Honestly, I was pretty bummed out when I read that Google is buying Nest. I’m an early adopter of their smart thermostats and am a big fan.
Now, I’m not criticizing shareholders for accepting a $3 billion offer. Nor am I questioning why founders would want to sell out. Nor do I think that Google will “do evil” with the company (see the above funny picture regarding the Eye of Sauron).
But, I was hoping Nest would be an independent company and continue to churn out amazingly innovative products and lead the way with The Internet of Things. I was hoping they would go public and acquire other home automation start-ups. In other words, be the leading player and aggregator in the space.
And, IMO, when a company is acquired, the pace of innovation goes down. The culture will over time become more bureaucratic and the innovators tend to leave once their lock-up periods expire.
For example, a friend of mine was an early exec. at Yahoo. He said that, over time, the more risk-taking people left and were replaced by “managers”. The Suits took over. Friends of mine who have left Google for Facebook have said the same thing. There’s a time for the innovators, and then, there’s a time for the managers.
So, Nest, I hope Google will let you continue to be insanely innovative. Congratulations on the sale, but I hope you don’t lose your identity!