Apple – Engineers vs Creatives – The Perfect Balance

Not sure how to really put this into a concise theory, argument, or postulate (whatever the heck that meant from math class back in high school days), but I am going to try.

I think the strength of Apple during the “2nd Coming of Steve Jobs”, was the fact that he was able to truly have the intersection of Engineers and Creatives. Hell, if you think about it Steve and Woz are this exactly.  We have all heard the rumors of how certain individuals would battle and not like to be in the room with each other.  Two that come to mind are Scott Forstall and Jonathan Ivy.  From the stories that have come out of Apple they really didn’t like each other.   It is my opinion that while Steve Jobs was running the show, he was able to use this tension to produce some of the best products with some of the best software in Apple’s history, and probably the technology worlds as well over the last decade or so.

Like many things in life it’s the balance that usual brings the best things in life. You cant have developers designing your UI (User Interface) and you cant have designers doing the coding either.  Of course there are rare individuals that can do both, and in the real world we are often asked to wear many hats due to budgets and time constraints.

When things start to suffer, like the recent security flaws in iOS and iMessage, it makes me wonder if Apple is leaning too much toward the creative side, with not enough on the engineering side to balance out this tricky equation.   Of course we have all seen when the creative balance is low as well so we don’t want to go in that direction either.  So, could good ole Uncle Steve have been the perfect person to stand in the middle and keep the two teams from killing each other?  I am tending to think so.

Both Scott and Johnny are probably both cocky bastards in their own right, and I know they probably bumped heads on every occasion.  All I know is there has been some crappy code coming out of Apple recently and I am thinking that Steve would be pissed about this! Of course Scott probably wouldn’t come back to Apple even if they begged, so Apple’s leadership needs to really take a look at things and get their ship steered in the right direction.

What do you think?  Am I barking up the wrong tree with this little theory of mine?

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