Making a Beautiful Life

Chris Chapman is the new Chief Designer at Hyundai

The wonderful definitive biography of Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson spends many pages on the close collaboration between Jobs and his Chief Designer, Jony Ive. Ive was the brains behind the design of the iPod, iPhone and iPad. He and Jobs worked closely since 1997, refining a minimalist approach with an emphasis on rounded rectangles that makes Apple’s products so beautiful and unique.

Great design works so effortlessly that we often ignore it as we enjoy it, while crappy design gets in the way of usage and pleasure.

When I read a blog by Joseph Szczesny of The Detroit Bureau a couple of days ago about Chris Chapman, BMW’s chief designer in the U.S., moving to Hyundai, it struck me as major news. Car design is huge in developing a brand. With the Sonata and Elantra Hyundai has moved into the top rank of auto makers. Snatching BMW’s #1 sounds like a real coup.

One of the primary ideas I’ve gotten from the Steve Jobs story is the importance of putting artistry into your life. Not just your products, not just your work, but your life. I think we all have some talent, a spark, something special and magical that we can access if we focus on it. Maybe it’s our voice that fits perfectly in a choir, or our gardening touch, or the ability to integrate machining capabilities to perform a job perfectly and repeat it.

Pursuing the special talent that makes magic is my goal for 2012. I’m looking for it in writing this blog.

I wish you joy in making your own magic today.

Question: Do you think Mitt Romney can ignite enough voters to beat Barack Obama?

Video of Jony Ive, Apple’s Chief Designer, explaining how the MacBook body is made from a single piece of machined aluminum.

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11 thoughts on “Making a Beautiful Life

  1. Marc Klecka

    Mitt Romney is the right man for this moment in time. He is the leader we need. Moderates and Independents will vote for him; as will I, a strong-minded Conservative.

  2. Kelly Hagberg

    More of the same old thing. Hes a moderate cut from the same cloth as the RINO party.
    But if that’s the best alternative I’ll hold my nose and vote for him and watch Obama win.

  3. Richard Rudy

    Ignite? Ignite implies heat, so to answer your question I don’t think that Mitt Romney can ignite anything.

    But after 3+ years of excitement, hope, and heat (yes, heat – remember Chris Matthews’ gushingly insipid “thrilling” comment about Obama?) about foisting on America what was essentially some academic’s wet dream, being ignited by my president isn’t high on my list of must haves.

    I’ll settle for a somebody that has actually done something, actually held down a real job, can read a balance sheet, understands how our economy actually works; somebody that still believes that our economic and political systems can be made to work. We don’t need fundamental change in our country, and we’ll ALL be better off with a president who doesn’t cynically encourage the belief that people who pursue wealth are fundamentally evil.

  4. Bruce Renwick

    Romney is a bit Obama like but he will certainly be better than what we have been through for the last 4 years. Let’s not count out Rick Santorum, he could be another tough contender. It is hard, almost impossible to believe we will get more of the same we have been getting for the last 12 years. Higher debt, more spending, lack of responsible government. I hope the next President will be a great president, we are overdue.

  5. Jerry Johnson

    For the sake of our Country, let’s hope so. If not Mitt, almost anybody other than Obama.

    Mr. Rudy nailed it. I can’t add a thing – except, anybody who votes for Obama is an idiot.

  6. Joe Landry

    Who Cares!!!!! Romney is just like the rest of the guys we have elected the last 50 years. He will spend money we do not have, on things we do not need. He will pad his own wealth with his presidential notoriety, and leave the office with us holding the debt.

    If we continue to elect people with the same education and work experience, we will continue to get exactly what we have been getting.

    Ron Paul is not the most photogenic or articulate guy in the bunch, but he is different. If we would elect him, things would change over his four year term. If we elect Romney, Gingrich, Santorum, Perry, Bachman or Obama, we will be in the same place or worse four and a half years from now. Not because they are bad people, but because lawyers and salesman have already proven they are not equipped to run our country.

    Joe Landry

  7. Miles Free

    Lloyd, I think that it is incumbent on us a managers to make it possible for the talented and people in our employ to be able to “…putting artistry into your life (and work). We need to help our folks recognize how their “talent, a spark, something special and magical that we can access if we focus on it” can help make our work even more valuable. Your appeal for finding this existential joy in our lives needs to become the mantra for how we cherish our talent as the market continues to demand more and more from us all.

    Helping our people find and use their special talent(s) that makes magic should be the goal of all of us in 2012.

  8. Dick Crosby

    I don’t know if you wrote this article before or after the Iowa caucuses, but considering the reported millions Romney spent to win in Iowa, and then received basically the same number of votes he got in ’08, it sure doesn’t seem he’s “electrifying” anybody. I suspect he’ll be stuck everywhere at 25% max. Now we’re 3 1/2 days into NH, and his number (41%) is apparently dropping like a rock. Look who’s in 2nd. The new kid on the block.
    Being the political nut that I am, I stayed awake on Tues. nite (Wed. AM) until the final number was announced. I was almost praying that Santorum would eke out the win, but twas not to be. Then I listened to their closing speeches. Santorum gave the best political speech since Reagan if you ask me. (In spite of the Chicago whiz’s ’08 oratorical prowess “Hope & Change” BS.) Little by little I think the “kid” may be able to excite the Party. I just sent him a couple of bucks. Someday I’m going to pick a winner. I hope I’m not forced to vote for Romney, and lose to Obama. Again! God, we need Change!
    “Hope”, I have!


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