Thermostats are mostly unloved. They’ven’t changed since the Seventies or Eighties. And why haven’t they been loved? Nobody has tried to strive for perfection. Generally the installers merely say this is exactly what you need. You don’t shop for the installers like you do for smartphones.
Before that, Fadell devised the prototype of the iPod. Spoke at the Hay Festival, Tony said “My start-up at the time (a company called General Music) was doing digital music, it was 2000, it wasn’t doing well because everything had crashed on the internet. And Apple said, ‘We have this thing called iTunes, we’re burning CDs, we’re playing with MP3 players, what would it look like if Apple made one? We want to task you with that job.’ So I did all the research and made a model, weighted with my grandfather’s fishing weights. With Steve (Jobs), you always had to make three (models), two that were really shite and one you were proud of.”
It was very interesting for him working with Steve Jobs. Literally, hours later, Tony said, he pulled together the storage, the batteries, the schematics and the pricing, put it together in a package, made a Styrofoam model, weighted it with his grandfather’s fishing weights and then made two other models because with Steve you always had to make three – two that were really s***. About seven months later Apple shipped the first iPod.
During the whole time of the development we were so stressed and Apple was really hurting at the time.
There is an Apple DNA.
“We were working on the iPhone at the time, and when I had the iPhone in my hand I thought, wait a second, this is going to be the interface to the world. Thermostats are mostly unloved. Nobody has tried to strive for perfection. When I read books, I read physical books because screens are in front of me all of the time. We celebrated in microseconds. That happened time and again through 18 generations of the iPod.”
“A really wonderful book which will stand the test of time,” Fry says. Fadell gets a word in edgeways. Fry, it has often been noted, is very English: diffident, self-deprecating, endlessly embarrassable, with a horror of dancing. Fry does manage one short question. “Have you driven the Google car?”
Fadell has a short answer, “It’s driven me.”
Anthony Michael “Tony” Fadell (born March 22, 1969) is a Lebanese American inventor, designer, entrepreneur, and angel investor. He served as the Senior Vice President of the iPod Division at Apple Inc., from March 2006 to November 2008 and is known as “one of the dads of the iPod” for his work on the first generations of Apple’s music player. In May 2010, he founded Nest Labs, which announced its first product, the Nest Learning Thermostat. Nest was acquired by Google in January 2014 for $3.2Billion.