Two years on from Google-owned Nest’s acquisition of IoT start up Dropcam, details have emerged that suggest the whole episode has been an unmitigated disaster.
Nest’s product portfolio, which includes IoT thermostats and Dropcam’s wireless security cameras, has grown much slower than expected since its takeover by Google, and revenues are way below initial projections. Furthermore, Internet of Business understands that Nest’s traction in Europe is much lower than expected.
However, it seems that the financials don’t tell the whole story, as the mudslinging begins and details come out that paint a picture of total disharmony between Nest, Dropcam and Google.
Nest CEO Tony Fadell, in particular, seems to be at the centre of the problems, and has already shown that he has no qualms about criticising former employees after they leave the company.
In particular, he’s gone on record saying that many in the Dropcam team “were not as good as we’d hoped,” and that the IoT camera company had “a very small team and unfortunately it wasn’t a very experienced team.
Nest, Fadell and the influence of Steve Jobs?
One of the victims of Nest CEO Tony Fadell was Dropcam cofounder Greg Duffy, who was told that he was not allowed to directly report to Fadell because “you haven’t earned it”.
Duffy has responded to Fadell’s latest comments, with an impassioned and slightly angry Medium post, that accuses the Nest CEO of having a tyrannical management style and “fetishizing only the most superfluous and negative traits of his mentors”, in reference to Fadell’s time working with Steve Jobs at Apple.
In his strongly-worded article, Duffy defended the number of employees that had left Dropcam after Tony Fadell took charge.
He said: “The 50 Dropcam employees who resigned did so because they felt their ability to build great products being totally crushed. All of us have worked at big companies before, where it is harder to move fast. But this is something different, as evidenced by the continued lack of output from the currently 1,200-person team and its virtually unlimited budget. According to LinkedIn, total attrition to date at Nest amounts to nearly 500 people, which suggests that we were not alone in our frustrations.”
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