Nest, maker of internet connected gizmos for the smart home, is a good fit for Google in many ways. But that Google just paid $3.2 billion for a company that has only two products—a thermostat and a smoke detector—seems a bit much. Why the super high valuation? It could be that Google perceives Nest as a way to insinuate itself into what could some day be the trillion dollar market for the internet of things, or a way onto the coming “smart grid.”
Or it could just be that Google really wants the talent Nest has attracted. Founded by Tony Fadell, the “father of the iPod,” Nest has managed to peel at least 100 people off of Apple, his former employer, according to a search of LinkedIn (of course, given that LinkedIn data is user-driven, there could be more Nest employees who’ve made this switch, or LinkedIn users who haven’t updated their profiles). From executives to product designers, there are surely things these exceptional people could be doing for Google.