Apple’s Senior Vice President of Design, Jony Ive, recently made a rare public appearance at the Design Museum in London. Ive ended up discussing everything including his view on the future of design, his opinions on failure with museum director Deyan Sudjic and even went as far as offering additional perspective on the design process and rejection. Part of his dialogue that stood out was the following:

The best ideas start as conversations. A small change at the beginning of the design process defines an entirely different product at the end. At the start of the process the idea is just a thought - very fragile and exclusive. When the first physical manifestation is created everything changes. It is no longer exclusive, now it involves a lot of people." Ive also mentioned, "There are 9 rejected ideas for every idea that works.
Hopeful design students that were interested in joining his team were let down as it was revealed that odds of working his team are close to none. The industrial design team at Apple is notoriously difficult to get into, largely because its members tend to just never leave the company. The 18 person team hasn’t seen a single member leave for fifteen years.

Ive continued by touching upon how to gain experience in the field, design studies in schools today and pointing out the difference between making something different and making something better. Jony Ive doesn’t tend to be in the spotlight very often but has definitely opened up considerably since taking on additional responsibilities for software design and more recently with the highly anticipated launch of the Apple Watch.

To end the piece on one of Ive’s more inspiration-worthy quotes:

We shouldn’t be afraid to fail - if we are not failing we are not pushing. 80% of the stuff in the studio is not going to work. If something is not good enough, stop doing it.
Source: Design Museum in London via Cult of Mac