About those rainbow arches that frame Apple’s inner-spaceship stage…
From Cult of Mac’s How (and why) Jony Ive built the mysterious rainbow Apple Stage:
The structure’s aluminum frames include custom curved tops and bottoms individually rolled by a machinist over a 12-day period. Then workers wrapped the segments in a polycarbonate liner “that extends over the edges to create a seamless look once it’s in place,” the [internal to Apple] AppleWeb articles says.
The custom processes employed make the brilliantly colored pieces extremely fragile, though. Since they couldn’t touch the ground or lay flat after fabrication, Apple needed to create custom carts to transport them.
From “4aapl,” former Apple QA inspector and a moderator of the excellent AAPL Finance Board:
Sometimes Apple acts like the spoiled brat that has way too much cash in his pocket. I’d rather Apple focused on the things that matter most (usability, performance, functionality, features, stability, upgradability, etc….for software and hardware, current and upcoming), instead of trying to push the envelope on some of these minor things (stage backsplash, giant glass— curved and flat—milled instead of stamped aluminum cases, etc).
But that’s the thing, deciding when something is enough.
On some things, it’s more apparent, such as the maximum ability of the eye to see pixels (though originally the “retinal displays” were at standard usage distance, I could see exceeding those when trying to inspect something closely).
On other things, it’s a tougher line to find. But like Buffet just said, while money is important, time (and love) can’t be bought and are even more precious (sounding like the country song). Unless there is a surplus of top notch designers, the time spent by the team on making its own colorful arches is time not spend on other projects.
Apple repeats how it focuses on its projects, setting aside a lot of interests in order to maintain that focus on the important software and hardware products. It seems like the design team needs to adopt this focus too.
My take: That was my first thought. But perhaps maintaining morale and retaining the best designers and engineers is a higher priority for Apple than I—or 4aapl—imagined.