Archive for October, 2013

The Elusive President

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Art direction: Nicholas Blechman

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Here is an anti-portrait of a man who my boss argues is knowable to no one.

And Then Steve Said, ‘Let There Be an iPhone’

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Art direction: Arem Duplessis

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Here is a story with an ending which is already well known, worshipped technological lore and still no less hypnotic: An account for the mad scramble which lead to the first-ever iPhone keynote. The unedited draft of the text for this story was beyond long and before I started thinking about visuals for this, I told myself I’d probably just skim through it to catch the key points. Except once I started, I couldn’t stop and I nearly missed my stop to get off the train. This was hypnotic and ballsy. And I even knew how it was going to end!

To put it gently and free of spoiling particulars, the device was not entirely sea worthy at the time of its announcement on the day of its big reveal. That it performed as well as it did during the live test drive is a testament to the Herculean ingenuity, quick thinking, and work hours that Steve Jobs’ team brought to measure across all facets of the phone’s development. The way grown adults (including myself) crane their necks while waiting in line for anything would never be the same again.

There’s also something to be said for one man’s sheer force of will pushing forward despite cries of reconsideration from all sides. Historically, this approach breaks roughly 50/50, so highly suspect manufacturing processes notwithstanding, it’s a good thing to recount one time that all of that elbow grease, impossible standards and general lack of compromise broke on the side of something genuinely transformational.