You're officially successful enough to be sued by entrenched non-innovators who took out overly broad patents so that they would be able to milk anyone who successfully built and marketed a product.
Honeywell makes damn near every wall thermostat I've ever seen, so it's not like they haven't had time to think about this application area.
But, stupidly, they don't sell it in stores, they sell it through HVAC contractors, so do-it-yourselfers won't run into them at the hardware store.
Well, actually they do make this(1) but it's got a hefty price tag and it's made for enterprise users, not homes.
"Prestige Comfort Systems have Honeywell RedLINKTM technology inside - giving you endless possibilities for controlling and monitoring comfort inside your home"
And there's the obvious bug fixing. You are stuck with a defective device if you can't update it.
Remove control and it's easy to remove buttons. There is no brilliant design or innovation there. Whether the removed control is logical or beneficial, however, is a completely different matter -- there is absolutely zero evidence that the Nest delivers on the farfetched promises it makes.
I personally can't believe it has gotten as much attention as it has. It is a non-solution for a non-problem. The single and only reason it got coverage was the Apple angle.
I beg to differ. Deciding which control to remove is the essence of brilliant design and innovation. To paraphrase Einstein, good design is as simple as possible, and no simpler.
The iPod didn't allow you to manage files on your device, letting it be simpler than Creative's products. Yes, it also overcame a bunch of other barriers (physical interface, size, skipping, transfer speed, etc), but removing what everyone erroneously assumed was essential certainly contributed to their success. It's no surprise that the Nest guys are using the same playbook.
As for Nest's claims, I assume you're talking about energy savings and, if so, are so very, very wrong: I'm a software developer and rarely adjusted the program on my old Honeywell thermostat because it took a minimum of 7 * 3 button clicks (morning, evening, night for each day of the week) simply to navigate through the program. I'm rather confident that the average American is even less likely to put up with all of that clicking and simply leaves at anything which isn't uncomfortable, even if it does waste power.
Not really, unless your world is binary. There are a lot of extremely refined, slick implementations out there. You don't know about them because they couldn't be called the "ipod of thermostats" (with leading comparisons with the ugliest, most rudimentary thermostats, as if the giant industry doesn't exist).
As for Nest's claims, I assume you're talking about energy savings and, if so, are so very, very wrong...I'm rather confident that the average American...
It is interesting how you arrived at such an energy claim with no clear avenue between the beginning and the end.
As for the promise of saving energy, either reading Nest's citations or spending a second or two on Google might prove educational as to the current gap between what is technically possible and what people actually do:
Well, yes, that's exactly what he's saying, because that's exactly the market Nest is targeting. What's your point?
It reeks of HN bias that no one in their right mind should ever become an employee of some corporation because they aren't making a shiny box or a X, Y, Z website (substitute your favorite tech of the month for X, Y, and Z)
In general, I wouldn't defend that statement (which isn't mine). But I would defend the statement that these are either not "innovations", or certainly are innovations so obvious they are mostly or entirely not worthy of government-granted monopoly: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3558260
But I don't think they sell them in regular stores much, so you don't see them on the rack at Home Depot. You only see the cheaper lower-end models with all the buttons.
Honeywell sells their $250 fancy thermostats through HVAC contractors, so do-it-yourself types probably won't encounter them.
Nest might not be taking advantage of a gap in technology in the thermostat market, so much as taking advantage of a flawed distribution model.
Further proof that Congress has failed to create a patent system that "promotes the Sciences and the useful Arts"
...and now we have a slightly improved understanding of why that is, since the underlying technology is not highly advanced.