It is possible that you are controlling your home heating system with the help of Nest, the brainchild of ex-Apple engineer Tony Fadell, who sold his 4-year-old start-up company to Google in 2013 for $3.2 billion. Why would a company like Google be interested in a device that regulates people’s central heating? (Oh, and there was also a smart carbon monoxide detector under the Nest banner.) I found the answer when researching my series of lectures on Leadership, Teambuilding and Managerial Creativity.
Tony Fadell is not just interested in user-friendly heating regulators. He is interested in total connectivity, or The Internet of Everything. And that is something that Google are very interested in. Imagine the sort of data gathering that can be achieved when a company has access to people’s total buying habits – whether it’s their domestic fuel consumption or the contents of their fridge. That equals power, and one amazing revenue stream. Fadell claims that he is not motivated by money – hence the sell-out – as he just wants to get on with making great products. He trusts the team at Google to look after our data. I only wish that I shared his confidence.
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