20 Product: iPhone Creator, Tony Fadell on Marketing Lessons Learned from Steve Jobs, What is Truly Great Product Marketing, How The Best Product Teams Do Post-Mortems and Product Reviews & Is Product Art or Science, Data or Gut?

Posted on 11th May 2022 by Harry

Tony Fadell, often referred to as the father of the iPod is one of the leading product thinkers of the last 30 years as one of the makers of some of the most game-changing products in society from the iPhone and iPod to more recently founding Nest, creating the Nest Thermostat, leading to their $3.2BN acquisition by Google. Tony recently released Build, this is a masterclass taking 30 years of product and company building lessons and packaging them for you, check it out here.

In Today’s Episode with Tony Fadell:

1.) Everything Great Starts Small:

  • How did Tony make his way into the world of product in the early days?
  • What were his biggest takeaways from the massive flop of General Magic?
  • How did Tony come to Apple and what were the early creation days of iPod and iPhone?

2.) Data and Brand:

  • Does Tony believe great product building is art or science? When should teams listen to their gut vs the data?
  • When was a time that Tony listened to his gut? When was a time Tony listened to the data? How did each situation evolve and turn out?
  • How does Tony think about creating a truly special first mile experience? Where do so many companies go wrong in the first mile today?
  • How does Tony balance between business decisions (COGs etc) and product decisions that will delight customers?

3.) Lessons from Steve Jobs on Product Marketing:

  • How does Tony define great product management? Why do so many people get it wrong?
  • What are Tony’s biggest lessons from working with Steve Jobs on what makes great product marketing?
  • Where does Tony see so many companies make the biggest mistakes when it comes to messaging?
  • What is the difference between messaging, marketing and communications?

4.) Hiring Product Teams:

  • What are the clearest signals of the best product talent when interviewing them?
  • What questions does Tony always ask product people to determine quality?
  • How do great product teams remain upbeat when launches fail and remain modest when they are wildly successful?

5.) Apple Watch, iPod and Apple HiFi:

  • Why was the product messaging for the Apple Watch wrong in the early days? How did it change?
  • Why was the iPod a bad business until the 3rd Generation? What changed?
  • Why did the Apple HiFi fail? How did that impact Tony’s mindset?

Mentioned in Today’s Episode with Tony Fadell:

Tony’s Favourite Book: Only the Paranoid Survive

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