Nest, Jawbone Founders On Why Creating Something Simple Is Really Hard

From creating first generation iPhones to JAMBOX speakers, Tony Fadell, CEO of Nest, and Hosain Rahman, CEO of Jawbone, know that creating a simple, useful product is incredibly difficult.

Tony Fadell and Hosain Rahman may not be zen masters, but both have made careers out creating products that are beautiful, useful, and seemingly simple.

"You have to have that really tight narrative around the problem that you’re solving," says Rahman, whose company created Jawbone headsets.

Tony Fadell and Hosain Rahman

In this conversation the two discuss the challenges of simplicity in product design and what it takes to bring innovative applications and products to market.

"To make something simple is incredibly hard to do," says Fadell, who helped create the Nest Learning Thermostat and the first three generations of the iPhone for Apple. "It takes teams of designers, teams of engineers to pull it off."

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3 Comments

  • Douche Detector

    This short video confirmed my feelings prior to watching it: Nest seems cool and Jawbone's CEO is a douche. 

  • Charles Erdman

    Creating something that uses multiple data inputs and has a complex backend, BUT is simple to use is a HUGE challenge. It takes much longer and needs more smarts to make that a reality.

    While I don't own a Nest thermostat (yet), I have played with one. The form factor is seductive- it invites touching. The secondary products (iPhone app) that help move it farther into your life, make it a no brainer.

    For Jawbone, I'm sure that the ideas of what could be done were numerous and had to be paired down to a simple few. Its' the beginning of a platform.

    I admire both products and love that products such as these continue to make our technology more useful and easier to interact with. Bravo.

  • Nathan Nanz

    OK, iPhone is good resume, but Nest? Tons of VC with little return to
    date. Unless they can develop a Home Depot shelf full of simple,
    elegant, useful improvements on everyday products, I predict failure -- ultimately
    purchased for a song by GE or Leviton somewhere around 2019.

    Jawbone - it's been like a half year since UP was released, and still no Android app??