Green technology will soon be getting a player with a pedigree born out of one of the most successful gadgets of all time. Tony Fadell, one of the original developers of the iPod at Apple (s AAPL) tells the New York Times that he will be leaving the company to pursue advising and investing in consumer-focused green technology companies.
Welcome! The world of greentech sorely needs top-notch consumer-focused design, and more innovation to draw disinterested consumers into the fray. As Joel Makower put it in a blog post this week looking back on the 20-year anniversary of his book The Green Consumer, one thing that hasn’t changed over the last two decades has been the green consumer itself: “[T]here don’t seem to be that many more than today in 1990, in terms of people making significant changes to their shopping and consuming habits in ways that move markets toward greener products and services, never mind actually ‘saving the earth.'”
Perhaps Fadell can help shake up the world of consumer greentech, the way he did so successfully with the digital music player almost a decade ago at Apple — he joined Apple as its director of the iPod in 2001. Fadell has been working on his move to leave Apple for awhile, and back in 2008 said he would be leaving the company for personal reasons.
It’s also not the first time that Fadell would be going out on his own (we’re looking into whether or not Fadell will be joining a firm and also more details of what he will be focusing on). Before joining Apple, he tried to start his own Silicon Valley consumer electronics company called Fuse which reportedly failed to get financing. It’s tough being an entrepreneur but it’ll probably be a little easier to pave your own path with the name recognition the second time around.
Despite the relatively small market for consumers that care about how green their electronics are, making gadgets more sustainable seems to have generated more attention from the manufacturers themselves. Dell (s DELL), Nokia, and heck, even Apple (with its greenest laptop claims) have been investigating how to offer greener products (my Green Guide to CES this year).
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