Great tech innovators: Tony Fadell

Great tech innovators: Tony Fadell
Great tech innovators: Tony Fadell
  • Age: 46
  • Company: Nest Labs
  • Best known for: Being the 'father of the iPod', creating IoT poster child Nest
  • Quote: "The Internet of Things? I hate that phrase. It is horrible."

When TechRadar interviewed Tony Fadell about Nest in 2013, before his company was bought by Google, he gave us an interesting insight into why he creates the products he does. He wants to reinvent the unloved things in the home and giving them a new lease of life.

The fruits of this can be seen in his early career. In 1995, after a stint as a diagnostics engineer, he joined Philips as the CTO of the company's mobile computing group and brought about strengthening Philips' mobile products - an area that was much unloved at the time. This was followed by the creation of his first company, Fuse, where he began developing a mobile music player.

After unsuccessfully getting a product to launch, he was snapped up by Apple where his idea formed the backbone of the iPod - a device that reinvented another everyday item, the portable music player, and subsequently changed the face of the technology industry.

Given the success of the product he soon found himself Senior Vice President of Apple's iPod division, a role he held until 2008.

Leaving Apple for many would be seen as the end of a career, for Fadell it was just the beginning. Within two years he had set up Nest Labs and created a learning thermostat and smart smoke alarm. Yet again, everyday items reinvented and given a new lease of life.

Fadell is currently heading up the new development of Google Glass which is another every... you get the idea.

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Marc Chacksfield

Marc Chacksfield is the Editor In Chief, at DC Thomson. He started out life as a movie writer for numerous (now defunct) magazines and soon found himself online - editing a gaggle of gadget sites, including TechRadar, Digital Camera World and Tom's Guide UK. At Shortlist you'll find him mostly writing about movies and tech, so no change there then.