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iPod engineer Fadell on how to develop successful products

colinneagle (2544914) writes | about a year and a half ago

Apple 0

colinneagle (2544914) writes "Tony Fadell played an instrumental part in Apple's resurgence. Indeed, Fadell joined Apple in February 2001 where he got to work designing the original iPod. As an engineer who has worked on a number of products for a variety of tech-oriented companies, Fadell is in a good position to assess just what makes Apple's design process different from the rest of the pack.

Speaking at the Bloomberg Design Conference this week, Fadell explained that a key and yet often overlooked difference between Apple and other tech companies is that Apple ships 99% of the products that pass certain internal milestones. By way of contrast, during Fadell's tenure at Philips — where he was charged with overseeing the company's audio strategy — the iPod guru noted that Philips would axe 9 projects out of 10, even if a particular product was about to ship.

"When you’re in a culture that has a point of view, and drives to launch everything it does, you know you’re on the hook and you better bring your best game every time," Fadell explained.

In a previous interview, Fadell also explained that his superiors at Philips were all business managers who looked exclusively at numbers. That mindset, Fadell explained, does not lend itself to innovation."

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