Tony Fadell is one of the most important figures in the history of Apple (AAPL). As the creator of the iPod, he helped turn the fortunes of the struggling company. And as the co-creator of the iPhone, he can take (at least some of) the credit for becoming the company with a market cap of more than Apple’s $2.5 trillion.
But Fedel wasn’t sure he wanted to join Apple when he pitched the idea for the iPod.
“Apple was a very different company at the time,” Fadell told Yahoo Finance. “Many people were unwilling to join [with] Apple. I was definitely not. It took me weeks to figure out if I was really going to join, because this was not the Apple we know today. ,
But Fadell, who is promoting his book “Build: An Unorthodox Guide to Making Things Worth Making,” took the chance. And now Apple is one of the most valuable companies in the world.
However, Fadell didn’t think of the iPod or iPhone overnight. He explained that it took years and a string of failures to reach that point.
“I think the thing I need to look back on is 10 years before moving on” [the iPod] There was failure after failure after failure,” Fadell said. “Whether it’s General Magic or Phillips. The things we talk about, the book we’ve talked about, have all the failures, [it is] So fundamental and so important to be able to move forward in speed and scale with the iPod.”
Tony Fadell helped create the iPod and co-created the iPhone. (Photo by Christoph Morin/IP3/Getty Images)
And if it weren’t for the masters of the time, Fadell says he would not have stood firm. To take this further, he wrote “Build” as a means of advising entrepreneurs collectively.
“The book is an encyclopedia of mentorship,” Fadell explained. “I didn’t want autobiography. I didn’t want that stuff. I really wanted to help people.”
Of course, Fadell has done much more than just make the iPod and iPhone. The engineer also co-founded Nest, which in 2014 sold to Google (GOOG, GOOGL) for $3.2 billion.
The idea for the company, Fadell said, came while he was working at his home in Tahoe. When it came time to install the thermostat, he said he was confused why they all seemed so old and more importantly, why they weren’t, well, smart.
“When it came to the Nest, it was really about the pain of comfort. An ugly device, an absolutely ugly device that nobody loved, nobody cared, they usually hid, they did anything.” Didn’t pay, but it controlled 50% of your household energy bill,” he said.
Nest has since expanded beyond its original thermostat to produce alarms, security cameras, smoke detectors, and many other devices.
It’s safe to say that Fadell is a successful entrepreneur and engineer, but he said, writing “Build” was an entirely new experience.
“I’m not a writer. I’ve never done a book before. But you know, I didn’t make an iPod before. I didn’t make a lot of things,” Fadell said with a laugh.
“You just have to do, fail, learn. So hopefully it won’t fail.”
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