Ep. 694: Ken Kocienda Interview with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio

Ken Kocienda
Ken Kocienda

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Ken Kocienda was a software engineer/designer at Apple for over fifteen years and is now the author of “Creative Selection: Inside Apple’s Design Process During the Golden Age of Steve Jobs.” After being introduced to the internet in 1994 he taught himself computer programming and made his way through a succession of dot-com-era startups, before landing a job at Apple in 2001. He worked on software teams responsible for creating the Safari web browser, iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch.

Ken entered college with the mindset of becoming a history professor or even a photographer. He had various interests in college, however none of them were in the technology sphere. He moved to Japan after college for a few years and upon moving back to the United States, he was introduced to the internet for the first time and instantly intrigued by it.

Ken interviewed for Apple in spring of 2001 before the iPod had been released–Apple was still relying on the Mac as their main revenue stream at the time. Ken had loved Apple products since he saw his first Mac in 1984 so when he was hired on at Apple it was surreal. His first job was to make Apple a web browser of its own – what we all know as Safari today. Later, in 2004, he joined the team to make the software for the iPhone’s touchscreen operating system, among other products.

Inspiration, collaboration, craft, diligence, decisiveness, taste and empathy are seven attributes Ken uses to describe how Apple became the success story they are today. Steve Jobs and Apple chased perfection and demanded nothing short of it.

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • Pyramid of demos
  • Steve Jobs thought process
  • Apple company philosophy
  • Completely present in the moment
  • Reality distortion field
  • Creative selection
  • Green Bay Packers and Vince Lombardi

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