How Tony Fadell, the Podfather made Nest thermostat

Although he may not be popular, but he is the brain behind the iPhone and iPod, he conceived the idea, and presented it to Steve Jobs, then, Jobs thinks he need to be hired in Apple. Why his story now? Because he did something very silly, producing new business cooperation, from iPhone to nest thermostat, Meet Tony Fadell, known as the Podfather, he built a programmed thermostat for your home use, named it “Nest”.

Tony Fadell made nest thermostat

From iPod to nest thermostat, meet Tony Fadell, the Podfather

This year’s biggest Europe tech conference, Le Web was hosted in Paris between December 4 – 6, CNN correspondence caught up with Tony Fadell, a former Apple engineer, known as the Podfather.

Tony Fadell consulted for Apple Inc for about 8 – 10 weeks that was when he put together the concept of iPod, after its presentation to the great Steve Jobs, Jobs thinks, this guy has to be hired. The Podfather has been into the mp3 player and handheld computer business since 1990, and in 1991 because of his experience, Apple looked put for him, and this gave birth to about 3 generation of iPhone and 18 generation of iPod, Tony Fadell is really a genius, later he left Apple.

Tony Fadell is a man of the future, so focused and always thinking of how to create products to solve people’s critical problems, that was what gave birth to “nest thermostat”.

nest thermostatImage Credit: CNN

Nest is a thermostat. Nest thermostat is different from other thermostat products in different ways,

1. It can be installed by individual, unlike the other thermostat product that needs an expert engineer to install it for you.

2. It is much more energy saving

3. It is self programmed, it recognizes when you are not at home and goes into an hibernation mode to save power.

Tony Fadell builds nest thermostat when he was trying to put together the most green home to his taste, he is so curious about everything that goes into building a home and a home, from his research, he discovered that the thermostat alone controls about 50 – 60 % of the total home energy costs per year as no one even knows how to use and control them. Recognizing this problem, Tony Fadell said “there must be a solution,” and in the area of competition, there is no much competition in this class of product. He called out one of the best in the iPod team to become the nest thermostat co-founder that was Matt Rogers.

Tony Fadell never forgot the lesson he learnt from Steve Jobs, he said, Jobs is always asking questions, always demanding and pushing for more, he appreciates your design, but with quality, he was so concerned about the consumer experience, which is what Apple stands for. Any other person can make the iPod or iPhone, but what comes of it when consumers unbox the device, every consumer touchpoints was so critical to Steve Jobs.

It was a challenge and looks insane when Tony Fadell said what next to do is “nest thermostat”, a thermostat, someone who is already known in the iPod business, he confessed that even his wife reaction was; “Tony, are you nuts?” But this is a man that knew what was at stake and really wants to solve this problem. Now the good news is with the nest thermostat breakthrough, a lot of people suffering in silence is appreciating the concept, imagine installing a thermostat all by yourself. Even an 80 year old wrote a tutorial on how he installed his.

The differences between nest thermostat and regular thermostat is that, it saves energy, only about 10-11% of US residents would ever program their thermostat just once to save energy, because it is a complicated process, what Tony Fadell and his team did was that they watch the way people uses their thermostat, it goes on when you wake up in the morning, and off when you go out, when you arrive in the evening, you turn it on again and finally when you go to bed, you turn it down, also they studied the weekend usage and came out with “Autoschedule” device on nest thermostat. They got a survey that 99% of devices that has schedules save energy unlike the previous 11%.

Sometimes when you go out and forgot to turn down your thermostat, there are sensors in there that will know you are not around and turn down based on your configuration.

The third measure nest thermostat came with is that, the cooling and heating system has different controls to make it more efficient. For example, in the air conditioning, the “Airwave” can save 30% of run time conveniently without affecting the comfort whatsoever.

One of the interesting thing about the nest thermostat product is that it was made only available for the US and Canada market, but Fadell has got a report that it is available in 63 other countries because of the efficacy of the product. The product went as far as selling more than he expected. “Nest thermostat,” what a breakthrough?

The target buyers for Nest thermostat is the new home owners, freshly married maybe with a child, but it went ahead to sell beyond the audience in mind.

Tony Fadell did not forget to mention that, the nest thermostat is already having rivals filing lawsuit, he claimed that it is not a new thing going to court for a product, he does that almost every week during the time he was running the iPhone and iPod. He said it is a sign that you have made a cutting edge product. An example was the lawsuit filed by thermostat maker, Honeywell, that nest thermostat has violated a patent infringement, but the US patent office made a ruling that the allegation is false.

The nest thermostat, this is an innovation, and from Tony Fadell popularly known with the iPhone and iPods, is there anything complicating in being dynamic as this man?

Make a shout out to Tony and give me your comment in the box below!





Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.