December 2022

Build: An Unorthodox Guide to Making Things Worth Making

— Learn from the co-founder of Nest and former senior vice president at Apple, Tony Fadell, about his unique approach to building successful products and companies in "Build: An Unorthodox Guide to Making Things Worth Making," featuring a range of perspectives from industry leaders like the co-founder of Airbnb and the CEO of Slack.
Build: An Unorthodox Guide to Making Things Worth Making
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Build: An Unorthodox Guide to Making Things Worth Making by Tony Fadell is a must-read for anyone interested in creating products that matter. Fadell, the co-founder of Nest and a former senior vice president at Apple, shares his unique approach to building successful products and companies through a series of interviews with other industry leaders and his own personal experiences.

One of the key themes of the book is the importance of starting with a clear vision and purpose. Fadell emphasizes the need to be crystal clear on what problem you are solving and why it matters. This may seem obvious, but it's easy to get caught up in the excitement of building something new and lose sight of the bigger picture. By staying focused on the problem you are trying to solve, you can avoid getting sidetracked and ensure that your efforts are truly worthwhile.

Another key takeaway from the book is the importance of iteration and continuous improvement. Fadell stresses the importance of using prototyping and testing to constantly refine and improve your product. He encourages readers to embrace a "test and learn" mentality and be willing to pivot and make changes as needed. This approach allows you to build something that truly meets the needs of your customers and sets you apart from the competition.

Fadell also touches on the importance of building a strong team and culture. He stresses the need to surround yourself with people who share your vision and values, and to create an environment that fosters collaboration and innovation. By building a strong team and culture, you can create a foundation for success that will help you weather the ups and downs of the startup world.

Another key aspect of building successful products and companies is having a clear and effective business model. Fadell talks about the need to understand your target market, find a unique value proposition, and create a sustainable revenue stream. He also emphasizes the importance of being agile and adaptable, and being willing to pivot your business model if needed.

One of the things that sets Build apart from other business books is the wide range of perspectives that Fadell includes. In addition to his own insights, he interviews a variety of industry leaders, including the co-founder of Airbnb, the CEO of Slack, and the founder of Pinterest. These interviews provide a diverse range of viewpoints and experiences, and give readers a glimpse into the thought processes of some of the most successful entrepreneurs in the world.

Our favourite quote from Build

Being a good designer is more a way of thinking than a way of drawing. It’s not just about making things pretty—it’s about making them work better.

Written for anyone who wants to grow at work—from young grads navigating their first jobs to CEOs deciding whether to sell their company—Build is full of personal stories, practical advice and fascinating insights into some of the most impactful products and people of the 20th century.

Each quick 5-20 page entry builds on the previous one, charting Tony’s personal journey from a product designer to a leader, from a startup founder to an executive to a mentor. Tony uses examples that are instantly captivating, like the process of building the very first iPod and iPhone. Every chapter is designed to help readers with a problem they’re facing right now—how to get funding for their startup, whether to quit their job or not, or just how to deal with the jerk in the next cubicle.

Tony forged his path to success alongside mentors like Steve Jobs and Bill Campbell, icons of Silicon Valley who succeeded time and time again. But Tony doesn’t follow the Silicon Valley credo that you have to reinvent everything from scratch to make something great. His advice is unorthodox because it’s old school. Because Tony’s learned that human nature doesn’t change. You don’t have to reinvent how you lead and manage—just what you make.

And Tony’s ready to help everyone make things worth making.

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Overall, Build is a fascinating and thought-provoking read that offers valuable insights for anyone interested in building successful products and companies. Fadell's unorthodox approach to building things worth making is sure to inspire and guide readers on their own journey towards creating something meaningful and impactful.

Books allow you to fully explore a topic and immerse yourself in a deeper way than most media today.