Tony Fadell: During the iPhone development period, my wife and I said we were going to have a family, and we said, “Let’s design a home for them.” And at that time, being green was a big part of society, and it’s hopefully even more so today and for decades and centuries from now.
So I wanted to make a really green home for our family. I also wanted to make it connected, because this iPhone that we were developing, I was like, “Wait a second. This thing is going to become the primary interface to your world, whether you’re in your home using it or you’re outside your home. It’s going to be the primary way you’re going to interact with the physical world. How is a home going to change when it’s green and connected?”
And that was the part of the design that led us to seeing all the problems. Given my grandfather teaching me all about the different systems of plumbing and these things, I dove deep into every system design — heating, cooling, plumbing, energy, water, all of the stuff — and started finding all of these problems, and coming from this — “Oh, I know how to build electronics and everything else” — I was like, “Oh, they must be building products the way we build them, but in these industries.” They were building them like they were built in the ’80s. They had no idea how to build next-generation consumer appliances, products for the home.
I was like, “So… green!” Fifty percent of energy is controlled by your thermostat. Energy prices are rising and are going to continue to rise. We have a green issue. We don’t want to waste energy and create more carbon dioxide. You want to stay comfortable, too. You want to be able — it should turn down when you go away. Why should I have to turn it down and turn it up every time I enter and leave the house to do the right thing? And that’s where Nest was born out of, those frustrations with not getting the right things to make a green and connected home.