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How Picasso has influenced new approach to design at Apple University

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The Apple University, a training center for Apple recruits, has initiated a new wave of thinking as they approach the design of products. The University was founded by Joel Podolny, Apple’s VP of human resources and formerly dean of Yale School of Management in 2008. The recruits are taught to design products as simple as possible. As they follow in Picasso’s footstep, the students learn that less really is more.

Apple is on the verge of breaking into a new product category. Some of their products include the iPod, iPad, iMac and now more recently the Apple TV. The company hopes to break into the market of smart watches in the near future.

CEO Tim Cook told investors, “We’re eagerly looking forward to introducing more new products and services that only Apple could bring to market.”

Other possibilities include the mobile money sector, which has been difficult to break into.

“It is an area where nobody has figured it out yet. I realize that there are some companies playing in it, but you still have a wallet in your back pocket and I do too which probably means it hasn’t been figured out just yet.”


According to Apple, it is important that recruits preserve the unique culture and history of simple yet beautiful design which was created and perfected by co-founder Steve Jobs.

The simplicity of their products is evermore inspired by the lessons taken at the training center where they study Picasso’s work titled  Bull, a series of eleven lithographs in which the renowned artist deconstructs a bull down to its most abstract form.

A good comparison of this simplistic philosophy at work is the Apple TV that only has 3 buttons on the remote compared to Google TV’s 78 buttons. Maintaining the spirit of Apple is definitely integral to differentiating it to its competitors and maintaining market leadership.

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