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Nest, based in Palo Alto, Calif., is led by Tony Fadell, a former Apple executive with a stellar pedigree, having helped bring the iPod and iPhone into the world.He and co-founder Matt Rogers recruited an A-list team of alumni not only from Apple, but also Google, Microsoft, Logitech and elsewhere.The venture backers were Valley blue chips including Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and Google Ventures.The product was undeniably cool – a so-called learning thermostat, elegantly designed, and infused with artificial intelligence smarts.

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