When Google bought Nest, I wrote a quick blog where I said that I thought that Google was after the design talent, not the user data or the thermostat business. Today, Google announced that they're selling the Motorola division - which they purchased for $12 billion a couple years ago - to Lenovo for $2.91 billion. And, Google is keeping the Nest group intact to be Google's core hardware group.
While Nest first became popular with its thermostats, Google didn’t buy the company for these devices. First and foremost, the company wanted to snatch the great product team.
Nest founder and CEO Tony Fadell used to work for Apple on the iPod and was a founding member of the iPhone development team. Many people working in hardware consider him one of the best executives that understand both hardware and software — he is comfortable working at the intersection of the two.
Moreover, Fadell managed to attract great Apple engineers when he started working on Nest. They wanted to follow Fadell’s plans and were good engineers. And that’s exactly what Google was looking for when it acquired Nest.
As I suspected - Google bought Nest for the talent, not the product.