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Tony  Fadell

Tony Fadell

Founder & Former CEO, Nest Labs / Former SVP, Apple’s iPod Division


Tony Fadell is an active investor and entrepreneur with over 300 patents under his wing and over a 25-year history of founding companies and designing products that profoundly improve people’s lives. He is an inventor of the iPod and iPhone, and founder and former CEO of Nest Labs, Inc., the company that pioneered the “Internet of things” and created The Nest Learning Thermostat. Nest has been dubbed the "iPhone of thermostats" by Wired, one of the “50 Most Influential Gadgets of All Time” by TIME in 2016, and The New York Times describes it as "gorgeous, elegant and very, very smart." Read More >

Prior to Nest, Fadell served as senior vice president of Apple's iPod division, reporting to Steve Jobs. He was responsible for creating the first 18 generations of the iPod digital music player and the first three generations of the iPhone. In 2001, after eight weeks of researching and designing the iPod product solution as a contractor, he was hired to create and lead the implementation team.

Before joining Apple, Fadell was a co-founder, CTO, and director of engineering of the mobile computing group at Philips Electronics. He architected the award-winning Velo and Nino PDAs, based on the Windows CE Palm PC platform, and later became vice president of business development for Philips US Strategy and Ventures, managing its digital music strategy and investments.

Earlier in his career, Fadell was a hardware and software architect at General Magic working with Sony, Philips, Matsushita, Toshiba, and other consumer electronics firms to develop a line of personal handheld communicators.

He is currently an advisor to and investor in several Silicon Valley startups in the mobile-Internet and greentech industries, helping them craft and implement their business, technical, and product strategies. His latest book, Build, was written for anyone who wants to grow at work and is full of personal stories, practical advice and fascinating insights into some of the most impactful products and people of the 20th century.

In his 20-plus years of experience in the consumer electronics industry, Fadell has authored more than 100 patents.

He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in computer engineering from the University of Michigan in 1991 and won the College of Engineering's alumnus of the year award in 2004. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

The First Secret of Great Design

Passion, Presentation, and Partnership

Bringing Freedom Back Into the Home

The Power of Simplification

Learn by Doing

Speech Topics

The Craft & Passion of Design

The Internet of Things

Innovation: Creating the First iPod

Setting Constraints, Ignoring Experts & Embracing Self-Doubt

What Led to the Design of Ipod, Nest, The Thoughtful Home

Books & Media