Tony Fadell, the CEO of Nest thermostat and former designer on Apple’s iPod team, has revealed his list of secrets that inspire designers to make amazing products. Speaking at the Bloomberg Design conference this week, Fadell said it was important for companies to try to create a culture where everyone is striving to tell the same story.
Fadell was asked about the differences between Apple and Phillips. He said at financially-driven companies like Phillips, a majority of the products a designer works on will never be shipped — and the designer knows that. It’s customary for new project managers to come in, not understand a product, and scrap it entirely. Fadell says this type of corporate culture does spur designers to do their best work since nine times out of ten a product would be killed no matter how far along it was.
Apple, on the other hand, virtually always ships nine out of ten products that get to a certain point, according to Fadell. And because those workers were trying to tell the same story with a product — no matter if they were in design, or programming, or marketing — a product isn’t totally derailed if a new manager comes in. “When you’re in a culture that has a point of view, and drives to launch everything it does, you know you’re on the hook and you better bring your best game every time,” Fadell said.