Google's decision to pay $3.2 billion for Nest Labs, a mostly unknown maker of smart smoke alarms and thermostats, could be the start of a radical shift in the tech industry from a focus on the next big thing to improving long-used everyday products.
The devices made by Nest Labs have been mainstay home products for decades. The company didn't create anything new or exciting; it radically improved the look and capabilities of everyday products. But the results attracted Google's interest, and finally, its willingness to make Nest its second largest acquisition after the $12.5 billion it paid for Motorola's smartphone operation in 2011.
A tip of the hat to Darren Murph of BGR for an incisive take on how the acquisition shows the tech industry is changing. Startups no longer need to invent new technology, they simply have to improve what's already here.