How Design Contributed to the Success of Nest


January 28, 2014 | By:

Nest thermostat

The Nest thermostat has been making headlines lately after Google’s recent purchase of the company for $3.2 billion. Nest was first conceived by a small team of individuals in 2008 lead by Tony Fadell and Matt Rogers, former Apple employees. From Tony’s experience doing the firmware for the iPod nano and Matt’s work on the first iPhone prototype, it’s no surprise that the two established a partnership producing one of the most elegant and technologically advanced thermostats on the market.

The Nest Thermostat and Protect have changed the way people perceive simple household items. Technology companies have been making conscious efforts to improve the look and feel of their products, which is apparent in both smart phones and laptops. However, household items were largely ignored until Nest. Nest’s Thermostat brought beauty to an item that had the same appearance as it did some 15 years go. Nest constructed and marketed its products cleverly, making people excited about unexciting products. Since the release of the Nest Thermostat, sales have been unbelievable, which emphasizes the fact that many consumers will gladly spend $250 to beautify their homes and reduce their energy bill.

A 3” x 4” white plastic box controls about half of a home’s energy bill with a couple of rubber up and down arrows. Nest Thermostat is a sleek aluminum built cylinder with a spinning dial and a glass screen that changes blue when cooling and red when heating. Nest products are not just bringing beauty to the home, but are also providing extreme functionality. The Thermostat will learn your behavior and adjust the temperature; the Protect will notify you where the smoke is coming from and whether or not it is an emergency. The products also have WIFI so the user can change the temperature of their home at any time or get notified of smoke via an app for their smartphone.

Nest has focused on the details – all the details. Need to install the product? Just visit their website and watch a step-by-step tutorial video. Want to learn how to optimize your use of the thermostat? There’s a video on their site for that too. Nest has made two game changing products and made the process to adopt those products seamless. A skill surely learned from the team’s time with Apple is that the details always matter. Make a beautiful product and it will be admired, but make a beautiful product that makes everyday behaviors more enjoyable, and it will change the way that industry is viewed going forward. Just as Apple changed the way people interact with their phones with the introduction of the iPhone, Nest is on its way to changing the way people interact with housed appliances.

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