Tony Fadell was a brash entrepreneurial programmer
with a cyberpunk look and an engaging smile who had started three companies while still at the University of Michigan.
He had gone to work at the handheld device maker General Magic (where he met Apple refugees Andy Hertzfeld and Bill Atkinson),
and then spent some awkward time at Philips Electronics,
where he bucked the staid culture with his short bleached hair and rebellious style.
He had come up with some ideas for creating a better digital music player,
which he had shopped around unsuccessfully to RealNetworks, Sony, and Philips.
One day he was in Colorado, skiing with an uncle, and his cell phone rang while he was riding on the chairlift.
It was Rubinstein, who told him that Apple was looking for someone who could work on a "small electronic device."
Fadell, not lacking in confidence, boasted that he was a wizard at making such devices.
Rubinstein invited him to Cupertino.