Hello my friends,
This week we’re going to take a break from the usual format and focus on something, that if you enjoy CMMN WLTH, you will love.
When Tony Fadell, the ‘father of the iPod and iPhone’ and the founder of Nest Learning Thermostat, announced back in December that he was releasing a book, it immediately went on my pre-order list.
We often use Apple products as inspiration, perhaps believing that they are inevitable. In reality, Tony and his team at Apple and Nest faced the same challenges we all do.
Build is not only inspiring but comforting — acknowledging that creating great products is hard.
Here are 10 things I’ve learned so far:
Before creating the iPod and iPhone Tony had his fair share of failures. Each one was painful but, “failure is the only way to learn — especially if you’re creating something the world has never seen before.”
Select a career based on what you can learn, not how much you make.
Follow your curiosity. What are you naturally interested in? Assume that early on most of your choices will be bad ones and the companies you join will likely fail.
Do, fail, learn 🔁
Have a goal.
“Strive for something big and hard and important to you.”
Take risks to achieve it, especially if you’re young.
Prove yourself, but don’t kill yourself. Put in the time and learn as much as you can. Stay late, come in early, work over the weekend sometimes. Let the passion for what you’re building drive you.
An all-star team with all-star funding doesn’t guarantee success.
General Magic had the smartest people, the media reputation and the money but failed to create products that solved real world problems.
“If you make it, they will come” doesn’t always work.
Join a company that is starting a revolution.
“If you’re going to throw your time, energy and youth at a company, try to join one that’s not just making a better mousetrap.”
Make sure they are solving a real pain point and there is a large existing market.
Once you find it, take whatever job you can.
Don’t worry about the title. Get a foot in the door, you’ll find opportunities to grow.
Don’t become a management consultant.
“To do great things, to really learn, you can’t shout suggestions from the rooftop then move on while someone else does the work.”
Get your hands dirty.
Do, fail, learn 🔁
Meet your Heroes.
Hunt down the best people in your field. Send them a DM or e-mail.
“The key is persistence and being helpful. Not just asking for something, but offering something.”
Attention to detail isn’t micromanagement.
Care deeply about the quality of work you and your team are producing.
“I remember Steve Jobs bringing out a jeweler’s loupe and looking at individual pixels […].” Set high standards by doing, not KPIs.
We’ll return to regular programming next week.
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