Apple’s goal is not to make money but to make good products according to Jonathan Ive

Jonathan Ive believes that Apple’s goal is not to make money but to make good products. Ive, who is Apple’s Senior Vice President of Industrial Design, was speaking at the British Embassy's Creative Summit. According to Wired UK., Ive said:

We are really pleased with our revenues but our goal isn't to make money. It sounds a little flippant, but it's the truth. Our goal and what makes us excited is to make great products. If we are successful people will like them and if we are operationally competent, we will make money..

Ive went on to explain his thoughts on design as prerequisite, the difficulties in achieving it, and how it takes discipline and focus to be a craftsman at Apple's levels of manufacturing volume.

Really great design is hard. Good is the enemy of great. Competent design is not too much of a stretch. But if you are trying to do something new, you have challenges on so many axes."

Ive also talked about how the return of Steve Jobs to Apple in 1997 saved it from bankruptcy. Instead of focusing on ways to make money he focused on creating better products. Others who failed to turn Apple around prior to Job’s return were more intent on cutting operating costs and increasing revenue.

Ive closed the talk by confirming what we have previously heard when it comes to Apple and market research; it doesn’t do any. Ive believes that it would only guarantee mediocrity and only tell you if you are going to offend anyone. He believes that it is the designer’s responsibility to understand potential opportunities and create products that fit with those opportunities.

The whole interview is interesting and worth your time to read, so be sure to check it out via the link below.

Source: Wired UK

UK editor at iMore, mobile technology lover and air conditioning design engineer.

  • Incrediy naïve belief. Suppose Apple had the ability to make a truly blow-away phone which was very expensive to produce. So expensive in fact, that if they kept the current pricing structure, they would have to sell it at a loss. If Sir Ive really believes what he states, he would argue for the release of the device knowing it would drive Apple to the ground.
  • Sure, that's why we got the iPhone 4S and why Apple barely breaks-even with their incredibly small profit margins...
  • Good thing shareholders won't believe this for a minute.
  • I had a feeling that he sounded kinda insincere in those apple videos, now I see.
  • Wow is he full of crap!
  • "Good is the enemy of great..." Ive definitely took a page out of Jim Collin's book From Good to Great. An excellent book especially if you have a leadership position in a business or school. I read it in grad school. Search for the audiobook version in iTunes and listen to the free preview. "Good is the enemy of great," is the first sentence of the book.
  • Wow, what a load of BS. He really think anybody with a brain believes that?
  • LOL - Oh dear no mate! I think you'll find making huge heaps of money IS the key issue at Apple. Perhaps it's a British thing, he still doesn't "get" America. "The cool-aid is for the fans Johnny, not the chief designer."
  • Judging by what I paid for my new iPad.. Jon doesn't exactly HATE making money either.
  • "Our goal and what makes us excited is to make great products. If we are successful people will like them and if we are operationally competent, we will make money.." +1 This is it in a nutshell!
  • I'm glad to see people here are able to understand concept and philosophy. Ives is right. If you set yourself up with the mentality of "money first", you will fail. You must create something that is desirable and necessary, then the money will flow in. Not that focusing on money first won't bring it in...but how many other companies do you see sitting on massive profits from designing product first before money?
  • If they didn't care about money they wouldn't be shooting for such high profit margins.
  • FYI, the image of Ive is a screencap from "Objectified," a documentary about how we interact with objects and their design. A must-see.
  • Steve Jobs said that over and over again. This philosophy is repeated over and over in the Steve Jobs biography. You guys at iMore should read the book if you haven't already, BTW.