Reddit Rant Signals Uncomfortable Nest

Google’s Nest has been lauded for its beauty and simplicity in design. But, if you believe the recent Reddit vent from a person who claims to be a Nest engineer, things are not as good on the inside as they appear on the outside.

Indeed, an article published earlier this month by the U.K.-based Daily Mail.com points to commentary from what seems to be a Nest engineer who talks about the company’s internal struggles – both financially and culturally. Nest founder and CEO Tony Fadell and some of those who surround him are the targets of this engineer’s ire.

‘Tony and his goons demand crazy timelines so much that ‘crunch time’ has basically lost meaning,” according to the Reddit post, as reported on by the U.K’s Daily Mail.com. “Just when your labor bears fruit, they swoop in, 180 the specs you just delivered on, then have the gall to call your team ‘incompetent’ for not reading their mind and delivering on these brand-new specs. I waste most of my time in pointless meetings, or defending my teams so they don’t flip their desks and walk out.”

He goes on to say that some Nest employees already have walked out, and that more employees – including executives – are holding on by their fingernails until their contracts expire. The engineer accuses Fadell and some within his team to demeaning and working employees so hard that staff suffer broken marriages, cry in bathrooms, grapple with failing health, and sleep in corners.

Providing a specific instance on how Fadell belittles staff, the blogger referred to the CEO’s commentary about sub-par engineers. The Daily Mail.com report pointed to a 9To5Google report in which Fadell said that engineers coming from Dropcam “were not as good as we hoped.”

reddit-1007072_640This Reddit rant certainly makes it seem that Nest, a Google company since 2014, is going against the Don’t be Evil motto on which Google was founded. But, then again, Google did drop that motto late last year.

Of course, it would be easy enough to write off this Reddit post as coming from a person who is generally unhappy or just very frustrated at a given moment in time. Nonetheless, nobody wants to be perceived as an evil tyrant, even in cases in which that might be not be too far from the truth. However, perhaps more important than this poster’s attack on Fadell and company culture is the suggestion that the company is on “deathwatch” and facing an impending employee mass exodus.

In any case, it all just goes to show that leaders need do their best to be sensitive to their employees so those workers feel invested in the companies and work their hardest. A company culture of good management-employee relations also helps ensure that workers have the best interests in mind for their companies in both good times and bad.

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