iPod Creator, Tony Fadell, Gives Keyote at CEDIA 2013

Tony Fadell, creator of the iPod and iPhone, and now founder of the Nest learning thermostat, was the keynote speaker at this year’s CEDIA Expo. Along with promoting the new open API for developers to create home control apps that work with Nest. He discussed his career beginning with the failure of the Sony Magic Link PDA in 1994 followed by mild success with Philips PDAs. He put his failures behind him and went on to create the first iPod and later the iPhone. "Sometimes I have to pinch myself," Fadell admitted, saying he felt fortunate to be part of technology that changed the world.

The invention of the iPad (not a Tony Fadell creation) changed the custom installation industry because control for devices in the home could be done from an app. iPad controls are easier to design and easier for customers to use on a tablet device that they are accustomed to using for other areas of their life. Already, it is clear that iPads, more than any other tablet are dominant here at the CEDIA Expo.

Fadell gave advice to electronics designers based on what he learned from his past failures and successes. “Just because you can add a feature doesn’t mean you should,” he explained referring to the failure of the Magic LInk that included every available feature for its time. He said that manufacturers should keep their device simple and easy to use. He gave marketing advice based on the enormous success of the iPod. Fadell said that designers should create a device that solves a problem, then market the device by telling consumers they have that problem. Here's hoping some savvy device designers heard his recommendation for products that solve problems and are simple to use. I love simple.