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When we first heard about Bay Area startup Nest, we were mystified by the excitement surrounding a thermostat. Then we learned it's a thermostat you can control from your phone, and that basically everyone in the world uses a thermostat, and how the co-founder of Nest is Tony Fadell, who led the creation of the iPod and the first three iPhones, and we started to get it.
Google really got it, apparently, because they bought the company on Monday for $3.2 billion. Fadell says in an interview with The Verge that he and his partner Matt Rogers (also a former Apple employee) are committed to seeing their decade-long vision through, and Google will give them the means.
Building the business, Fadell said, will take seriously deep pockets:
We still have a long way to go to create this business, and I'm also not naïve to the fact that we're going to need substantial resources to fulfill what we set out to do. This is not just spinning up a server and all of a sudden you have scale, and using other people's infrastructure for software distribution and all this other stuff.
We've got to fight hand-to-hand combat in retail spaces. We have to go in and literally build tons of infrastructure for customer support and servers and all those things.
The Nest Learning Thermostat ($250) and smoke and CO2 detector$130. Many assumed that if anyone would acquire Nest, it would be Apple. Regardless, Fadell says the products will continue to be sold in the Apple store. Why didn't Apply buy Nest? Here are some theories. Who knew home appliances could be so dramatic?
· Nest CEO Tony Fadell on Google acquisition: 'I don't want to retire. I want to build this vision' [The Verge]
· Nest [Official Site]
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