The opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
You're reading Entrepreneur Middle East, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.
You may be reading this article as a descendant of a device that Tony Fadell helped design. As you know, Mr. Fadell was once the senior vice president of his iPod division at Apple. His team created the first his 18th generation iPod and the first his 3rd generation iPhone. After he left the American multinational corporation, he served as the founder and CEO of Nest Lab, a pioneer in the Internet of Things (IoT). Through his career trajectory, he has authored over 300 patents and is known today as an investor. He is an entrepreneur with over 30 years of expertise. Mr. Fadel is currently the President of Build Collective, an investment advisory firm that mentors deep tech startups, where he currently mentors over 200 startups innovating innovative technologies.
Therefore, it is safe to say that Fadel has gleaned many valuable insights from his entrepreneurial journey, and one such observation led him to start a conversation with me and say, . That's the only way to really learn. Try, fail, and learn. He further emphasizes this premise by saying, “Most businesses don't succeed because they come up with a good idea and execute it properly. , and kept changing it.” They understand that “perfection” is the enemy of “greatness” and that they need to keep iterating to find success. It's not the first time it happens, it probably happens from time to time. But most of the time, sometimes it's not, so you have to be prepared for that. ”
And perhaps this is why Fadel emphasizes the importance of becoming an entrepreneur as early as possible in your professional trajectory. “You should start your entrepreneurial career early, and don't think that you can become an entrepreneur after working for a big company for 10 years,” he says. “You really have to step up from large companies to small businesses to startups. And don't be afraid to be alone, because the biggest thing about being an entrepreneur is being alone for a while. And you're going to be a small team. ” Note that Fadel is speaking from his experience here. He is clearly not one to preach without practicing himself. “When I was younger, I was chasing all the great ideas,” he says. “What I learned very early on is that it takes a team. Don't be religious about every idea. Look at an idea from different angles and figure out where it might break. And we need a team to help us try to make it happen 'better.' Fadell added that having a mentor to guide you through the process is essential, saying, “These are some really important things I've learned over the decades of building things.'' “It was,” he concludes.
Well, Fadel certainly built A lot of things happened, but not all of them went well. It worked on the Japanese multinational Sony and the now-defunct US-based General Magic and Magic Link (basically the forerunner of today's smartphones), and later on similar projects with the Dutch multinational Philips. After working on concepts Vero and Nino, he ended up with Apple, and the rest is history. So when it comes to product development, Fadel advocates first identifying and addressing consumer pain points, and he knows what he's talking about. “For me, it all starts with pain,” he explains. “Where is the pain? Where is it obvious? Where is it hidden? Go and solve it, make a painkiller. If you can, not only make a painkiller, but can you create a superpower? ?Give the person a superpower. “They can do the job in a way that makes them feel special.'' New technology allows them to solve problems in a different way than before.? That's what happened with the iPod. That's what happened with the iPod.'' iPhone, iTunes, App Store. The same thing happened with Nest. ”
Founded in 2010 and launching its first product, the Nest Learning Thermostat, Nest Labs was eventually acquired by Google in 2014 for $3.2 billion, and Fadel left the company a few years later. He is candid about his exit strategy, whether the company is acquired or goes public, and acknowledges that acquisitions are a difficult challenge due largely to culture clashes. “Acquisitions fail 80 to 85 percent of the time because the corporate culture is not aligned,” he says. “That's because the underlying team being acquired doesn't mesh with the other teams. Then when you go the initial public offering (IPO) route, you get a whole new set of masters and a quarter-to-quarter cycle.… I wish I could tell you something good…but maybe you can find an acquirer with a great culture that perfectly matches yours, and maybe in some way you You might be able to do an IPO in a different way and not be influenced by the quarterly vagaries of the market.”
Fadel currently leads Build Collective (formerly known as Future Shapes), an impact investing company. The company's website states that it “invests money and time to support engineers and scientists who are building a greener world where everyone can enjoy longer, richer lives.” ing. As such, the firm's investment philosophy focuses on deep technology innovations that have the potential to disrupt key industries. “We are deep technology investors, which means we are looking for fundamental technology changes at a fundamental level, such as quantum computing and artificial intelligence (AI),” Fadell explains. “Something like that could disrupt a big industry. So we think the Internet is a big change, just like digital music was a big change, data networks were a big change. We're aiming for big industries that can be disrupted by technological change, just as they were. Big change. These are the kinds of businesses we really like, and they're focused on climate, health, and society. It needs to be set.”
In 2022, Fadel will Build: An unconventional guide to building something of value, a book in which he shares advice and anecdotal insights about products that influenced the 20th century. And when asked about future impacts, Fadel emphasized that entrepreneurs have a responsibility to consider climate change and other issues currently affecting the world. “Everyone needs to understand whether they are part of the problem or part of the solution,” he points out flatly. Here, Fadell emphasizes that while it doesn't matter if your business isn't specifically related to climate action, every entrepreneur has a role to play. “Any business can do this, it can be done at home,” he says. “You don’t have to be directly in the carbon capture business to make a change…you just have to make a change.”
In 2022, Fadell published a book, Build: An Anorthodox Guide to Making Things Worth Making, in which he shares advice and anecdotal insights about products that influenced the 20th century.Source: Build Collective
And change is coming, he points out. “Everything that humans have built on this planet, everything that is non-living, has to be blown up and started over again. Whether it flies, floats, runs on land, everything is going to change. We can already change the way we farm, how we make chemicals, what kinds of chemicals we make, many fundamental changes that have been created over the last 150 years. That means everything about how we do things changes. The companies running these businesses will change. we must do so. It's an existential question. we must do so. Because we need to keep customers on the planet buying things. We must think about climate change from the perspective of . What happens in business and the business world? “So it's clear that this change is a good thing. We're going to have to do it. We have to do it. And it's going to be great for business.”
Looking to the future, Fadell is optimistic about the potential of emerging technologies such as AI and quantum computing, especially in areas such as agriculture, healthcare and social needs. “What I'm really interested in are new technologies for agriculture, building materials and medicine,” says the entrepreneur. Here, Mr. Fadell shares examples of the companies he works with. “I'm on the board of a company called Orionis, and we have a cancer vaccine that we've been developing for years,” he said. “Actually, I'm in the middle of an exam. [right now], and it's working. We're working with another company called Prenuvo, which does whole-body magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanning, to reinvent the way we achieve health and wellness outside of traditional systems. That's what I've done at Apple and Nest and throughout my career in devices. We take technology and apply it to a variety of fields outside the general information technology and computing realm, such as agriculture, health, social needs, and climate. . That's what's really interesting. ”
As for the future, Fadel says he remains committed to supporting impact startups through Build Collective, which is why he wrote his book to give back to the ecosystem. Masu. “We will continue to invest in, mentor and support companies that we think will change the world,” he said of the former, adding that the book served a dual role of catharsis for him, as well as He added that it solved the problem. He has compiled his advice for businesses in one place. “It's just so rewarding. You get to really help people. That's the goal,” he says. “Also, I don't make money every time I sell a book. Every book sold goes to a climate change fund for new startups.” We provide advice to entrepreneurs rooted in the concepts of localization and community engagement. “Solve local problems,” he says. “Everyone thinks, 'Oh, I'm going to run a Silicon Valley company and solve Silicon Valley problems.' No, there are problems all over the region that can be solved. Go looking and solve those problems at scale, bring in technology from other parts of the world and bring it there to solve local problems. Deliver painkillers to people.”
Related: Changing mindsets: Growing a culture of impact investing in the MENA region