Three and a half years ago I first heard the pitch for Nest in my office. Tony Fadell and I had been friends and cycling buddies for years. I deeply admired his invention of the iPod and his work on the iPhone and I was eager to hear what he was going to do next. The meeting surprised me. I knew Tony was a disruptive thinker and brilliant product visionary. But in this meeting I saw much more. He introduced me to his co-founder Matt Rogers, a real gem of a person who Tony had hand-selected at Apple as an intern and quickly promoted to manage huge pieces of the hardware devices. In that meeting I also had the pleasure of meeting Erik Charlton from Logitech, who brought marketing sophistication and experience to the puzzle. The quality of this early threesome indicated to me that Tony was a great judge of talent, not just products.
But when the team did the big reveal, “Ta da, we are going to reimagine the thermostat,” I did a double take. Was the quest worthy of the talent? There was nothing much to show, just low-quality video and a round block of wood. But then Tony added one more thing — his vision for the block of wood. They hoped to eventually “reimagine every unloved product in the home.” I looked around the room and realized how much we had settled for in our environments where cheap, ugly plastic objects surround us, trying to escape notice. If Tony could make these unloved products all “objects of desire,” and marry them with software that rendered them invaluable connected devices, we knew we would have a hit with consumers. My partner Trae Vassallo and I were hooked. We knew then that we had to lead the Series A, join the Board and roll up our sleeves to work with the team to make this vision a reality.
I want to thank Tony, Matt and all the wonderful Nesters for allowing us to join them on this remarkable journey. In fact, Nest would go on to form one of the best teams I have seen in Silicon Valley in decades — an absolutely extraordinary team of All Stars.
I want to thank all the Nesters for their tireless dedication to each other and to the company mission to improve the world by creating life-changing products; products that in three and a half short years have won the hearts and minds of a record number of customers around the world.
I want to thank all the Nesters for teaching me about excellence. I have had the privilege of working with a number of world changing companies in my career. The Nest team showed me that relentless attention to detail and uncompromising focus on clear priorities produces unrivaled excellence in products and services.
I’d like to thank these Nesters for creating unimaginable potential – for building a billion dollars a year in value; more value, more quickly, than any other consumer electronics startup in my memory. Nest represents a combination of talent, product, design and engineering excellence that is unique. In the venture business they have a name for such exceptionally rare startups, Blue Unicorns.
But with every successful release, the opportunity to do even more becomes overwhelming.
Which leads us to Google.
This is a bitter sweet moment for me. Most companies are sold because they have reached their potential and their opportunities are quickly shrinking. But that is not the case with Nest. Google is buying Nest because they see huge potential in the product and in the extraordinary team of Nesters to achieve it.
Multiple investors lined up to invest the money necessary to allow Nest to stay independent. But the unbounded potential of what the Nesters have created demands more. Nest has the chance to become a Mount Rushmore brand; to do for the Conscious Home and Internet of Things what Apple has done for personal digital devices.
Google offers Nest the resources and the platform to chase more opportunities more quickly. They offer a culture that even at Google’s formidable scale embraces risk and innovation and respects and appreciates outstanding people.
In the end it was not the money but everything else which swayed the decision. After all, Nest’s audacious mission of revolutionizing all the unloved products in people’s lives is now within its reach.
I know I speak for all Nest’s investors when I say we could not be prouder of Tony, Matt, Erik, Chip, Tom, Doug, Shige, Yoky, Jose and the entire Nest team, and what you have accomplished together in such a short, intense period.
So thank you for being so awesome, so excellent.
Thank you for being so dedicated, and devoted to Nest’s mission and customers.
Nest is truly a magnificent group of people I will never forget.
Never fail to make a difference and keep changing the world!