BUILD: An Unorthodox Guide to Making Things Worth Making is a fantastic book with a lot of wisdom written by the Apple and Nest legend Tony Fadell.
Tony Fadell, the author, has been through it all and shares his experience. He mentions that this book was intended to be a “mentor in a box” book. The book delivers on that! For you who don’t know Tony Fadell, he’s responsible for the Apple iPod, iPhone, and Google Nest.
If you are a person that wants to take your career to the next level or you feel like you need some guidance in your professional life. Or if you are an aspiring entrepreneur, this book is fantastic.
He shares lessons learned from being at Philips and Apple and the chaos from the days at General Magic and combines all of that to build Nest, an itch he couldn’t stay away from scratching. And how it all ended up being owned by Google (and the drama that followed).
Some great lessons I learned from
The book covers so many topics. Just writing about them all would end up in a book by itself. But I’ll share a couple I find remarkable. First, how do you know a product is ready? He writes about an approach to writing a press release just for yourself. Once the product matches the written press release, you have fulfilled the promise you want the product to deliver. I found this to be a clever way to approach product development.
Second, Tony also wrote that marketing should always “speak the truth.” And how the marketing team should, together with the product team, architect the product. This means that working on the marketing strategy and product development should happen in parallel. This is a philosophy I wish more companies would apply.
Here are some more of the excellent topics he writes about:
- When do you know it’s time to quit your job?
- How to become, be and unbecome a CEO
- Different types of assholes as managers (and how it’s not all bad)
- How to approach investors
Only negative (not really a negative)
Tony covers so many topics that this could even be divided into separate books covering each more in-depth. But other than that, I don’t think there’s anything negative to say about the book.
Who is this book for? I would say it’s perfect for the young, ambitious person reasonably early in their career. Not to say it’s not great for people in the later stages of life. But I think if you have been around for a few years, you probably already stumbled upon most situations written in the book. Or perhaps not, and you want to find that new spark to turn things around.
Either way, great book I enjoyed reading, filled with wisdom and insights!