Apple No Longer Innovates

Hartmut Esslinger knows a thing or two about industrial design and what it’s done for Apple. He worked directly with Steve Jobs to establish a “design language” that was used on the Macintosh line of computers for over a decade. Esslinger’s iconoclastic firm had already designed over 100 products for Sony when he signed an exclusive, $1-million-a-year contract with Apple in 1982.
But that Apple is mostly gone, says Esslinger in an interview with Quartz. The Apple of today resembles Sony of the 1980′s, says Esslinger, who witnessed the succession process at Sony first-hand: The visionary founder has been replaced by leaders who aren’t thinking beyond refinement and increasing profit.
“Steve Jobs was a man who didn’t care for any rational argument why something should not be tried,” says Esslinger. “He said a lot of ‘no,’ but he also said a lot of ‘yes’ to things and he stubbornly insisted on trying new things.”
One reason Esslinger is willing to recount his time with Jobs is that on October 9, at the Frankfurt book fair, he will release a design and management memoir recounting his time with Jobs, called Keep it Simple.