Jony Ive accepted the 2014 Bay Area Treasure Award from the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art last night (someone should start a 'Jony Awards' Tumblr). Daisuke Wakabayashi has select quotes in short article on The Wall Street Journal. Of note is this enduring and consistent message out of Apple:
In a wide-ranging discussion, Ive said he’s proud of Apple because it creates great products, not because of its surging revenue or world-leading market valuation. Profits follow the products, he said.
“I honestly don’t know the numbers,” said Ive. “But I know they are high.”
Comapare the above to this passage from Walter Isaacson's "Steve Jobs":
Over the course of our conversations, there were many times when [Steve Jobs] reflected on what he hoped his legacy would be. Here are those thoughts, in his own words:
"My passion has been to build an enduring company where people were motivated to make great products. Everything else was secondary. Sure, it was great to make a profit, because that was what allowed you to make great products. But the products, not the profits, were the motivation. Sculley flipped these priorities to where the goal was to make money. It’s a subtle difference, but it ends up meaning everything: the people you hire, who gets promoted, what you discuss in meetings."
Note: Jony Ive isn't the only Apple executive that consistently talks about this idea of profits following products. You can find this message in just about any substantial interview of an Apple executive. For example, it's in this recent Greg Joswiak interview. It's even in Tim Cook's op-ed from yesterday, where he mentions "keeping the focus on our products."