So your team turns visions into reality?
Answer:Yep, that’s us in Operations. We work with designers and engineers on new hardware ideas, then figure out how to actually build a product.
More than one, probably.
Answer:Right. It’s like “OK, we’ve built one — now let’s make millions.”
“An innovative product demands an innovative process.”
What makes it innovative?
Answer:So much. For instance, I was part of the team that developed the first 100 per cent recycled aluminium MacBook Air enclosure.
Recycled — not only recyclable?
Answer:Right. Recycled, so no new aluminium is mined from the earth.
It’s more specialised than recycling drinks cans.
Answer:Oh, yeah — very different. This is a high-grade, patented alloy that had to meet our standards for purity and performance. We had to rethink a whole new supply chain and sourcing process, then make sure it was just as strong, functional and beautiful as people expect from Apple. It was a very ambitious initiative.
Does “ambitious” translate as “this won’t be easy”?
Answer:Sure — but that’s why we’re here, right? Solving a tough problem gives you an amazing rush. And when we’re compressed between demands, like environmental goals as well as functional and aesthetic standards, that’s where the most incredible innovation happens.
“You’re just more driven when there’s more purpose to your work.”
You mean there’s extra motivation when it’s more than a technical achievement?
Answer:Well, here it’s always more than that, whether it’s the environment or people’s experience with the product, or something more. And yes, you definitely feel good doing the right thing. And you get another kind of motivation from the people here.
Your team? Leadership?
Answer:Both. I remember times when we thought, “This is so daunting.” Then we’d come out of meetings with Lisa Jackson, and I’d think, “She’s so amazing — we have to make this happen!”
It’s like a booster shot.
Answer:Yeah. When you meet with the execs, you see how they’re focused on the big picture, and they’re counting on you. Wow, no pressure.
“It’s kind of cool, because you realise that they believe in you more than you believe in yourself.”
Illustrated on iPad.