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Creative Selection

Inside Apple's Design Process During the Golden Age of Steve Jobs

This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.



An insider's account of Apple's creative process during the golden years of Steve Jobs.

Hundreds of millions of people use Apple products every day; several thousand work on Apple's campus in Cupertino, California; but only a handful sit at the drawing board. Creative Selection recounts the life of one of the few who worked behind the scenes, a highly-respected software engineer who worked in the final years of the Steve Jobs era—the Golden Age of Apple.

Ken Kocienda offers an inside look at Apple’s creative process. For fifteen years, he was on the ground floor of the company as a specialist, directly responsible for experimenting with novel user interface concepts and writing powerful, easy-to-use software for products including the iPhone, the iPad, and the Safari web browser. His stories explain the symbiotic relationship between software and product development for those who have never dreamed of programming a computer, and reveal what it was like to work on the cutting edge of technology at one of the world's most admired companies.

Kocienda shares moments of struggle and success, crisis and collaboration, illuminating each with lessons learned over his Apple career. He introduces the essential elements of innovation—inspiration, collaboration, craft, diligence, decisiveness, taste, and empathy—and uses these as a lens through which to understand productive work culture.

An insider's tale of creativity and innovation at Apple, Creative Selection shows readers how a small group of people developed an evolutionary design model, and how they used this methodology to make groundbreaking and intuitive software which countless millions use every day.

From Publishers Weekly

Oct 08, 2018 – Anyone curious about the roots of Apple's status as the first trillion-dollar company would be well advised to pick up this book. Kocienda, former principal engineer of iPhone software for Apple, ably explains the company's development philosophy through a series of vignettes covering the creation of the Safari web browser and the design of the on-screen keyboards for the iPhone and iPad. Starting by listing "seven essential elements to Apple's software success" (including collaboration, decisiveness, and taste), Kocienda immediately cautions the reader that "there weren't any signs affixed to the walls of our Cupertino campus exhorting us to Collaborate!' On the contrary, we felt, on an instinctive level, that a fixed methodology might snuff out the innovation we were seeking." This flexible approach, Kocienda shows, was key to the success of Apple's tightly integrated combination of hardware and software. He also emphasizes Steve Jobs's insistence that the company "make extremely advanced products from a technology point of view, but also have them be intuitive, easy to use, fun to use, so that they really fit the users." Kocienda's account of how, painstakingly, this goal was achieved will be of deep interest to software engineers as well as the casual computer buff keen on gaining insight into Apple's unprecedented success.

Customer Reviews

Great insight of Apple Engineering

This book shows internal process of collaboration between design and engineering in Apple, which responsible for birth of several great products in our lifetime. As an engineer, you can learn great approach to tackle such hard problems in creating such marvelous devices. The author really did a great job illustrating the challenge and how it’s feels to work with one of the greatest product owner of all time.

Insights into the nature of creativity

I am something of a computer history junkie having read many books on the subject. The soul of a new machine remains my favorite. This book will have appeal to anyone who is a fan of apple devices. Just as the fifties and studies are often thought of as"rocking" decades, I believe we are now in a smartphone decade with a new kind of interpersonal connectivity.
This book provides some insight as to how the foundation was laid.
For me Kocienda's thoughts about creativity are important as well. I suspect we are moving from the era of the smartphone to the era of artificial intelligence. One test for Associates intelligence will be the ability to be creative. Kocienda illustrates three elements of creativity: 1) recognition of a problem to be solved; 2) assembly of potential solutions from the parts and ideas at hand, and 3) choosing the best solution based on standards that can be referred to as taste.
I hope I am not misrepresenting his idea. It seems a way to move towards role based creativity of that isn't an oxymoron.

Changing How I Design

This is the best book on design you’re not reading.

This book, above all others, tells us not how the iPhone was made. But how it was made well.

Creative Selection
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  • $14.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Industries & Professions
  • Published: Sep 04, 2018
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Seller: Macmillan
  • Print Length: 304 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: This book can only be viewed on an iOS device with Apple Books on iOS 12 or later, iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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