Tony Fadell, the father of the iPod, says Apple saw the death of the iPod coming.
In 2004, at the height of the original iPod’s success, Apple started asking itself internally what would eventually kill the iPod. Whatever it was, Cupertino wanted to make sure they stayed ahead of the curve.
What did Apple think would doom the iPod? According to ex-iPod-chief Tony Fadell, Cupertino called it correctly: Music streaming would eventually kill the iPod. But Apple didn’t call it streaming, or even music in the cloud. They called it the “celestial music jukebox.”
From the sound of things, Nest CEO Tony Fadell learned quite a bit from working with Steve Jobs.
There may only have been one Steve Jobs, but a recent article from Fast Company draws some interesting parallels between Jobs and Nest CEO, Tony Fadell — previously known as the Apple employee most synonymous with the iPod.
Alongside his obsessive focus on perfection and simplicity, the article notes that Fadell even lives in the same same neighborhood that Jobs once did.
One interesting passage that stands out describes Fadell’s Jobsian approach to management at Nest:
Like Nests’s futuristic thermostat, its iPhone-controlled smoke/carbon monoxide detector looked like the perfect replacement for the antiquated systems used in most homes today. It turns out that the Nest Protect was a little too good to be true.
Since the device went on sale in November of last year, Nest has discovered that one of the Protect’s hallmark features can malfunction. And that happens to create big safety concerns. Until the issue is resolved, Nest Protect sales have halted.
This time on the CultCast: Google buys Nest and their 100 ex-Apple employees, but why? Aaron Sorkin’s Jobs biopic finally gets a script, Kutcher’s Jobs just gets a Razzie nod; plus, iOS finally gets a full-size gaming controller!
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A lot of the speculation is paranoid: Google wants to track everyone offline as well as online, and Nest’s thermostat and smoke alarms give the Googleplex motion sensors right in peoples’ homes.
But wouldn’t Apple be a more natural fit for the home-automation startup? Nest was co-founded by two former Apple staffers, Tony Fadell and Matt Rogers. Fadell was one the fathers of the iPod — a key hardware engineer who led the music player’s development over 17 generations. Rogers was one of Fadell’s top lieutenants.
With great design and easy interfaces, Nest’s combination of hardware and internet software services makes its products very Apple-like. And as home automation is poised to take off (thanks largely to the iPhone and iPad), Apple is surely interested in this potentially huge market.
So why didn’t Apple didn’t pick up the company? Maybe it’s because Jony Ive, Apple’s head designer, was responsible for getting Tony Fadell pushed out of Cupertino.
A lot of us were surprised that Apple didn’t even put up a fight to outbid Google for Nest – co-founded by Tony Fadell aka, the Father of the iPod – and its army of smarthome employees. Not only did Google score Nest’s innovative smart-thermostat and smoke detector in the $3.2 billion deal, but in an age where quality talent is getting harder to come by, the company also scooped up 100 ex-Apple employees in the process.
Tony Fadell, father of the original iPod and creator of the Nest home thermostat, sparked all kinds of speculation earlier this week after appearing in photos posted to Twitter alongside Jony Ive’s (RED) Mac Pro and rose gold Earpods, which were recently sold at a Sotheby’s charity auction for just under $1.5 million.
The winners of the auctioned items haven’t been publicly disclosed, but it appears that Tony Fadell, the creator of the original iPod and Nest thermostat, may have been the highest bidder for both the Mac Pro and Earpods.