As I started reading this Co.Design post on the Nest thermostat, the first paragraph reminded how slippery the area of product attribution is:
When we first sat down with Tony Fadell, the CEO of Nest and the inventor of the Nest Learning Thermostat, we asked him what made Steve Jobs so great. Fadell is, perhaps, one of the best-qualified people on the planet to answer. He’s the one who first pitched the idea of an iTunes/iPod ecosystem. He’s the one who Steve Jobs hired to bring the iPod to life.
Depending on what you’re reading and where, you will hear different named given to an inventor, designer, creator or “father” of a product. With the iPod, sometimes it’s Steve Jobs, other times it’s Jony Ive and in this case it’s Tony Fadell.
It’s important to understand all these answers are correct and all these answers are wrong. Jobs, Ive and Fadell (among others) are all responsible for bringing the iPod to market. The iPod would not be the classic, easy-to-use, iconic, digital music it is if any one of those men were removed from the equation.