Input: You're both working on a new project at Humane. I was wondering why did you feel it was time to leave Apple after you'd spent so long there and had created products that you could see had such a massive impact on the world? What was the impetus to step away from such a huge, influential company and position?
Bethany: Obviously we feel really fortunate to have been a part of some huge things there and really enjoyed our time at Apple and obviously still have a bunch of close friends that are there and are huge supporters. But I think, you know, for everybody there is a time where you feel like it's time to move on and time to do something different. We had kind of done the song and dance enough—we had built many, many phones many times over—and I think [we] felt like we really wanted to take some time off and really think about what we felt was the next thing and what we felt was the future of computing. And we always knew that we wanted to go off and do things our own way and build our own company. I think we had ambitions to do that. [We were] not really sure what that meant early on, but it just came down to a fact of, you know, when the right time was. I think when we both realized it was the right time to do that and make the jump, we did.
We took some time off to really just kind of reflect on our experiences, reconnect with family and take care of ourselves and do things that you kind of need to do before you begin the next journey. I used to tell Imran that we had to get home base and everything sturdy before we took that spaceship, which would be the next step in building Humane. And so our focus was always on what we thought was gonna be the future of computing and looking at what the market was investing in . . . what were other people building, where was the money going and trying to figure out, like, is this the world we want to live in? I think we looked around at, you know, what was being built and where the money was going and felt that we had a better idea. We had something that was more innovative, was more ambitious, was the type of risks and ambitious undertakings that we were used to doing in the past and that we had the drive to do again. And and that kind of set out for us to build Humane and bring a team together to do it.
Imran: I think anytime you really endeavor to do something, you have to sort of break away and spend a lot of time figuring out what that actually is. And so we spent a lot of time looking at different emerging technologies and the opportunities there in terms of how those could be incorporated in the types of experiences that we were looking to bring over. Those are fundamental things like artificial intelligence and computer vision and machine learning. You know, I think stuff that isn't particularly anybody's wheelhouse, but things I think we wanted to go off and imagine and do on our own. And I think that's kind of what we're doing at Humane—is to really go through and explore the opportunities for new computer experiences built around those types of things.
Bethany: I think when you when you don't have the weight or the gravity of an existing platform and existing ecosystem and you can kind of shed those constraints and really think about "How would we build something from the ground up independently?" and "How would we do that, leveraging these incredible emerging technologies?" and really think about what we think the future of computing should be. And if we look at the phone as like, you know, it's 13 years old now. The iPhone is nearly 13 years old. I think we felt that if that was going to be the pinnacle of computing, then that would be unfortunate. We really wanted to kind of be able to start anew and think about where we felt things should be going.
Input: What is your biggest point of pride about your work on the iPad? And what would you say is your biggest regret about either your work or the product in general?
Bethany: I mean, I'll say that my biggest point of pride was that, you know, the iPad team was a startup within a startup. We really were able to pull off a pretty impossible feat with a very small team with hardware that, at the time, was really underpowered for what we needed it to be. We had a lot of engineering feats that we had to overcome as a collective group between design and engineering to make it happen and I think given that it was Steve, one of the last projects that he was really deeply involved in, I feel a lot of pride that we were able to to be successful for him in his vision and what he wanted. That's something that I hold on to as being something that I'm really proud of.
Imran: I think that the team worked at an incredibly impossible feat. It's not easy to create a new computing platform and especially one that means so many different things to so many different people. And I'm really proud of the fact that we were able to start that and have that trajectory continue through today and that this product in particular means so much to so many people. It is the way people communicate. For families with kids who suffer from autism, it allows them and allows their kids to achieve some level of comfort. Then also some level of communication. It is the way we experience our families at a distance. It's an amazing learning tool. It is so many things to so many people. And that is what great computing is all about.
Bethany: We have a daughter who's twelve and she was an iPad baby. She used an iPad super early on in her life. I think that what the iPad did was bring this level of computing to the masses in a way that the phone wasn't even able to do. You had people who were young children using iPads up to people that were a hundred years old picking up an iPad and knowing how to use it. I think it really was something that brought a lot of positive things to a lot of people. And so I think that's a really good point. Something we're really proud of.