I Taught Steve Jobs to Put Design First

Hartmut Esslinger:

I explained that to make design a core element of Apple’s corporate strategy, it would have to be seen as a leadership issue; world-class design can’t work its way up from the bottom, watered down by the motivations and egos of every layer of management it passes through. I also offered a number of examples of corporate designers—especially in the United States—who were being compromised by the need to report to lower levels. Steve looked a bit irritated when I told him that my initial observations of Apple’s design process revealed exactly the same pattern of structurally determined mediocrity.

At a company like Apple where financial and human resources are almost unlimited, designers should design the impossible and let engineers do their magic.