THE NEST BIG THING
With MORE than 17 years in PRODUCT marketing, Nest’s Maxime Veron is CHANGING the way we KIT out our HOMES.
Want proof persistence is key? Meet Maxime Veron. He’s the director of product marketing at Nest, a startup specialising in smart tech for home automation. But before that, he was a hungry student with a one-track mind.
When French-born Maxime graduated with an engineering degree in 1999, he wanted to work for Apple. However, Apple France was purely sales and marketing at the time. There were no engineering positions. Maxime was not easily deterred. After being told to stop calling because they had no jobs, he managed to find a connection at the company. “They were literally the best friend of my mother’s cousin’s husband,” he laughs, explaining that “this was before Facebook and websites like that”.
His connection suggested Maxime consider product marketing. Though he didn’t know what it was, Maxime figured, “If it’s a job at Apple, I’ll take it.” He started out as an intern at Apple France, then moved to Apple Europe before crossing the globe to work at Apple’s headquarters in California.
“Product marketing is [the] junction between engineering and sales,” explains Maxime. “It’s basically working with the engineers, on defining the product, and the sales team to make sure they have the right information to sell it.”
After 12 years with Apple (during which he helped develop the Find My iPhone feature, among other things), Maxime was at a crossroads. Steve Jobs had just stepped down as CEO, and the engineering team informed Maxime there wasn’t enough bandwidth in the next iOS release for his latest project to be realised. He was essentially told to stay put for two years. But Maxime wasn’t happy to just sit around.
Around this time, a start-up named Nest contacted him for the third time. Nest’s co-founder was Tony Fadell, godfather of the iPod (“He literally pitched that idea”), but the start-up was in stealth mode, so no one had heard of it. Maxime took the call and, after a series of interviews, they showed him their secret project: a thermostat. >
At that point I was GRINNING from ear to ear and my negotiation POWER went out the window. I just WANTED to be part of that STORY.