The Flickit controls were actually there before I joined EA Skate. It wasn't hooked up to the skater yet (he didn't exist till a few months later) but we had a little app that read the controller and spat out the trick name in text.
The "nucleus" of the Flickit controls (that pulling back on the stick, and then flicking upwards, should be an ollie) is of course pure brilliance. Explain that nucleus to anyone who skates, and everything else within the Flickit system becomes entirely intuitive.
I never cared to chase down the origins of the nucleus; of how it came to be and by who. In my mind at least, I preferred things to be questionable to keep my romantic ideas. You see, I like to philosophize that the controls weren't created or invented. They always just kind of existed. Just sitting there waiting to be realized.
Check out more Project Blank Skate Retrospective.