“Startups whose products challenge the incumbents need to prepare not just for competition but for dirty tricks.” That was a quote from Tony Fadell,chief executive and founder of Nest Labs, at the LeWeb conference.
He has experience of the “dirty tricks” companies use,his groundbreaking Nest thermostat triggered patent-infringement suits from Honeywell and Allure Energy. The legal cases got dismissed and Nest are now going into smoke detectors.
“They will throw everything under the sun at you, and a lot of it is not cool,” Fadell said. In addition to patent lawsuits, they’ll trash your products on review sites. Nest Labs has been able to track some one-star reviews back to the facilities of its competitors, he said, and he values having a lawyer who can fight the patent suits.”
He was working at Apple(so he has legal experience from there) before creating Nest.
“We do a good job defending ourselves,” in part because Nest’s legal team is led by Apple’s former intellectual property officer. Apple was “sued every year by Sony or Nokia or whatever company didn’t like us showing up. He brings us that confidence to bring these innovations to light.”
People who use services like Kickstarter and Inndiegogo don’t know what they’re going into.
“Kickstarter and Indiegogo have passionate people, but they don’t always understand what they’re getting into,” Fadell said.