Last week, we learned that Google’s decision to buy Nest back in 2014 has been an unmitigated disaster. In short, Nest’s product portfolio has grown very slowly since its acquisition by Google and its revenues are way below expectations. Additionally, Nest CEO Tony Fadell sounds like a complete nightmare to work for and he’s shown that he’s not afraid to disparage a large number of former employees after they leave the company. In particular, Fadell absolutely ripped into several Dropcam employees who left the company not long after it was acquired by Nest by saying that they “were not as good as we’d hoped.”
Dropcam cofounder Greg Duffy has now fired back at Fadell with an absolutely blistering Medium post that takes him to task for his overall management style.
First, Duffy defends the people who came over to Nest from Dropcam.
“We pioneered one of the first hardware-service models in our industry with a 40%+ conversion rate paid subscription and better-than-Netflix churn — now a gold standard used by VCs looking for related investments,” he writes. “And we accomplished all of this while remaining a really great place to work.”
He then points out that Dropcam employees haven’t been alone in fleeing Nest in recent years and he notes that “according to LinkedIn, total attrition to date at Nest amounts to nearly 500 people, which suggests that we were not alone in our frustrations.” He also says that the “~50 Dropcam employees who resigned” from Nest “did so because they felt their ability to build great products being totally crushed.”
So… that doesn’t sound good.
And in case you’re skeptical, remember that stories of Fadell’s abrasive management style have been corroborated by several former employees in a thoroughly reported piece in The Information last week. Any way you slice it, Google’s acquisition of Nest looks more like a terrible decision with every passing day.