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Creative Selection

Inside Apple's Design Process During the Golden Age of Steve Jobs
Written by: Ken Kocienda
Narrated by: Ken Kocienda
Length: 7 hrs and 28 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (29 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

An insider's account of Apple's creative process during the golden years of Steve Jobs.

Hundreds of millions of people use Apple products every day; several thousand work on Apple's campus in Cupertino, California; but only a handful sit at the drawing board.

Creative Selection recounts the life of one of the few who worked behind the scenes, a highly respected software engineer who worked in the final years of the Steve Jobs era - the Golden Age of Apple. Ken Kocienda offers an inside look at Apple’s creative process. For 15 years, he was on the ground floor of the company as a specialist, directly responsible for experimenting with novel user interface concepts and writing powerful, easy-to-use software for products including the iPhone, the iPad, and the Safari web browser. His stories explain the symbiotic relationship between software and product development for those who have never dreamed of programming a computer and reveal what it was like to work on the cutting edge of technology at one of the world's most admired companies.

Kocienda shares moments of struggle and success, crisis and collaboration, illuminating each with lessons learned over his Apple career. He introduces the essential elements of innovation - inspiration, collaboration, craft, diligence, decisiveness, taste, and empathy - and uses these as a lens through which to understand productive work culture. An insider's tale of creativity and innovation at Apple, Creative Selection shows listeners how a small group of people developed an evolutionary design model and how they used this methodology to make groundbreaking and intuitive software that countless millions use every day.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2018 Ken Kocienda (P)2018 Macmillan Audio

What the critics say

"Kocienda reveals the real secret of Steve Jobs's leadership and Apple's magic: the ability to push people to think for themselves, and to empower them to turn their best thinking into reality. It is a story about the intersection of technology and humanity." (Kim Scott, author of Radical Candor)

“If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to work in a hotbed of innovation, you’ll enjoy this inside view of life at Apple. Ken Kocienda pioneered the iPhone keyboard, and this book gives a play-by-play of their creative process - from generating ideas to doing a demo for Steve Jobs.” (Adam Grant, New York Times best-selling author of Originals, Give and Take, and Option B [with Sheryl Sandberg])

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    4 out of 5 stars

Rather short but to the point. .

lesson learned: working with a great team of collaboration is great. having a boss with razor sharp vision is a real blessing.

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  • matthewolf
  • 2018-09-20

Just the 20%

While I had big hopes for this book, I felt that 80% of this book was philosophy in theory, and just 20% about the authors time at Apple.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Destructo
  • 2018-09-12

Amazing insight and valuable stories

From the time I started listening to this book, I had a really hard time putting it down. I found myself taking extra long walks with the dogs and listening in the car just so I could listen to the book. The insight contained is valuable for designers and anyone looking to further their craft. Excellent!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Aleksey Kyrylovych
  • 2018-10-01

General, a bit boring, not very detailed

This book is written well but in general about development of keyboard and safari, not many specifics or details. I had to make myself to finish listening, lost me from very beginning since it’s just ideology and general knowledge.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Nicholas Nieto
  • 2018-10-30

Great insight about Apple and Solving big problems

This is a great perspective on solving problems and approaching the process of designing and development using first-hand accounts of real-life problems Ken and his teammates faced. It's not a how-to guide but more of a lead by example and reflects on what he learned kind of book. The inside baseball look into Apple in the early 2000s is pretty wonderful and has a lot of great personal stories. I highly recommend it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • James R. Saker
  • Tabor, Iowa
  • 2018-10-26

Wonderful insight

Enjoyable story about one developers making key parts of Apple's software. By no means intended to be a definitive statement on Apple culture, the book shares wonderful first hand perspectives and shares how the author learned and negotiated a remarkable environment, bringing many of us experiences we use all the time on our iPhones and other Apple products.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Martyn Chamberlin
  • 2018-10-03

Fantastic

I love books read by the author. I had high expectations for this book coming into it and it exceeded my expectations. The Apple I love most is the Apple during the Steve Jobs era, and Ken leaned deeply into that culture. I would love to have gotten to work with him. So many takeaways and priceless anecdotes. Apple during Ken’s tenure truly changed the world. I will definitely re-listen to this book again throughout my career.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Ben Leggiero
  • 2018-10-01

A great insight on how to create great software

As a software engineer inspired by beautiful creations, this book renewed my inspiration and filled me with new ideas for how to create great things

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2018-09-12

Must read for an Apple fanboy

I preordered the book some weeks ago. I knew I had to get my hands on this one since Apple is usually very secretive about the creation of their products. I really enjoyed listening to this book. It was pretty funny to hear how the employees sometimes had to work on products they knew nothing about, not even the real name. I hope more similar books will start coming out. The only thing I could nag about is the timeline of the story. At times it was difficult to figure out which year was it and how many has been passed. Ken also mostly talks about his own personal project at Apple (which of course is interesting), but there’s so much more I’d like to hear about. All-in-all I couldn’t put the book down and finished it pretty quickly.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Dion Boles
  • Baltimore Md
  • 2018-09-12

A amazing book for understanding Apple software culture

Ken’s book dives into Apple’s approach to design and software architecture a great listen if you are interested in software development and techniques and how Apple uses them.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • LUTECHS Customer Services
  • 2019-08-21

detailed stories

The book has details, personal thoughts. Very hands on. Initially I was surprised that multi layer keyboard with dictionary was not killed immediately, but the struggle turned out to be useful later on.