to see Holiday, around noon, the following Tuesday. Holiday replied, “I’m your huckleberry.”

    The two men often met on the street, just not in the middle of it. This wasn’t a budget meeting though. This was a settling of accounts. One of them would not be coming back to the newly constructed Dodge campus.

    Ringo stared down Holiday and said, “You’re a lookin a bit tired there, Doc.” Holiday met his stare, tilted his head a bit and squinted as if he was seeing Ringo for the first time. He slowly swept his black duster around to the rear right revealing his specially designed al-loo-mi-nium pistol. “I’m here, I’m your Huckleberry.” Ringo seemed a bit taken aback at how disinterested Holiday seemed with the entire situation.

    There was a moment more of silence and Ringo said, “Awrite, Awrite, maker, let’s end this” and with that Ringo drew his own pearl handled black revolver but Holiday’s gun was already in the air, and firing. Holiday’s bullet struck Ringo in the gun hand, the pearl went flying backwards, Ringo grabbed his wrist and just like that it was over.

    Holiday walked toward Ringo. “Didn’t have to be this way,” he said, reloading the missing cartridge into his revolver. “I’m just gonna take my cut of the pay and be on my way.” He turned and walked away from Ringo then turned back to him and said, “If you need me I’ll be in a little town called LoveFirm.” “Love what?” said Ringo. “LoveFirm. Or was that LoveFrom or WithLoveFrom or, wait, I think one of the undecided wanted to call it FirmLove. I get confused these days. So many passwords.”

    July 6, 2019

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