“It takes a lot of hard work to make something simple, to truly understanding the underlying challenges and come up with elegant solutions.” – Steve Jobs


Apply University is an internal program was founded by SteveJobs in 2008 to train employees to think more like him, indoctrinate the business culture, and teach new hires “the Picasso Way” in designing new products.

Picasso’s The Bull was created between 1945 and ’46 using a series of 11 lithographs (stone prints) to mutate and dissect form to strip away details and stylize anatomy. This artwork shows how Picasso whittled away at highly literal representations, transforming them into abstract elements and expressive contours that intertwine and work together to make up a powerful masterpiece. He wanted to “find the spirit of the beast”.


In his own way, Picasso has created a legendary and timeless master class that is used to explain the very heart and core of Apple’s design.


“Two holes – that’s the symbol for the face, enough to evoke it without representing it. But isn’t it strange that it can be done through such simple means? […] Whatever is most abstract may perhaps be the summit of reality.” – Pablo Picasso


Minimalist Jonathan Ive, head of design under Jobs, had a goal to get rid of anything other than what was absolutely essential. Much like Picasso, they would tirelessly revisit the beginning, again and again, to question whether or not each piece was needed or if certain functions and elements could be grouped and simplified.


By saying no to fluff (and there were a LOT of “no’s”), Apple began their legendary resurgence towards the iconic brand we know today. As busy members of today’s society, we can most definitely take away lessons about decluttering and simplification for our own lives as well.

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