Monday, May 13, 2013
From The Garage To 200 Employees In 3-Years; How Nest Thermostats Were Born.
Editor?s note:?Derek?Andersen?is the founder of?Startup Grind, a 40-city community bringing the global startup world together while educating, inspiring, and connecting entrepreneurs. I remember when the press first hit about Nest Labs, the guys behind the iPod/iPhone were taking on thermostats everywhere! A collective “huh?” went through the tech industry.?It felt like the tech version of the Avengers got together to build an office park, not save the world. After sitting down with Nest co-founder Matt Rogers at Google For Entrepreneurs‘ office a few weeks ago, I learned the backstory and vision of a company on a mission to build one of the world’s only great hardware/software companies in the world. There are hard workers, there are really hard workers, and then there are the Matt Rogers of the world. If you think you work hard, please read/watch our?entire interview?then?reevaluate.?He had a quick start with his first Mac product?interactions being at age three. As a child growing up in?Gainesville?Florida, when asked what he wanted to be someday, Matt would respond “I want to work at Apple.” At 16 he was building robots and entering them into competitions with his classmates.?As a sophomore at Carnegie Mellon, he agreed to basically do anything (anything?was help draw bones in CAD for a robotics hand project) to get a chance to work with with the robotics lab. His Junior year he applied via Monster.com, and pestered employees until he got accepted for an internship at Apple. That summer he took on the worst?grunt work?project imaginable (he rewrote all the software for manufacturing for iPod), and had three months for what he described as a “one year project.” ?7-days a week, 20-hour days, and “basically not sleeping.” How did it pay off? As an intern Apple awarded him a cash bonus, what VP of iPod at the time and eventual Nest co-founder Tony Fadell said was something, “He had never done before.” Apple After school he returned to Apple and spent the next few years working on the firmware for iPod nano and iPod classic. After his first weekend back at Apple, and spending Saturday and Sunday getting moved in and buying furniture, his manager approached him saying, “Where have you been?” Matt responded, “I went to buy furniture.” He replied, “You should have been here.” He responded, “Oh. I didn’t even know!” Matt said that this,?”Set the pace for how iPod would be for the