Ivester began by recalling the early days of his career at Apple just after graduating from high school in California.
“The start of my career was very odd. I started with Apple two weeks after finishing high school, driving a forklift for minimum wage. I was employee number 2,454 so you can imagine it was pretty early days. I deliberately took the job to find my career direction. I moved through a number of roles in the company: forklift driver, truck unloader, engineering clerk, junior draftsman, mechanical designer and industrial designer as I went through university. It was a buzzy place; the Steves [Apple founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak] were famous locally. Fast forward to 1987 and shipping my first Macintosh.”
“In 1987 everything at Apple was influenced by Hartmut Esslinger and his German company Frog Design. When Steve Jobs left Apple he hired Frog to design his NeXT machine, which violated Frog’s exclusivity deal with Apple. So Apple fired Frog. That meant Apple suddenly didn’t have any industrial designers for the Macintosh, which I had worked on as part of the mechanical engineering team. I saw the opportunity and asked to take a shot at it. It was a perfect storm of right place at the right time and I jumped on it.”