#403: Tony Fadell — On Building the iPod, iPhone, Nest, and a Life of Curiosity
“Get bored. Just put away all of your things. Maybe go clean up the garage or whatever it is. Right? Through that, you're going to start to think differently. You're going to act slightly differently and your mind might open up to other sources of inspiration, other problems...” — Tony Fadell
Tony Fadell (@tfadell), sometimes called "the father of the iPod," is an active investor and entrepreneur with a 30+ year history of founding companies and designing products that profoundly improve people's lives. As the Principal at Future Shape, a global investment and advisory firm coaching engineers and scientists working on foundational deep technology, he is continuing to help bring technology out of the lab and into our lives. Currently, Future Shape is coaching 200+ startups innovating game-changing technologies.
Tony founded Nest Labs, Inc. in 2010 and served as its Chief Executive Officer until his resignation in 2016. He joined Apple Computer Inc. in 2001 and, as the SVP of Apple's iPod division, led the team that created the first 18 generations of the iPod and the first three generations of the iPhone. Tony founded the Mobile Computing Group at Philips Electronics and served as its Chief Technology Officer and Director of Engineering 1995 to 1998, responsible for all aspects of business and product development, including the award-winning Philips Velo and Nino PDAs. From 1998 to 1999, he served as Vice President for Philips Strategy & Venture focused on building out its digital media strategy and investment portfolio. From 1992 to 1995, he served as a Hardware and Software Architect at General Magic, which created the precursor to the iPhone 15 years earlier.
Tony has filed more than 300 patents for his work. In May 2016, Time named the Nest Learning Thermostat, the iPod, and the iPhone three of the "50 Most Influential Gadgets of All Time." Tony graduated with a BS degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Michigan in 1991.
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Past guests on The Tim Ferriss Show include Jerry Seinfeld, Hugh Jackman, Dr. Jane Goodall, LeBron James, Kevin Hart, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Jamie Foxx, Matthew McConaughey, Esther Perel, Elizabeth Gilbert, Terry Crews, Sia, Yuval Noah Harari, Malcolm Gladwell, Madeleine Albright, Cheryl Strayed, Jim Collins, Mary Karr, Maria Popova, Sam Harris, Michael Phelps, Bob Iger, Edward Norton, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Neil Strauss, Ken Burns, Maria Sharapova, Marc Andreessen, Neil Gaiman, Neil de Grasse Tyson, Jocko Willink, Daniel Ek, Kelly Slater, Dr. Peter Attia, Seth Godin, Howard Marks, Dr. Brené Brown, Eric Schmidt, Michael Lewis, Joe Gebbia, Michael Pollan, Dr. Jordan Peterson, Vince Vaughn, Brian Koppelman, Ramit Sethi, Dax Shepard, Tony Robbins, Jim Dethmer, Dan Harris, Ray Dalio, Naval Ravikant, Vitalik Buterin, Elizabeth Lesser, Amanda Palmer, Katie Haun, Sir Richard Branson, Chuck Palahniuk, Arianna Huffington, Reid Hoffman, Bill Burr, Whitney Cummings, Rick Rubin, Dr. Vivek Murthy, Darren Aronofsky, and many more.