My 30-Second “Interview” With Jonathan Ive

Jony (Jonathan) Ive

No, I’m not kidding. This actually happened. I had a 30-second “interview” with Jonathan Ive.

On the way out of the Moscone Center this morning, as streams of people are leaving to get some fresh air and digest all of the announcements from the WWDC 2009 keynote address, I see a familiar face walking towards me. It’s Jonathan Ive. I can’t believe it. This guy is design royalty.

But I’m from Los Angeles: We’re not afraid to approach the rich and famous in my city. Heck, I produce theater with lots of famous actors and comedians, so I often have to work with known personalities. This was a rare opportunity and certainly not a time for sudden shyness, so I approached the master designer and introduced myself.

The following is an exact transcript of what transpired.

Me: Jonathan…?
Jonathan: [Turns, sees I’m no one he knows] Yes…?
Me: David Koff. Nice to meet you.
Jonathan: Thank you.
Me: May I snap a photo with you?

[Beat. He pauses, looks around, unsure of what to say, clearly uncomfortable.]

Me: It’s not a big deal. If you’d rather not, it’s quite OK.
Jonathan: Well, there are others here who are also deserving of a photo but I can’t accommodate them as well, so…how about we just shake hands?
Me: That would be lovely. I’m a great fan of your work.
Jonathan: Thank you, that’s very kind.
Me: You’re welcome. Keep up the good work.
Jonathan: [Looking at me like I’m insane] I’ll do that. Thank you.

[He walks off. I wait a moment. I follow, calling after him, running and waving my arms wildly as if in a Seth Rogan romantic comedy…]

Me: Godspeed, Jonathan! I love you! Have my babies…!

OK, well maybe that’s not how I ended the conversation, but everything before that was accurate. Ive is a notoriously private and quiet individual, which is why I was surprised to even see him out and about with the crowd — and which is why I was surprised he even stopped to turn and speak with me.

But that’s your dutiful David Koff, folks. Always willing to find the hard-to-get interviews…even when the interviewee doesn’t know he was scheduled to meet me in the first place.