Jony Ive in The New Yorker

Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit - Day 2
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - OCTOBER 09: Apple Senior Vice President of Design Jonathan Ive speaks onstage during "Genius by Design" at the Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts on October 9, 2014 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Vanity Fair)
Photograph by Michael Kovac — Getty Images for Vanity Fair

The issues pile up, like glossy layers of guilt. Stories unread. Cartoons unchuckled at.

And then a piece like Ian Parker’s 17,000-word profile of Jony Ive comes along and you remember that there’s a reason for The New Yorker. And, more broadly, in this age of 140-character tweets, keenly-reported long-form journalism.

Parker’s story is the best thing I’ve ever read about Apple, and I’ve read a lot.

Anybody who cares about the company ought to set aside a couple hours. No spoilers here, just a paragraph to whet the appetite:

In our conversations,” writes Parker, “[Ive’s] manner could sometimes be unsettling for the way it combined the tender attentiveness of a suicide-prevention volunteer—“I was ever so lucky”; “I do hope you have a good flight”—with a keenness to move the conversation from the particular to the general; his replies, searching for the safe ground of a previously expressed thought, often looped and hedged, or drifted off into a sigh. At first attempt, Ive ran through the first twenty-five years of his life in sixty words; he told me which novel he was reading only after designating the answer off the record.”

I finished the story Tuesday morning and found myself wishing Ian Parker could have been given this kind of access to Steve Jobs. What a book that would have made!

LINK: The shape of things to come

Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter at @philiped. Read his Apple AAPL coverage at or subscribe via his RSS feed.

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