Essays/linkedin/24-01-11 build tony fadell

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📚 Just finished reading "Build", a book I strongly recommend to anyone pursuing a career involving products: from entrepreneurs to managers. These are some of my thoughts...

Tony Fadell has made a career developing hardware products, from early attempts at smartphones to the iPod and the iPhone. Then he co-founded Nest, which was acquired by Google.

The book sounds like what a coach or a mentor would say, which makes it ideal as a reference book at many different career stages.

It's a no BS approach, straight to the point.

Not everything in Tony Fadell's career was straightforward, nor successes piled on one after the other. The honesty that the book transmits is what made it such a valuable read.

  • Managing is a discipline, not a skill. Anyone can learn to be a manager, not everyone will enjoy it. Once you become a manager, you'll stop doing what you enjoyed doing.
  • There are two types of decisions: opinion-based and data-based. The first should be taken by the manager swiftly, the latter should give no room for opinion.
  • There are many assholes in the world. This chapter, I won't spoil because it is a good one.
  • Make the intangible tangible: learn what aspects of the product are worth prototyping and testing as early as possible, including tech support, documentation, or the store where things will be sold.
  • We should learn to practice delayed intuition. Let ideas that look good rest before committing.
  • Unbecoming CEO is a challenging transition. Sometimes it is a personal one, sometimes it is forced upon us. In any case, it is important to hear the stories of others who have stepped away from such roles, and that we can use as examples of what comes next.

Of course, this is the tip of the iceberg of what the book covers. There are many, many more gems, which I have summarized here:


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Aquiles Carattino
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