Matt Rogers just became a very wealthy man with the news that Google bought his company, Nest Labs, for $US3.2 billion.
Rogers is the co-founder of Nest along with Tony Fadell. Fadell is known for being the guy who designed the iPod. Rogers was also working on the iPod before founding Nest. He designed the software that ran it. Rogers was also one of the first engineers on the original iPhone, and worked on the first iPad, too.
Rogers said it was really hard to leave Apple back in 2010 to strike out on his own with a startup. In an interview from May (posted in full below) he said:
“It was honestly probably the hardest decision of my life. Apple was my dream job. I was making tons of money. The stock was on the craziest ride of all time … my family told me not to do it. My friends told me not to do it, said ‘you’re crazy.'”
Fadell and Rogers bootstrapped the company to build a prototype, he says, and used the prototype to raise money. Google Ventures, the VC arm funded by Google, was an early investor, among others.
In three years, the company grew to over 200 employees. As of a year ago, it was reportedly shipping 40,000 – 50,000 thermostats a month. At that time, it raised $US80 million at an $US800,000 million valuation, GigaOM reported at the time.
Nest was thought to be in the process of raising another mega round of investment, $US150 million at a valuation of over $US2 billion, Kara Swisher at Re/Code reported two weeks ago.
So the $US3.2 billion that Google paid represents a premium price to pay for Nest.
And it sure validates that Rogers made the right decision in leaving Apple.
Here’s the video: