Google acquired 100 ex-Apple employees with Nest

Google acquired 100 ex-Apple employees with Nest

Summary: In addition to a company shipping 50,000 connected thermostats per month, Google got much more: 100 former Apple employees that followed Tony Fadell to Nest Labs.

SHARE:
TOPICS: Apple
23
Google acquired 100 ex-Apple employees with Nest - Jason O'Grady

This week Google acquired Nest Labs (creators of connected thermostats and smoke detectors) for $3.2 billion. Google said that it is "excited to bring great experiences to more homes in more countries." Earlier this month Nest raised $150 million in a new round of financing at a $2 billion valuation.

According to some estimates, Nest is shipping 40,000 to 50,000 learning thermostats per month, so there's that. 

What jumped out at me (a user of both Next products, mind you) about the acquisition was that $3.2 billion sounds like a big number for a startup with two products. Then I read about the 100 ex-Apple employees Google got as part of the deal, and it started to make sense. 

Nest co-founder Tony Fadell is widely considered to the "father of the iPod" having overseen 18 generations of the ubiquitous device during his Apple tenure. Fadell started working for Apple February 2001 as a contractor designing the iPod and planning Apple's audio product strategy. He eventually became Senior Vice President of the iPod Division succeeding Jon Rubinstein in 2006.

According to a piece by Christopher Mims for Quartz, Nest has wooed at least 100 people from Apple, according to a search of LinkedIn. So there you have it, Google might have been just as interested in the talent as it was in the products that Nest produces. 

Topic: Apple

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

23 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • they will be considered ex-nest employees soon

    because I have a feeling most of them will leave because smart people don't want to work for google. did google just buy an empty building for 3 billion?
    DontUseGoogleAtAll
    • they wont be able to adapt

      Apple employees are so used to price gouging and law suites, they wont be able to adapt to a company like Google where prices are reasonable and law suites are for cry babies.
      Sean Foley
      • Um, I think most Apple hardware engineers and developers

        were about as involved in setting product prices as George W. Bush was in the peace movement.

        I'm sure they'll do just fine.
        Mac_PC_FenceSitter
      • adaptation

        probably will, if they want to keep working.

        "law suites"? I beleive you meant lawsuits. what is a law suite? a nice law office or bedroom?
        dhays
      • is that a fact?

        Well I reckon they'll adapt to their new situation with a greater capacity for accepting change than the people who trundle out posts like yours who can't think beyond their own preconceptions and prejudices
        Mike.Moller@...
  • Oh how Steve Jobs must be loving this...

    ...being that his arch nemesis was Google/Android.

    http://www.dailytech.com/Steve+Jobs+Im+Going+to+Destroy+Android+Because+Its+a+Stolen+Product/article23077.htm

    "I'm willing to go thermonuclear war on this." -- Steve Jobs

    And now 100+ of his "faithful" will now be working for the enemy. Hilarious!
    IT_Fella
  • Um...

    You realize these are not apple employees?
    CowLauncher
    • Um...

      ...you realize that YOU do not have a clue...don't you?
      It'sNotMe
  • NDA and Non-competes?

    Makes you wonder whether Google did this for the company, or for the personnel. Maybe those ex-Apple employees were the value seen in the company, and not it's production line at all.
    Dr_Zinj
    • I am sure they were after both

      Buying Nest is like buying first place in the Internet of Things. It is a smart move.
      Mac_PC_FenceSitter
  • Why?

    What makes you think Google needs Apple personnel? Google has been doing just fine with what they've been doing. They don't need to acquire, poach, or otherwise get Apple or ex-Apple employees. The employees are valuable in terms of their knowledge of Nest and the Nest roadmap. Being ex-Apple could actually decrease their perceived value ;-).
    PrepaidWirelessGuy
    • Unlikely

      Google poaches from other companies all the time. Remember that big chair throwing incident?

      And you can bet they are after Fadell's brain and not just his product portfolio. Ditto his people.
      Mac_PC_FenceSitter
  • Seriously? You wrote an article about THIS?

    Google has young and talented people lining up to join them. They could easily find cheaper ways to attract 100 ex-apple people. Don't forget, these people weren't at Apple when google acquired them. They had already left apple.

    No, Google picked up Nest because it made sense. It gave them pre-built real-world examples of how their technology could integrate into homes. Just like the google car (and their current efforts to get android into today's cars).

    Google aren't after corporate accounts. Not when so much can be achieved with a "home user" power base.

    Nest users will find that their products support IOS and Android but maybe not Windows (unless it's via the web). They'll probably also find that using android provides a few extra advantages. No much but perhaps enough to tempt them into embracing the google infrastructure.
    gavin.bollard@...
    • Google's success

      Outside of search and mapping which came from others work including Apple on developing a usable mobile map interface, what has Google succeeded at on their own? Even Android was the brain child of yet another ex-Apple employee who got demoted when it stealing Apple ideas didn't work out so well in court.
      Genovelle
  • That is assuming that

    talent stays of course.
    ScanBack
  • A smart decision

    Google is making a smart decision. 3.2 Billion for a compay shipping 50,000 thermostates a month, it seems it is stupid decison. But 100 ex-apple employees worth a lot more.

    The most critical factor for the development of a compay is the employee not the products becasue any products eventurely are from the employees
    SmilingGuy
  • The Price is Right!

    $3.2 Billion for 100 great techies? That's about right.

    And guess what Google competitors -- hiring great salesman or great lawyers, important as they are, don't match value of the techie bunch here.
    TomMariner
    • Assuming they stay

      If they find the environment not to their liking then they should have no problem finding a new job.

      Unless, of course, they receive a very noticeable part of the Google payment in return for their remaining.
      Ken_z
    • "$3.2 Billion for 100 great techies?"

      Why are you assuming that all the people Nest hired from Apple are "great techies"? Because they once worked at Apple? Because Fadell wouldn't hire anyone who wasn't a "great techie"? Why?
      Userama
  • $3.2 Million per ex-Apple employee? Unlikely

    I know that competition for good talent is stiff, but to suggest that Google paid $3.2 Million per ex-Apple employee seems a bit ridiculous.

    Nest is completely reinventing ordinary run-of-the-mill products that haven't changed significantly in years; that everyone uses.

    Nest is in a category all their own and now Google is too.
    MaranathaP