Everyday Science

How important is design to technology?
Answered by Dr. Astro Teller and Michael Dell
  • Dr. Astro Teller

    Dr. Astro Teller

  • Michael Dell

    Michael Dell

  1. Dr. Astro Teller Director of New Projects, Google


    Design is tremendously important. Take Apple… I believe that they have ascended to their current greatness not because of their engineering skills but because of their design skills. Their engineering skills prowess is also important, but I really believe that the marketing came on the tails of the design and not the other way around. They had a unified vision, thanks to Steve Jobs, and a number of other people thinking about future product development. Instead of trying to be a little bit of something for everybody, they say, "We're going to make something wonderful, something specific." And by coming at it from that perspective, by shooting for wonder and magic, people resonate with the product as people always have resonated with great design and great architecture. There is more to building a great building than just great engineering, for example.

    More answers from Dr. Astro Teller »

  2. Michael Dell Chairman and CEO, Dell Inc.


    I think the design aesthetic is definitely an area where there's been a lot of progress and improvement. There's been very nice progress in the types of materials and the forms and shapes. We can make these devices much smaller. That's all to be expected, but ultimately I think the more exciting level of innovation is what outcomes does it actually derive, because today we have maybe a hyper-fascination with the device itself.

    The device is interesting. It's cool and shiny and all that. But that's not really the plot. The plot really should be: What outcome does it achieve for us? Maybe it's just the stage in the industry evolution where we are, where we're hyper-focused on the device itself. But I think ultimately it has to go to the outcome we want.

    More answers from Michael Dell »

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