“Tony Fadell has had a storied career in Silicon Valley,” Dean Takahashi reports for VentureBeat. “At Apple, Steve Jobs eventually supported Fadell’s attempt to create a music device, and, later, a PC-compatible music device. And so the iPod was born. Fadell’s team created 18 versions of the iPod and helped cement Apple’s turnaround. Then he went on to lead the team that created the first three versions of the iPhone.”

[iPod] took two and a half years. Really. The first one was awesome. Every Mac owner bought it. But there weren’t many Mac owners! Then, flatline. This is where the arm-wrestling happened with Steve. I had a team making it compatible with the PC and Steve’s like, “OVER MY DEAD BODY! Never! We need to sell Macs! This is going to be why people buy Macs!” I said, “Steve, the iPod is $399. But really it’s not. Because you have to buy a Mac!” We had to give people a taste.

We had this knock down, drag out battle. We’re all sitting around and saying, “Look, Steve, we need to get this on the PC. That’s where the biggest set of people are.” And even Bill Gates goes, “Why did you decide to put it on the PC?”

I think it was Bill Schiller who said, “We gotta get this thing on the PC!” And I’m like, “Yeah, I’ll get the team working on it!” We let it sink in. This was like the fourth time it had come up, and he hadn’t wanted to hear it. But enough quarters had passed with nothing really happening. Like I say, it was a critical success, but not a business success.

He finally said, “Okay. But under one condition. We’re going to build these and run it by Mossberg. And if Mossberg says it’s good enough to ship, then we’ll ship it.” He wanted to divorce himself from having to make the decision. But Walt said, “Not bad. I’d ship it.” That’s how we actually shipped on the PC. — Tony Fadell

Tons more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Great advice from Uncle Walt!