From Co-inventing iPod to Founding Nest Labs, Tony Fadell Continues to Break New Ground

From Co-inventing iPod to Founding Nest Labs, Tony Fadell Continues to Break New Ground
The Siliconreview
31 August, 2018

Anthony Michael Tony Fadell, 49, is an American entrepreneur who is behind the success of Nest Labs – a home automation specialist company. Mr. Fadell’s ability to see the practical implementations of the Internet of Things in products is what drives the company to success – he’s on the IoT experts list for a reason.  

Tony Fadell is known for iPod; considered as one of the fathers for his work on the first generations of Apple’s music player. He served as the senior VP of the iPod division at Apple Inc., from March 2006 to November 2008. Later, in May 2010, he incorporated Nest Labs, which released its pilot product – the Nest Learning Thermostat – in October 2011. In 2014, the company was taken over by Google for over $3 billion. Mr. Fadell, since early 2015, led the Google Glass division until he filed his resignation in June 2016.

Mr. Fadell earned a degree from the University of Michigan with a BS in Computer Engineering in 1991.

Pursuing Career Success             

Tony Fadell was the Chief Executive Officer of Constructive Instruments while still at the university. The company marketed MediaText – a multimedia composition software for children. After the completion of the degree, he worked for General Magic (considered Apple spinoff) for three years. While at General Magic he worked for clients such as Toshiba, Philips, Matsushita, Sony and other such firms to develop a line of personal handheld communicators.

As a diagnostics engineer and systems architect, back in 1992, Mr. Fadell was responsible for the development of a number of technologies and devices such as Sony Magic Link and Motorola Envoy – both of which were part of the Magic Cap platform. The platform is a discontinued object-oriented operating system for PDAs developed by the Apple spinoff. Mr. Fadell was in charge of the platform.

In the year 1995, Philips hired Mr. Fadell where he co-founded their Mobile Computing Group and worked as the CTO and Director of Engineering. He is the reason behind developing a number of Windows CE-based hand-held services namely the Philips Velo and Nino PDA. Later, Mr. Fadell was crowned VP of Philips Strategy and Ventures where he was responsible for developing Philips’ digital audio strategy.

Mr. Fadell, in 1999, set up his own business venture called Fuse – to develop the ‘Dell of the Consumer Electronics’. The company did well in the beginning, however, failed to keep the momentum.

A couple of years later, Mr. Fadell started working for the smartphone maker Apple in 2001, as mentioned above. Later, he took charge of overseeing the design and production of the iPod and iSight devices. Eventually, in November 2008, Mr. Fadell resigned from Apple – his departure was confirmed by WSJ.

In 2010, Mr. Fadell along with his former Apple colleague Matt Rogers co-established Nest Labs, Inc in Palo Alto, California.

Mr. Fadell has over 20 years of experience in the consumer electronics Industry and has authored more than 300 patents.

Proud Moment

Mr. Fadell was honoured with Alva Award, acknowledging him as ‘the next great serial inventor’. He was also recognised by Vanity Fair as a trailblazer on their 2012 Next Establishment list. In 2013, Business Insider recognised him as one of its ‘Top 75 Designers in Technology’ list. Also, Fast Company identified him as one of its ‘100 Most Creative People’ and CNBC’s ‘Top 50 Disruptors’ lists.

“The truth is, homes change over time – and technology has to adapt, not try to do everything at once.”