When Google bought Nest back in 2014 for billions of dollars in cash, they told us that Nest would continue on under its own “distinct brand identity.” Then when Google became Alphabet a little over a year later, that didn’t change and Nest still remained as its own separate entity. Google and Alphabet may be rethinking that move now and are reportedly considering folding Nest into Google’s hardware division, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Today’s report suggests that Nest and its 1,000 employees could join up with the likes of Rick Osterloh’s hardware group, which currently makes the Pixel phones, Pixelbook, Google Home, and other various products. By doing so, Google may be in a better position to continue this ongoing battle with Amazon over control of your home.
If you think about it, this makes a hell of a lot of sense. In fact, as a former Nest employee told the WSJ, the separation never did make much sense to begin with. Nest and Google likely already overlap in both manufacturing and retail distribution, plus they seem to have similar goals in mind. While Nest still focuses a lot on reinventing boring old home tech and making them cooler and more useful, both Google and Nest want their products in control of your life.
Google has spent their early smart home days creating Google Home and Cast-equipped units, but think about where they are missing out. Areas like cameras, thermostats, and security are logical next steps for them, yet Nest already makes all of that. I don’t know that I’d be happy to see the Nest brand go away, but the talent, design and manufacturing chops, and products are all there for Google to help push under their own hardware brand that they are heavily pushing at this point. Nest also seems to have stalled some in recent years, both in innovation and in new products. I’d imagine under the Google umbrella, they may get a fresh start.
What do you think? Should Nest stay separate or would you rather Google expand its own hardware business?
// Wall Street Journal