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Internet of Things Have Changed

Jay Cuthrell
May 13th, 2019 · 2 min read

Fudge Sunday

The past few days have been confusing and frustrating for home automation enthusiasts that made investments in Nest products. How did we get here?This week we take a look at Nest.


Turn off the lights when you leave…

If you are subscribed to this newsletter there is a good chance you have owned or still own Nest products. The smart home has been inspired by cartoons and 80s era commercials. The smart home has been enshrined in the ubiquitous X10 web page banner advertisements of the late DotCom era.

hqdefault 1965 - Intelligent Power Switch in Cartoons

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Before there was the CLAPPER there was the Great Gazoo

1200px X10 1 1975 - X10

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As seen on every 1990s era web banner advertisement on every web page on the Interwebs.

hqdefault 1 1984 - The Clapper

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Clap on. Clap off. Behold the power of sonic power control.

Today the way the market moves often seems more like the plot of a cartoon or a TV commercial that is both familiar if not slightly annoying to see over and over again.

How did we get here?

Nest actually wasn’t the first WiFi enabled smart thermostat. Even a first mover advantage wasn’t enough to catapult early pioneer startups into sudden success.

dims 2009 - Ecobee WiFi-enabled Smart Thermostat

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The promise of ROI was promising.

By 2010, seeming everything that could be added to a WiFi network was becoming what would become the Internet of Things or more accurately the Internet of Things That Would Likely Change or Deprecate in the Future. Then in 2011, everything changed as the team behind the iPhone set out to transform the thing we never knew we needed… a cloud connected thing to control the most boring things in our home from our smart phones.

thermostat 1 2011 - Nest arrives

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Things were different in 2011 but the desire for “smart” things was definitely a thing.

nest9 2014 - Google buys Nest for $3.2B

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Looking back, this was the beginning of the end of the beginning.

5a7b50a8e559f0ac2d8b46c1 1334 667 2018 - Google moves Nest

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The moving of Nest from independent to less independent parts of other hardware projects was always a when it would happen not an if it would happen.

nest 640x215 2019 - Nest is now Google Nest

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The branding is probably going to change again but this is where it stands for now.

New and Improved?

By the year 2019, it’s almost reaching the level of trope to consider any innovative startup hardware as being subject to these inevitable chapters:

  1. Startup Company launches amazing Product
  2. Passionate customer flock to Product
  3. Record breaking sales for Product
  4. Vibrant API or developer ecosystem emerges for Product
  5. Acquisition of Startup Company by BIG Company
  6. BIG Company says Startup Company / Product will not change (much)
  7. Older customers complain about minor changes to Product
  8. BIG Company shuffles around Startup Company
  9. WHILE $SALES_YEAR > $SALES_LAST_YEAR { GOTO 6 }
  10. BIG Company dissolves Startup Company with major Product changes

The Internet of Malevolent Appliances

It’s more likely that bigger companies will continue to appear as a safe bet due to marketing. The reality will be that swapping home automation technology will be fractured until a universal standard is mandated. The mandate will be the response in the wake of reasons for legislation and regulation by governments post Internet of Things going very very wrong.

DigiCert 2019 - Mitigating IoT-Based DDoS

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It’s all fun and games until your smart bagel toaster attacks the SCADA for your utility companies.

Final Thoughts

Home automation is fun if you have income to burn that you don’t see as an investment that lasts longer than a few years. If you plan a longer time then make sure the operating manual is easy to find and easy to apply for those that follow behind.

1 Y6VHKELjpYta8J14MrH3KA 2015 - DeathHacks

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A reminder that all that we set in motion during the living years will be a reminder or a puzzle for those we leave behind – document, document, and then document again.

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