Nest Protect – Reinventing the Smoke Detector
I believe it is ok to say that APPLE Inc. is another name for INNOVATION. Apple Inc. can be considered as the most innovative organization in 1st decade of 21st century. That is because, whenever Apple Inc. has come up with a product it has revolutionized the field that product belong to. iPhone, iPad and iPod are prime examples to prove it. Some people believe that Steve Jobs as the reason for Apple’s success in technological innovation. There can be a truth in that. But how many engineers, designers, developers, etc might have put their efforts, ideas, etc to make those products a success?
Tony Fadell is one such person who has put all his efforts to make Apple iPod a success. Tony Fadell once ran Apple’s iPod division and was part of Steve Jobs’ inner circle. To head iPod division and to work closely with Steve Jobs there should be something special about Fadell.
Tony Fadell – The Founder and CEO of NEST. Fadell once ran Apple’s iPod Division. Due to that he has that APPLEness in him.
Now Tony Fadell has become an entrepreneur. He has started his own company named ‘Nest’with the support of a few investers – Google Ventures, Generation_, LightSpeed Venture Partners and Shasta Ventures. What Fadell says about Nest is as follows. “We take the unloved products in your home and make simple, beautiful and thoughtful things”.
The first ‘unloved’ thing Nest has chosen is the ‘smoke detector’. It is very hard to see smoke detectors in homes in most developing countries, though it is the case with developed countries. But in each country almost every commercial building has smoke detectors. When I saw the images and the idea of Fadell I had doubts in my mind. But the way he has given the thought about smoke detectors is completely different from the way I lead my thought process.
When he was asked about the reason for him to go for a product like a smoke detector he has replied by saying “Why not smoke detectors? Why hasn’t there been any innovation since the ’70s in smoke detectors as far as I can tell? They look basically the same. They do basically the same thing. And they annoy you the same as they did the ’70s when I was growing up. You know, they beep at night. They’ll beep and go off when you’re cooking, when you’re taking a shower”.
Steve Jobs and Apple revolutionized the way computer is being used in 1980s. The same combination revolutionized the music industry with the introduction of iPod. In 2007, with the introduction of iPhone, same combination revolutionized whole mobile phone business and data business all around the world. Being an Apple’s ex employee Fadell also seems to be having the revolutionary mind set. He and his team has the idea of revolutionizing the way a typical home is functioned. With the use of available technologies such as internet, mobile phones, etc Nest expects to revolutionize the way people are typically connected to their Homes.
Nest Plans to do What Apple Does. They are planning to revolutionize the way people engage with their homes.
Fadell says that smoke detector launched by Nest, namely ‘Nest Protect’ and the previous product to Nest Protect – ‘Nest Learning Thermostat’ are only the starting point of the revolution. Answer to the question whether Nest would become successful or not could be seen in coming years. But Fadell and his team is quite certain about their success. It is quite clear from following statement which has made by Fadell. “Absolutely. Look, we’re talking about revolutionizing yet another category that you interact with at some point in your life or is part of your life. … We are passionate about … thermostats, and we’re passionate about smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Why? That’s what it takes to reinvent categories. You need to have the passion. This isn’t just about business. This is about changing our lives and changing your lives to make it better.”
Nest is a company which is trying to grab a ‘Blue Ocean’ through continuous innovation and R&D. When looking at the things that they are trying to achieve one would say there is nothing extraordinary in the idea. But the specialty is in the way these people have knitted the existing resources and the concept of theirs. When looking at the concept they will use the networks of Telecommunication Service Providers heavily. That is to make the connectivity between the devices they are going to use in the solution. At the end of the day any operator could name Nest’s solution as a value added service. In near future Nest will come to your country as well. I say so because, Fadell says that their product can be seen in 90 odd countries.
So, if we could apply some Appleness to our thinking, with the great telecom infrastructure available in most parts of the world anyone could come up with a multibillion dollar idea. Finally it would be good to look at what Fadell says about his past involvement with Apple. As per him that is the place where he has learnt about ABCs of entrepreneurship.
“Apple was an amazing experience. And many of the people here are from there. And the biggest lessons we learned is about experience, right? It’s all about creating experience. Not just a product experience, but a sales experience. How do you learn about the brand experience? About how people communicate the experience they have to their friends and family. You know, I learned before coming to Apple about how you could make a great experience in the product. At Apple, [I learned] how you sell it. How you package it. How you unbox it. All of those things were key to the experience, and what we believe we’re doing here at Nest.”