From The Garage To 200 Employees In 3 Years: How Nest Thermostats Were Born-Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship - Carnegie Mellon University

Saturday, May 11, 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 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.

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 watch our entire interview and think again. Matt had an early start with his first Mac product interactions at age three. When asked as a child growing up in Gainesville Florida 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 being to help draw bones in CAD for a robotics hand project) to get a chance to work with the robotics lab. His Junior year he applied for an intership at Apple via Monster.com, and pestered employees until he got accepted. 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.” Seven days a week, 20-hour days, and “basically not sleeping.” How did it pay off? Apple awarded him a cash bonus as an intern, something VP of iPod at the time and eventual Nest co-founder Tony Fadell said, “He had never done before....Read more»

By: TechCrunch