Tony Fadell has a new product. Maybe you’ve heard of some of his previous ones. While at Apple, Fadell was the key creator of the iPod and a critical early contributor to the iPhone. When he left to cofound Nest, he brought his design sensibilities–and his green consciousness–to the connected home market, first with a trailblazing smart thermostat and then an innovative smoke alarm. Not bad.
Fadell’s new product requires no installation. It’s a book, and it distills his lessons from 35 years in the field. Called Build: An Unorthodox Guide to Making Things Worth Making, it instructs readers on building careers, products, companies—and themselves. He draws examples from his life as a Michigan kid determined to win the respect of snooty Stanford engineers and entrepreneurs. He shares his experiences with the legendary career coach Bill Campbell, to help others push their startups past the unicorn line. (One tip: Get a real coach.) If his readers never make it there, at least they can get a vicarious kick from Fadell’s advice on how to handle an obstreperous board of directors.
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