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iPod Father Tony Fadell 'Would Have Loved' to Show Nest to Steve Jobs

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Apr 12, 2001
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Nest creator Tony Fadell, who formerly worked at Apple before starting Nest Labs and launching both a connected thermostat and smoke detector, has shared some details on both his experience at Apple and his encounters with Steve Jobs in a lengthy profile and interview with Fortune.

Dubbed one of the "fathers of the iPod," Fadell started at Apple in 2001, moving on to become SVP of the company's iPod division from 2006 to 2008, where he helped produce early versions of the music player. Fadell clashed with Jobs and other executives at times, and says he had to "repeatedly quit" to get his way at the company.
One time, after key members of his iPod team had been raided for another Apple project, Fadell informed Jobs he was done, and the CEO asked him to stay, telling Fadell he was overreacting. "I said, 'I'm not overreacting.' I told him I was out. If you didn't stand up for yourself, no one else would." (Fadell says he recanted at least two resignations, having gotten his way each time.)
Jobs and Fadell reportedly had a relationship that "alternated between the father/son and school principal/naughty student archetypes." Fadell often argued with Jobs, who thought Fadell "asked too many questions," which would frustrate him. Fadell left Apple after marrying Danielle Lambert, a human resources executive who worked as a "super-key" recruiter.

Fadell, who launched a stealth startup in home automation in 2010 that eventually lead to the ultra popular Nest, says that he wishes he had been able to tell Jobs about Nest. While they spoke about Fadell's startup, Jobs was very ill when the Nest was ready to launch.
By the time Fadell was ready to share more in the summer of 2011, however, Jobs had grown gravely ill, and he died several weeks later. "I would have loved to have been able to show it to him, but the timing didn't work," he says. Jobs presumably would have been proud of Fadell. And he almost certainly would have asked a lot of questions.
Nest went on to be acquired by Google in January of 2014, in a deal that netted the company $3.2 billion. Though now a Google employee, Fadell continues to operate Nest independently, budgeting one day a week to visit Google and learn how it can help Nest in the long run.

The full profile of Tony Fadell, which includes more information on his history, the development of Nest, and his time at Apple, can be read over at Fortune.

Article Link: iPod Father Tony Fadell 'Would Have Loved' to Show Nest to Steve Jobs
 

theheadguy

macrumors 65816
Apr 26, 2005
1,133
1,342
california
I would have loved for Jobs to have seen it. But, in a way I'm glad he didn't. If Apple saw the product, they would have bought Nest and the product wouldn't have come to market.
 
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ActionableMango

macrumors G3
Sep 21, 2010
9,603
6,856
It seems like a neat product. It's too bad he sold out to Google. Undoubtedly Nest will serve Google ads some day.

Before you laugh or call BS on me, it's right in Google's letter to the SEC:

For example, a few years from now, we and other companies could be serving ads and other content on refrigerators, car dashboards, thermostats, glasses, and watches, to name just a few possibilities.

What a terrible vision of the future.
 
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GubbyMan

macrumors 6502
Apr 3, 2011
332
1,113
I'm sure Steve would have been proud to hear that Nest was bought by Google. /s
 
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dazed

macrumors 6502a
Jun 23, 2007
908
205
Good luck to him. He had a vision and developed it into billions of $$

As if no one here would sell their business to Google if the price was right. :rolleyes:
 
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Rogifan

macrumors Core
Nov 14, 2011
22,249
27,950
Why do I get the feeling Fadell is probably one of the reasons Apple didn't go after Nest? I've always wondered why Steve brought in Mark Papermaster (whose roll eventually transferred to Bob Mansfield) rather than giving the job to Fadell. Perhaps they didn't get along and that's one reason Fadell left?
 
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aarond12

macrumors 65816
May 20, 2002
1,112
51
Dallas, TX USA
This is why I recently purchased a Honeywell thermostat. Yeah it doesn't do all of what the Nest does, but it's enough. And Google won't know when I'm home or not. :mad:
 
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PBG4 Dude

macrumors 68040
Jul 6, 2007
3,180
2,559
Why do I get the feeling Fadell is probably one of the reasons Apple didn't go after Nest? I've always wondered why Steve brought in Mark Papermaster (whose roll eventually transferred to Bob Mansfield) rather than giving the job to Fadell. Perhaps they didn't get along and that's one reason Fadell left?

Fadell's version of iPhone OS lost to Forstall's version of iPhone OS.
 
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ronwasserman

macrumors regular
Mar 6, 2008
143
29
Los Angeles
Good luck to him. He had a vision and developed it into billions of $$

As if no one here would sell their business to Google if the price was right. :rolleyes:

Exactly. Apple lost a visionary when this guy left. Who knows? perhaps there would be something else new and useful he would have created...now it will be a Google product.
 
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Rogifan

macrumors Core
Nov 14, 2011
22,249
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Fadell's version of iPhone OS lost to Forstall's version of iPhone OS.

Except Fadell's bio on Nest's website says he led the team that developed the first 3 generations of iPhone.

https://nest.com/about/
Tony led the team that created the first 18 generations of the iPod and the first three generations of the iPhone. Before Apple, Tony built the Mobile Computing Group at Philips Electronics. Tony has authored more than 300 patents. He graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelors in Computer Engineering.

----------

Exactly. Apple lost a visionary when this guy left. Who knows? perhaps there would be something else new and useful he would have created...now it will be a Google product.

My question still stands: Fadell was head of the iPod division at Apple. If he was so valuable, why did Jobs go external and hire Papermaster instead of giving Fadell that job?
 
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Leonard1818

macrumors 68020
Nov 15, 2011
2,459
401
I would have loved for Jobs to have seen it. But, in a way I'm glad he didn't. If Apple saw the product, they would have bought Nest and the product wouldn't have come to market.

Wow, that's quite some insight you've got there. :D
 
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mdriftmeyer

macrumors 68040
Feb 2, 2004
3,298
1,023
Pacific Northwest
Fadell's version of iPhone OS lost to Forstall's version of iPhone OS.

Fadell lost the moment the guy suggested Linux. He didn't do his homework. We vetted Linus to work on the Darwin Kernel during Rhapsody days, and Torvalds wanted autonomy over a seasoned team of experts far more knowledgeable than himself.

He wasn't hired. And Steve quickly shut down the MkLinux project, after we bootstrapped Openstep/Rhapsody to PPC.
 
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KazKam

macrumors 6502
Oct 25, 2011
492
1,649
Fadell sold out. Can't wait until my Nest starts showing me ads.

I love(d) my Nest, but the day after the announcement they sold out to Google, I disconnected it from the network. Now it's just a beautiful dumb-thermostat, but at least I can still use it (minus remote management and reports) and no data is being sent to/from Nest/Google.

It's a shame, really. Nest didn't sell their product to Google, they sold the trust of their customers, and that was a really slimy thing to do. Ah well, I'd probably sell the soul of my beloved creation and the trust of my customers for $3.2B also.
 
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Kariya

macrumors 68000
Nov 3, 2010
1,820
10
Nest is now a collectors item thats largely fading out after initial fan fare
 
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C DM

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Oct 17, 2011
51,388
19,428
I love(d) my Nest, but the day after the announcement they sold out to Google, I disconnected it from the network. Now it's just a beautiful dumb-thermostat, but at least I can still use it (minus remote management and reports) and no data is being sent to/from Nest/Google.

It's a shame, really. Nest didn't sell their product to Google, they sold the trust of their customers, and that was a really slimy thing to do. Ah well, I'd probably sell the soul of my beloved creation and the trust of my customers for $3.2B also.
Somehow most people likely don't care if Google knows that they are heating or cooling their place.
 
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