Categories: EnterpriseStart-Up

Dropcam Founder Criticises Google Nest And Mocks Revenue

The founder of Dropcam, a home monitoring company that was acquired by Google’s Nest for £385 million, has slammed Nest CEO Tony Fadell for “crushing” Dropcam’s employees.

Greg Duffy, who sold Dropcam to the Alphabet-owned Nest in 2014, also poked fun at Nest’s revenue, claiming that Dropcam’s revenue does not make Nest look good in comparison.


The open letter from Duffy, published to long-form content site Medium, came in response to comments made by Fadell in an interview with The Information, where he spoke poorly of Dropcam employees. Since Dropcam’s acquisition, around 50 of Dropcam’s employees have left the company.

“A lot of the employees were not as good as we hoped,” said Fadell – words Duffy did not take kindly to.

“I would almost find such blatant scapegoating amusing if it weren’t so insulting to the team. Given that, I feel compelled to set the record straight,” wrote Duffy.

Duffy then goes on to explain how Dropcam was in the middle of record sales when it was acquired, and was launching innovative new products onto the market.

“We created positive ROI marketing campaigns, mass-manufactured a sophisticated hardware device, and built a cloud video service that processed more incoming video than YouTube.


“The ~50 Dropcam employees who resigned did so because they felt their ability to build great products being totally crushed. All of us have worked at big companies before, where it is harder to move fast.

“But this is something different, as evidenced by the continued lack of output from the currently 1200-person [Nest] team and its virtually unlimited budget. According to LinkedIn, total attrition to date at Nest amounts to nearly 500 people, which suggests that we were not alone in our frustrations.”

Duffy also claimed that Dropcam’s revenue would not make Nest look good compared to it, especially considering the small size of Duffy’s team.

“I can’t publish Dropcam’s revenue, but if you knew what percentage of all of Alphabet’s ‘other bets’ revenue was brought in by the relatively tiny 100-person Dropcam team that Fadell derides, Nest itself would not look good in comparison,” he continued.

Duffy further criticised Fadell for idolising his mentors. Fadell worked alongside late Apple boss Steve Jobs on the development of the iPod.

“There is a lot that I could say about my extreme differences on management style with the current leadership at Nest, who seem to be fetishizing only the most superfluous and negative traits of their mentors,” Duffy said.

In February, Alphabet said that revenues from Google’s ‘other bets’, namely Fiber, Nest, and Verily, came to $448 million (£311m) for 2015.

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Ben Sullivan

Ben covers web and technology giants such as Google, Amazon, and Microsoft and their impact on the cloud computing industry, whilst also writing about data centre players and their increasing importance in Europe. He also covers future technologies such as drones, aerospace, science, and the effect of technology on the environment.

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