I’m typically an optimistic fellow, often to a fault. Optimism can get you in trouble when you are estimating project hours, gauging the abilities and dedication of students, or making out your monthly budget. Don’t ask me how I know that.
So why is it I’m decidedly not optimistic about Nest’s acquisition by Google? Tony Fadell told us that he will be able to spend more time working on products while Google helps them scale. Matt Rogers assured us that Nest products will still interface with iOS and promised that Google won’t be utilizing their thermostat as a peeping Tom. I’m sure they believe that, and I would certainly like to.
However, I know what goes on when a small company gets swallowed by a big one. They say they want to keep you just the way you are. They value your people, and they recognize that there is something special about the way you do things. But they just can’t help themselves. Human Resources digs in first, followed close behind by IT. Before you know it, you’ve been surrounded by policies, bombarded with meetings, and good people start leaving.
Maybe Google is different. Maybe they’ll let well enough alone. Maybe this time next year I’ll be writing a glowing review of Nest’s new, innovative home security system, or whole home backup battery, or internet fridge.
Nest, we hardly knew ye.