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Tony Fadell went to a Google meeting to assure them Nest isn’t a sinking ship

Published Apr 13th, 2016 6:20PM EDT
Tony Fadell Nest
Image: Nest

Over the past few weeks, a number of varied reports have painted an unflattering portrait of life at Nest. In addition to a challenging and perhaps impossibly demanding and harsh working environment, we’ve also seen indications that Google has been none too pleased with the level of revenue Nest has been bringing in.

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One of the more scathing indictments of Nest came from a profile on the company from The Information. The report relayed a number of harsh and uncomfortable stories about how CEO Tony Fadell runs the company, including a bizarre demand he made of company co-founder Matt Rogers.

Mr. Fadell attended Mr. Rogers’ wedding last year. Afterward, Mr. Fadell ordered Mr. Rogers to cancel his month-long honeymoon in June, Mr. Rogers confirmed. A spokeswoman for Nest said it was a critical time at the company: Nest was announcing a refresh of its entire product line. When Mr. Rogers refused, Mr. Fadell told him that if he went, he wouldn’t have a job when he came back. Mr. Rogers went anyway. Mr. Fadell did not follow up on his threat.

Harsh, to say the least.

In an effort to address these reports head-on, Re/Code is reporting that Fadell recently attended Google’s weekly staff meeting to put a more positive spin on life at Nest. Admitting that the company has a lot to learn and more room to grow, Fadell also took umbrage with reports that the company hasn’t managed to deliver any new and compelling hardware under the Google umbrella.

Re/Code obtained a full transcript of the meeting which is well worth exploring in its entirety. A partial excerpt reads:

Hi, everybody. I don’t normally come to TGIF, but I thought today was a very important day to come. First and foremost, you know, the articles that you see and read about either me or about Nest — they are incredibly disheartening because we don’t believe — and I don’t believe specifically — that those articles represent our culture, represent our work ethic, represent the respect we have for each other inside the team. And so it’s really — it really hurts us a lot when see those things.

Of course, we’re not perfect. No company is. Nest isn’t perfect. I’m not perfect. No one’s perfect. But we know what our problems are. We have been addressing them over the last two years. And, frankly, we have more room to go.

A couple of things — I want to leave you with a couple of data points. You heard a little bit about our products in those ads — or in those articles. In those articles, being very blunt, we have shipped four all-new hardware products. WE have had our ten software releases. We’ve [launched] services and these kinds of things. We are moving very, very fast. Yes, we are breaking things along the way, but we are moving fast just like we need to be because it is a highly competitive market.

So our products are live. They’re very healthy. They are over four-plus stars on Amazon today, and they are continuing to improve. Our customers love what we ship.

But again, do yourself a favor and head on over to Re/Code for the full rundown. It’s both informative and entertaining, to say the least.

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.