Tony Fadell helped develop handheld devices for General Magic and Philips. Tony had a vision of a portable MP3 player complemented by an online music store. His startup, Fuse, couldn’t get VC financing to build the product. He shopped the idea around to big companies such as Real Networks and only one company decided to experiment with his idea, hiring Tony as a contractor to build a prototype in two months.
The first review on Slashdot in October 2001 called the product “lame” and “not very exciting” for lacking wireless and a bigger hard drive.
The product idea became the Apple iPod, and sold 125,000 units in its first three months and 14 million units in Q1 2006. It almost didn’t happen, but Apple took a chance on a team they had worked with in the past to build something completely new.