Nest app

Companies get bought and sold all the time, with and without our approval (or lack of expertise).

It's easy to be a skeptic. Skepticism is safe. It's a warm blanket of knowing that if shit indeed happens (and it will, from time to time), then you were right, it went bad, and you can tell everyone so. And if you're wrong and the world doesn't end, well, that's fine, too. Because who doesn't love a happy ending? Skepticism is a win-win for the skeptic, and a bore for the optimist.

And this quickly rang true Monday when Google announced it was buying Nest for $3.2 billion. Obvious jokes were obvious. Watch a 30-second ad before adjusting the temperature. Join Google+ to turn on your heat. Funny, but obvious. And not really helpful.

And it's almost like Google can't drop $3.2 billion without everyone becoming an expert on what it all means, hashed out in mere hours. Google bought Nest for the data. (Duh.) It bought Nest because Android@Home never got off the ground. (Again, duh.) Google bought Nest because it wants to know everything it possibly can about you. (No kidding?) And probably it bought Nest because there are ridiculously smart people working there.

So why is that a problem?

You can't see much when you're cowering under the covers

NestAs Rene notes at iMore, it's easy to fear what you don't understand. And, no, Google doesn't always get things right. Google Wave was a mess. Buzz was a nightmare. Google+ is being pushed really hard, but understandably so. This Google+/Gmail thing from last week makes us uncomfortable, but neither is it that big a deal. Those are all Google software initiatives, though. Not hardware. 

It's not all that difficult to take shots at Google's hardware, of course. The Nexus Q, sexy as it might have been, was DOA. Chrome OS is out there, but ... it's weird. Google Glass is still perplexing, but wonderfully so

So what? 

We're inventing problems with Google buying Nest when — we're all of 48 hours into it at this point, folks — so far there are are none. Zero. (And, by the way, the deal still has to be approved by federal regulators.)

Google says Nest will be run as a separate company, "with its own distinct brand identity." Nest also says it'll still be Nest. (And it does so borrowing some of the same language, which isn't much of a surprise.) From its blog post Monday:

Nest will continue to be Nest, with its own distinct brand identity. We will continue to reimagine and reinvent the unloved products that proliferate in our homes, just as we have since we started. We are simply going to get our products into the hands of people around the world – faster.

Motorola might not be profitable yet, but it's hardly withered and died (and it's making great phones)

And we have good reason to believe that will be the case. Look at Motorola. When that acquisition was first announced more than two years ago, fear of a Motorola planet swiftly emerged. The death of the Nexus was nigh, we all worried, with Motorola emerging as Google's favorite son. That has hardly happened, with Moto just now putting out its first post-acquisition phones, the Moto X and Moto G. And we're excited about both of those for any number of reasons.

Or step outside Google if you'd like. The Aviate launcher just got bought by Yahoo (purportedly for $80 million), and immediately there were cries of "Uninstalling!" Why? Aviate is so early in its lifespan to predict how and where it was going to end up anyway. Or take Instagram. Facebook is the company with serious trust issues that we just can't quit. But Instagram hasn't become and unusable product in the couple years since Faceook bought it. Or the same for Vine after it was swallowed by Twitter. 

Let's all get the initial freak-outs out of our system and give Nest and Google a real chance to make our lives more interesting.

And you know what? Maybe we're a little safer because of Google's missteps, how that it's getting an independent audit of its privacy features every couple years. 

Motorola was (and is) a long-term play for Google. Google knows it's not going to be profitable for some time. That's not the point. Google knows exactly what it bought in Nest, and it probably has a pretty good idea of the direction it wants to go with it — as well as the direction it wants Nest to take it. You can either get on board and enjoy the ride, or cower in the corner and wait for something bad to happen.

I, for one, am excited to have swapped out a perfectly functional Honeywell thermostat for the Nest, never mind who just bought the company. 

 

Reader comments

Let Nest be Nest ... (And Motorola be Motorola, and Aviate be Aviate)

54 Comments

Oh man the uproar Google buying Nest has caused is ridiculous. If Google wants to track how much heat I use, go for it, I don't give a shit.

You realllllly hate Canadian people. I will never understand. Did a Canadian kill your family or something?
Anyways I live in Michigan and have met quite a few Canadians, they are generally very pleasant people who don't really try to start conflict.

When you find every opportunity to degrade them. Yes, that seems wrong to me. And you come off like you hate them. there is no question in my mind.

Google and Motorola has been an interesting subject for me. I started with Android using the first Motorola Droid. I loved it.

When they came out with the Motorola Xoom I was all over it. It was great - now it is showing it's age.

After 2 years I wanted to upgrade my phone, since the Droid was getting long in the tooth. The Motorola Droid 3 was out, so I figured with 2 great devices I would love the Droid 3. It was horrible. Frustrated me constantly.

I was about to go to any other company's phone - then Google purchased them and I figured I would wait and see.

I am now a proud owner of the Moto X and could not be happier. Motorola is doing everything right - customization, separating the apps from the firmware for faster updates, and adding features instead of bloat.

If they keep this up I will be sticking with them - and hope they do a Moto X Tablet to replace my aging Xoom!

No way. Motorola needs to be cranking out Nexus phones.

And all of their phones should be priced like the Nexus line!

I would love to have a Moto Nexus, and I'm sure I will one day once Moto wins the bid, but Google will not mess with the Nexus bidding process being available to all OEMs. That would just be the end of the Nexus program (which I highly doubt will ever happen as it's crucial to Android). Plus, Moto is not Google and needs to be making A LOT more of a profit on hardware than they do (not).

There are way more examples of Google NOT letting an acquisition just be an acquisition. Youtube is probably the biggest one.

Youtube is simply the biggest and most obvious one, and quite frankly, Google saved Youtube's life. It would have been lawyered to death by now.

But there are a LOTS of things that have suffered under Google or simply been killed off after draining all the patent blood from their veins.

Some Key Features of of these killed off things appear elsewhere. There are a lot of dead carcasses left beside the road. Some of them very cool ideas that simply disappeared.

Google "List of mergers and acquisitions by Google" for a wiki page. I'd post a link, but the Android Central Death Penalty would strike me dead.

It was started by an Apple guy. Apple makes pretty things and charges a ton for them. Nest is the same. It is a cool looking thermostat that does the same things a $50 Honeywell probably does (or Comcast even has one that seems to be the same)but they charge a fortune for it because it looks cool and is marketed well(Or at all. I see no other thermostats being marketed.

In my personal opinion I think half the price of nest was Google seeing the very rare opportunity to grab up some Apple talent. That was probably worth a couple billion to them.

Umm, that thermostat from Honeywell costs $299. That's a far cry from the $50 mentioned earlier. Besides nest wasn't the first. Ecobee has had a WiFi smart thermostat for much longer than the nest, and was compatible with more heating systems. They just didn't have the former Apple employees and their marketing know how.

Google acquisition is a good thing because of the potential for tight integration with Google services. also Google is still a disruptor, still an innovator, they have vast resources, and they have the smartest collection of minds in the world - and they are still hungry. look at Android - where would Android be today without Google?

Lol @NoNexus... our friendly argument is gone. AC downtime a little while ago messed up this article. Anyway... just know you were about to get pwned :P

Kudos Phil! Finally a sensible statement about the proposed purchase of Nest. When a camera/microphone appears in the Nest then everyone can freak out about their privacy problems, but until then I cant understand how Google being the parent of Nest is a bad thing.

I think Google also purchased Nest for it's new product pipeline. The smoke detector was just the start.

Posted via Android Central App

And it was totally uncalled for. I'm not "offended" but still wonder why it was even used here. I used to think of MobileNations sites as family-friendly sites for tech news and tips.

Get over it Francis. There are no 'bad' words, only words uptight people decide are bad. The rest of us don't give a shit.

Phil, I am eagerly awaiting an editorial by you on net neutrality, as I have yet to find an article that explains all of it in terms that everyday people can understand. Thanks!

My favorite one is "Now watch Google kill off iOS support" Really? Google has arguably better iOS apps than Android for all its services.

I think the more realistic concern is killing off Windows Mobile support.
I also think part of the motivation for this purchase is that I can see Apple coming in and buying Nest as well (and killing off Android support).

Google has great iOS support (maybe better than Apple even) indeed. I'm actually convinced that I could buy an iPad mini and have it work side by side with my Nexus 5 without having to use any of Apples services. I do however think that its a long term play by Google. Step 1: make great services and apps for the major competing OS. Step 2: entice people to use those services on the competitions hardware. Step 3: make the choice of OS indifferent to the services you offer. Step 4: see people switch to android next time they by a phone because of better integration of said services. Alternative play: make money of and get people on to your services using the competitions OS (you could call it a Trojan horse). 2nd alternative play: offering up your services to everyone makes your services widely used and insures their survival.

I've heard a couple dozen similar doom and gloom armchair analyses already, and I'm so sick of it. I'm pretty excited that someone out there is trying to make the smart house a reality for those of us who aren't billionaires.

I like anything Google. I have no problem at all with Google buying Nest. I received a Nest thermastat for X-Mas and it is the best looking thermastat I ever owned. OH NO, is this a tiny little camera inside the Nest? Is this a little micraphone listening to everything I say? Those dirty little devils. They are spying on me. People are so paranoid, I find it comical, I use just about every Google app they have and enjoy them all. If not for Google I think these so called SmartPhones we use would be rather dumb. Thank You Google, Keep doing what you're doing.

My wife bought me a Nest Thermostat for Christmas. I've highly enjoyed using the app to change the temp when i leave and before i get home. and after a few days or repetition, it started doing it all by its self.

I can't think of what information Google could get from me by owning the company that made my thermostat. Do that many people honestly care that anyone else knows what temp you heat/cool your home to?

I am not worried about Google collecting information from me because I know about most of it and I am using them by Choice. I am interested in the Nest and talked with a friend that has one. The one thing he pointed out on the Nest website is that there doesn't seem to be fan control on the thermostat. Even the Next blog says that it will not work with variable speed blowers.

I have a Honeywell Tstat from 10 years ago that already has a lot of the heat and schedule control capabilities of the nest but it also works with variable speed blowers and allows me various fan control options.

Unfortunately I can't switch to Nest until it offers these type of fan controls for variable speed blowers; my heater won't work properly without them.

No Phil your wrong. Completely wrong, because if this were true then... well it would mean all those articles and comments I read on the internet would be wrong. And that just cannot be!
B-)

"Join Google+ to turn on your heat. Funny, but obvious. And not really helpful."

It seems convenient to present those who are sceptic for a reason in a negative light, especially since, aside from the manipulatively persistent nags about joining, commenting on YouTube and rating applications on Google Play (and more most likely to follow) actually does require to join "Google+". But one would of course only notice that if they had not and never will join "Google+" or any other comparable "social" network.

People really need to start 'unionising' (couldn't think of a better term) as customers, for many things. So that when a buyout attempt emerges, a large grouping of customers/clients can just announce that they will abandon/boycott the company/product or services if they proceed. It's not against the law and it never can be, and it's all about doing what's right.

Applies especially when one company is trying to buy another in the same industry, like how idiots at one fail company (eg vodafone) often don't understand that the reason a person is a client/customer of a rival service is so that they aren't with their terrible one.

I don't mind acquisitions as long as I don't get forced to login to Google+ to use Waze and Nest thermostat. Or "Also share on Google+" pre-checked for me every time I try using it.

Google has acquired many companies and products in the past and most of them have turned out to be great. YouTube and Motorola are both brilliant for instance.

Also, another which Google acquired: Android. I think I can leave it there!