Creative Selection

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

    • 4.3 • 50 Ratings
    • £5.99
    • £5.99

Publisher Description

‘Kocienda reveals the real secret of Steve Jobs's leadership and Apple's magic’ – Kim Scott, bestselling author of Radical Candor

A Wall Street Journal bestseller.

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

'If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to work in a hotbed of innovation, you’ll enjoy this inside view of life at Apple. Ken Kocienda pioneered the iPhone keyboard, and this book gives a play-by-play of their creative process – from generating ideas to doing a demo for Steve Jobs.'
Adam Grant, bestselling author of Originals

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.

Professional & Technical
6 September
Pan Macmillan

Customer Reviews

Bamlagl ,

Informative, gripping, touching

Among all the books about Apple, such as Steve Jobs’ biography, the book about Jony Ive and so on, this is the best one I’ve ever read. I love it, and I admire the author.

It’s deeply informative. Instead of providing a bird’s eye view of Apple’s software development process, the author focused on just a few highlight moments like developing the iPhone keyboard, and REALLY got down to the nitty-gritty details of it. For example, the whole evolution of how he went from the original Derby Winner to the final keyboard design is, I think, written wonderfully, and it showed how the Derby Winner, albeit a detour during the development process, crucially informed the final product. If I were to look at the iPhone keyboard before reading this book, I would’ve probably just thought there’s nothing special about it; it’s just a small QWERTY keyboard on a touchscreen without some of the keys. I wouldn’t have known that so much is going on behind that simple-looking facade to ensure accurate typing.

It’s wonderfully gripping. One thing I love about the way the author writes is how he separates stories and opinions. In a chapter, the story always comes first, followed by his reflections on it. It’s like Tolstoy’s War and Peace. And for the story part, I admire the author’s skill at creating suspense and climax. The last chapter included a story about Steve’s reaction to the multitask gesture demo, and when it ended with Steve saying ‘This animation...this is Apple’, I could almost picture Steve saying it, smiling.

It’s very touching. So many moments in the book carried emotional weight, such as the moment the author finally got his hands on the finished iPhone product and the moment Henri said ‘at this point’ and how the book suddenly ended after that. The book’s title says ‘.....during the golden era of Steve Jobs’, and the book reflects exactly that: it ends with Steve’s death. Come to think of it, the book can also be seen as a tribute to Steve Jobs; it includes so many stories about the man, close-up views, and they’re really precious for readers like me who admires the man but has no opportunity to meet him in real life. And for that I thank the author.

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