business news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

Love this story in this morning's Los Angeles Times about a company called Nest, which was founded by a group of former Apple employees that has created one of Silicon Valley's "hottest start-ups thanks to its well-designed, Internet-connected thermostat, which learns the behaviors of its owners to become more energy efficient.
Having reinvented the thermostat, Nest has tackled its next engineering and design challenge. On Tuesday, the company announced the availability of its first connected smoke alarm, called Nest Protect."

You can read the Times story here.

It makes the point that one ordinarily would think that products such as thermostats and smoke alarms would be a little pedestrian compared to laptops, iPhones and iPads. But Matt Rogers, a Nest co-founder and vice president of engineering, tells the paper that the company has no less a goal than to change the way people feel about such products.

"Like the thermostat, Nest Protect can also be monitored via Nest's smartphone app," the Times writes. "The alarm will send out alerts several months in advance about the battery status, for instance. And when the alarm sounds, the notification will also be sent to the phone, along with instructions on what to do in case of fire and a 911 button that appears on the screen to make a quick emergency call.

"In homes that have multiple Nest Protects or thermostats, the devices will also talk with one another and share information about things like whether someone is currently in the room to adjust heat settings accordingly. And if one Nest Protect begins sounding a warning or alarm, the other devices will also echo that warning."

The story goes on: "Although Rogers was uncomfortable with the term 'smart home,' he made it clear that Nest thought there were lots of things in the house that could be more exciting and useful by connecting them to the Internet and to one another to create an experience that makes people passionate about these overlooked gadgets."

"Over the next 12 months, we'll introduce other great products in other industries," Rogers says. "We are a very aggressive and hungry company. And we love reinventing the unloved."

I love that line: "We love reinventing the unloved."

Because it implies that through innovation, attention and ambition, the unloved can be made loved. Which is the very essence of highest common denominator marketing.

The results of which can be an Eye-Opener.
KC's View: