The Most Creative People

December 16, 2009


Ten years ago, before the iPod and the iPhone became objects of the world’s electro-lust, Jonathan Ive sat down with Fast Company to talk about his first Apple blockbuster, the iMac. The machine could not have been a more radical departure from the ubiquitous beige-box PC: a desktop computer in bright candy colors with a see-through shell showing its inner machinery. Bursting onto the scene with all the subtlety of a streaker, the iMac became the top-selling computer in the United States.

“With technology, the function is much more abstract to users,” Ive, then 32, told us. “So the product’s meaning is almost entirely defined by the designer.” Even then, it was clear that Apple’s head of design knew what he was doing. Ive defined his overarching design principles as “simplicity, accessibility, honesty, and enjoyment.”

Today, Apple represents the most successful and faithful marriage of business and design, as $32 billion in sales last year attest. And Ive — with an assist, of course, from CEO Steve Jobs — has been the company’s lodestar in its journey to global trendsetter. Apple is notoriously secretive about its design process (even most Apple employees are barred from the company’s design lab); given the uncertainty around Jobs’s health, it’s not surprising that Ive was not made available for an interview. But no one is in a better position to explain Ive’s impact on Apple and the business community than Robert Brunner, who, as Apple’s previous design chief, hired Ive at the company and recommended him as his successor.

“He likes to make perfect stuff,” says Brunner, offering the first of three keys to Ive’s success. That design perfection — the first touch-screen smartphone, the dominant MP3 player, the first titanium laptop — has become the benchmark by which companies in all industries judge themselves. “I’ve even had a plumbing company say, ‘We want our showerhead to be our version of the iPod,’ ” says Brunner, now a partner at the design firm Ammunition. “Ive has this design ability combined with a craftsmanlike mentality.”

The second key is Ive’s understanding of the interplay between design and manufacturing. Even when Ive was just out of school, before he joined Apple, Brunner recalls, “he showed us his work, and I was amazed. He had taken a phone and come up with a radical design, but it was so refined it could have been manufactured right then.” At Apple, Ive has taken those insights one step further. Consider the new MacBook, which is carved from a single piece of aluminum and demands aeronautics-caliber precision. “[Apple] had to reinvent its factories to make it,” Brunner explains. “It’s mind-boggling.” While most companies create designs that can be manufactured with existing equipment and processes, Ive and his team meet the problem halfway, often overhauling manufacturing to get “perfect” products built on a mass scale.

Finally, Ive has had support from the top — something designers at many firms struggle for. “You need a CEO who gets it,” Brunner says. “Something like the iPod is a melding of design and user experience and marketing and pop culture, and you don’t achieve that without coordination throughout the company.”

After studying design at Newcastle Polytechnic in his native U.K., Ive cofounded an indie firm called Tangerine Design, where he applied himself to hair combs, power tools, and toilets. He eventually signed on as a design lead in Apple’s creative studio. When the young Brit succeeded Brunner in 1996, he was just 29.

It was a heady job at a time of crisis. Apple was on the verge of collapse. When Jobs returned the following year to rescue the company he had cofounded, he vowed on his second day that industrial design would be essential to survival. As Jobs soon discovered, Ive shared that vision — and had the skills to execute it. The iMac was a sign of things to come.

“We feel that we’re just getting going,” Ive told us a decade ago. He couldn’t have been more right. — by Chuck Salter


Ten Creativity Paradox

December 16, 2009

One “Creative people have a great deal of physical energy, but they’re also often quiet and at rest.”This is quite true. Mostly creative people always thinks positively, outside the box, and cheerful at the same time. That is what distinguishes the one who is creative and who isn’t. Creative person shines a powerful energy from their selves. They also have a strong physical energy because they always think how to deal with everything in life in a different perspective and make it as creative as they can. But, we do always have to remember that the key to being creative is know when to start and when to stop at the right time, this gives your brain a pattern on when to start working and when to rest. If we imagine a student that force himself to study hard the night before the test up until late and at the end he gets tired at the big day and lost his stamina during the test.  But what if he study constantly and know when to stop studying in order to gain his brain and stamina? His braiun will be able to know what its like to be under pressure and when to relax and gain the strength it needs to be under the pressure. So yes, timing is important and crucial.

Two “Creative people tend to be smart yet naive at the same time.”One way of expressing this dialectic is the opposite poles of wisdom and childishness. Think Mozart, is that ignorance and naive that often comes with creativity. Intuitively creative people know that they have a purpose, a destiny or they realize that they can choose or create one to drive them to reach greater heights of skill, ability, or talent. And they can be a little naive sometimes. They need smart people that they trust and are close to them for constant reminder.

Three Creative people combine playfulness and discipline, or responsibility and irresponsibility.”There is no question that a playfully light attitude is typical of creative individuals. But this playfulness doesn’t go very far without its antithesis, a quality of doggedness, endurance, perseverance. Creative people knows when to put a playful and irresposibility side to something scientific and serious. For example: Steve Job purposes to make a high-technology and fun features seriously. And VOILA! He made iPhone, iPod, etc.

Four “Creative people alternate between imagination and fantasy, and a rooted sense of reality.” Creative people always have a great imagination, which sometimes we as ordinary people do not ever think that the existence of such an idea. They have a wild imagination or out of the box. But they don’t make all of them into realization. Only the dream that has possibility in reality is the one that they will make it. The difference between creative people and losers are that creative people know how to implement dreams into reality, how to sleep, dreams, wakes up and work while losers prefer to sleep and keeps on dreaming.  This paradox shows that it’s perfectly normal to dream big.

Five “Creative people trend to be both extroverted and introverted.”Creative people are introverted person when they are in a process of thinking of ideas, decide where this goes toward the idea. Then they will be extroverted people when they are ready to share their brilliant ideas.

Six “Creative people are humble and proud at the same time.”When they feel that they give an idea accepted and applied properly. They received many compliments from people around here is they feel humble and proud at the same time.

Seven “Creative people, to an extent, escape rigid gender role stereotyping.”Creative people will not feel awkward with gender differences, role, or stereotyping. As long as it does not interfere with the creativity of their ideas, and does not interfere with their emotions, they will not feel stiff.

Eight Creative people are both rebellious and conservative.” Creative people sometimes need to be out of  the line to know how it feels to be beyond the line. And they will have more perspectives. Be rebellious for once, learn from the mistakes and implement it the next time they’re facing the same problem.

Nine “Most creative people are very passionate about their work, yet they can be extremely objective about it as well.”Creative people are always enthusiastic in every task. They will feel very happy and enjoying the work they are doing if they were happy with what they do. But they will be very objective in their work when they found that the work is not fun for them anymore.

Ten “Creative people’s openness and sensitivity often exposes them to suffering and pain, yet also to a great deal of enjoyment.”Because of excessive exposure to those creative, they tend to be viewed by the public is more arrogant and noisy than ordinary people. They are more likely to absorb the negative words mentioned by the public than others, causing hurt more deeply than other people around. This also applies vice versa in terms of fun, they tend to enjoy things a little exciting, whatever they think and feel more clearly etched in their brain, which causes overly sensitive nature.