I’ve thought heaps about this one. I don’t really go in for hero worship, so when I think about people I admire, they are people I know. But then I try to narrow it down, and I can’t. I admire all the people in my life – that’s why most of them are there! I decided a long time ago that I don’t want negative people in my close circle of friends – I am choosy about who I share my precious time with. So I would have to say that I admire all the people I purposefully spend time with.
If I had to pick someone well-known – someone who has done something of significance, of course the obvious choice is Steve Jobs. His company has had a profound impact on my life personally, and on everyone around me. But he is gone, so I can only admire his past endeavours. So my replacement for gone-but-not-forgotten Steve is Jony Ive.
The guy is a design genius. Without knowing him personally, all I have to go on is what what I’ve read about him … and from all accounts Jony is focussed, driven, and extremely talented. His talent doesn’t mean that everything he created is perfect – and that’s part of what I admire. He is always looking for the improvement, to make it better. The case in point is the hockey-puck mouse. This thing was unusable! It was a design dud. And when questioned about it, Jony doesn’t justify or deny – he reflects on what people have said about his design and comments that it’s an opportunity to do it again, better. I think there is still a way to go with the mouse design, keep going Jony!
I also admire that he avoids the public eye – he doesn’t appear on stage at Apple events, preferring to be in the background with the rest of his design team. It is said that he is profoundly shy. He submits to design videos that describe how his products are made, but doesn’t appear live. Fair enough! I admire this. And the videos are so endearingly earnest, so funny.