with Justin Brady

Episode 62 - Ken Kocienda

Inventor of the iPhone keyboard and auto correct

Ken Kocienda

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Imagine working on a project that would change not only technology, but human history? For Ken Kocienda, that was a reality. All he got was a piece of paper slid across the table about a confidential project. His boss couldn't share the details of the project until after he signed it. It was project purple, which was the original iPhone, and his biggest failure led him to be one of the first 8 software people on the project.


Kocienda told us what everyone wants to know. How Apple creates solution and how their design process worked in the golden age of Steve Jobs. He explains his pitches to Jobs, how we was welcomed into the highly secretive iPhone team and the amazing, and perhaps unconventional lessons he learned. They are all in his new book Creative Selection.


Kocienda's job was to develop a keyboard that would work flawlessly on the world's first all touchscreen phone. He ended up inventing a ground breaking software solution that was not only design and usability perfection, but also created auto correct, anticipating users clumsy thumbs. It was a perfect solution to a problem no one had solved or even tackled.


Kocienda gives us the principles that defined Apple's ability to conceive of new technologies and reveal technology that not only was desirable, but solved problems for consumers they never considered were solvable. He expands on:


  • INSPIRATION: Thinking big ideas and imagining what might be possible.
  • COLLABORATION: Working together well with other people and seeking to combine your
  • CRAFT: Applying skill to achieve high-quality results and always striving to do better.
  • DILIGENCE: Doing the necessary grunt work and never resorting to shortcuts or half measures.
  • DECISIVENESS: Making tough choices and refusing to delay or procrastinate.
  • TASTE: Developing a refined sense of judgment and finding the balance that produces a
  • EMPATHY: Trying to see the world from other people’s perspective and creative work that fits


Learn More About Ken Kocienda



Learn more about the host Justin Brady.



Ken Kocienda
Ken Kocienda