Tony Fadell, the father of the iPod and the co-founder and CEO of startup Nest Labs, wants to get back to doing what he does best: being a designer. That’s one of the reasons why Fadell and his team have sold Nest — their young startup that makes smart thermostats and sleek smoke detectors — to Google for an eye-opening $3.2 billion, or roughly 5.8 percent of Google’s total cash.
In an interview with Gigaom following the announcement of the deal, Fadell told us how he wants to refocus on designing product experiences instead of spending his time on scaling and infrastructure — something that’s long been at the core of massive Google. It’s certainly “not about laptops and phones,” joked Fadell; it’s more about a marriage of hardware, software and services, he explained. And the deal has been under discussion for a long time, he noted, Sergey Brin was the one who originally told Google Ventures to start a discussion with Nest.
Here are edited excerpts from a conversation with Fadell.
Om Malik: Tony, it seemed like you were on a great trajectory and were looking to build a standalone company, so what changed...