Tomorrow, October 5, marks 10 years since Steve Jobs passed away at the age of 56. In remembrance of it having been 10 years since that day, former Apple design chief Jony Ive has penned a piece in the Wall Street Journal Magazine remembering his final days with Jobs…
Ive writes that even though he has not spoken publicly about his friendship with Jobs since he delivered a eulogy in 2011, he thinks about the late Apple cofounder every day:
I have barely thought about Steve’s death.
My memories of that brutal, heartbreaking day 10 years ago are scattered and random. I cannot remember driving down to his house. I do remember a hazy October sky and shoes that were too tight. I remember afterwards Tim and I sat quietly in the garden together for a long time.
Since giving Steve’s eulogy I have not spoken publicly about our friendship, our adventures or our collaboration. I never read the flurry of cover stories, obituaries or the bizarre mischaracterizations that have slipped into folklore.
But I think about Steve every day.
Ive writes that he remains close with Jobs’ wife Laurene, and that they talk all the time:
Laurene and I are close. Our families have been close for nearly 30 years. We have endured deaths and celebrated births. We talk all the time, often about Steve but rarely about my work with him. Mostly, we talk about the future and her extraordinary and inspiring work with Emerson Collective.
Ive reflects on what it was likely working with Jobs at Apple, who was always “wanting to learn” more than “wanting to be right.”
In larger groups our conversations gravitate towards the tangible, the measurable. It is more comfortable, far easier and more socially acceptable talking about what is known. Being curious and exploring tentative ideas were far more important to Steve than being socially acceptable.
Our curiosity begs that we learn. And for Steve, wanting to learn was far more important than wanting to be right.
Our curiosity united us. It formed the basis of our joyful and productive collaboration. I think it also tempered our fear of doing something terrifyingly new.
Steve was preoccupied with the nature and quality of his own thinking. He expected so much of himself and worked hard to think with a rare vitality, elegance and discipline. His rigor and tenacity set a dizzyingly high bar. When he could not think satisfactorily he would complain in the same way I would complain about my knees.
Ive also addresses his decision to depart Apple and form his own design firm, LoveFrom, which now allows him to work directly with Laurene Powell Jobs:
When Steve left Apple in the eighties, he called his new company NeXT. He was very good at names.
After nearly 30 years, I left Apple, driven by my curiosity to learn and discover new ways to make a useful contribution. It is Steve’s powerful motivation that informed the name of my next adventure, LoveFrom.
While I am absurdly fortunate that I still collaborate with my dear friends at Apple, I am also terribly lucky that I get to explore and create with some new friends.
Laurene and I at last are working together. In truth, we have been working together for decades.
The full piece is incredibly touching and well worth a read. You can find it on the Wall Street Journal website here as well as in Apple News here.