10 Updates

Google Eyes Dropcam, Company That Thinks Monetizing User Data is "Tricking the User"

May 27 2014, 6:15pm CDT | by

If Google is really going to buy Dropcam, the video camera startup might have to readjust some of its company values. The Information reported Tuesday that Google is considering buying Dropcam ,...

Filed under: news

 
 
 

8 weeks ago

Google Eyes Dropcam, Company That Thinks Monetizing User Data is "Tricking the User"

May 27 2014, 6:15pm CDT | by

If Google is really going to buy Dropcam, the video camera startup might have to readjust some of its company values.

The Information reported Tuesday that Google is considering buying Dropcam , which makes $150 cameras that stream video to a computer or phone.

But there might be one ideological hurdle: Dropcam co-founder and CEO Greg Duffy doesn’t believe in Google’s main business model of offering free services in order to gather and monetize user data.

“I think if your business model is not straightforward, it veers into potentially being unethical, if you look at things that are quote-unquote ‘free,’” he told Xconomy a year ago . “None of the people who work here want to work on something that works like that.”

Dropcam employees view using user data to make revenue as “tricking the user,” Duffy said.

Google is making serious moves into hardware after acquiring smart-thermostat darling Nest in January. But while it’s branching out, its core business is still advertising — and new smart-home devices are not immune. In a letter to the SEC last year , Google said that “a few years from now, we and other companies could be serving ads and other content on refrigerators, car dashboards, thermostats, glasses, and watches, to name just a few possibilities.”

Nest CEO Tony Fadell quickly clarified that ads are not planned for Nest devices, which include a thermostat and a carbon monoxide-smoke detector that was recalled last week.

“Nest is being run independently from the rest of Google, with a separate management team, brand and culture,” he said last week in an emailed statement to Re/code . “For example, Nest has a paid-for business model, while Google has generally had an ads-supported business model. We have nothing against ads — after all Nest does lots of advertising. We just don’t think ads are right for the Nest user experience.”

Nest may be against ads, but it’s making a quiet side business of managing users’ energy consumption on behalf of energy companies. He told Forbes in December that the business will help fatten his margins.

But Duffy said he’s proud that selling hardware for a profit means the company has no incentive to try to monetize user data.

“People are attracted to this idea of making a product and selling it to people for a profit,” he told Xconomy . “More and more, people are starting to think that other types of business models are bullshit.”

While the idea of a video camera recording you and your family’s every move make may seem creepy, Duffy says Dropcam’s business model ensures they won’t want to capitalize on the data they record.

Facebook is also cataloguing your life, but you don’t pay them to do that, so their incentives are quite different,” Duffy said . “They want to use your data to sell things.”

That’s somewhat comforting. But companies are always evolving — and just because it’s not immediately clear how to monetize home surveillance data doesn’t mean it won’t be done eventually.

Business models aside, Dropcam also has a strong company culture — one that doesn’t quite align with Google’s. Duffy, who flies helicopters, takes new hires out on a ride, and as of last year, has never had an employee quit. Part of that culture, detailed in a long interview at Xconomy, might run up against some of Google’s most lauded perks: free meals (and the long hours that come with them).

Dropcam pays for breakfast and lunch, and adding dinner “would cost us nothing” and keep people working more hours, Duffy said. But instead, employees are booted out the door at 6 p.m. so they can enjoy some sunshine and a dinner with family. It keeps employees happier and more productive instead of burning them out. And, most importantly, it’s not “tricking” anyone.

“When you have a person who can work anywhere they want to, and you say, ‘We bring in breakfast, lunch, and dinner,’ you are really trying to trick them,” he said. “You are trying to get them to work until 10 p.m. or midnight every night.”/>/>

A Google spokesman said the company does not comment on rumors or speculation. Dropcam did not respond to a request for comment. The Information’s report did not have details on the status of talks between the two companies.

 
Update
10

7 weeks ago

RM47mil KWSG contributions still unclaimed

Jun 9 2014 7:54am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: About RM47 million of contributions in the Teachers Provident Fund (KWSG) still remain unclaimed, the Dewa ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
9

7 weeks ago

Gold shop lost almost RM1mil

Jun 9 2014 3:50am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KANGAR: A gold shop owner lost almost RM1 million after after the safe on in his shop was broke ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
8

7 weeks ago

Motion to debate MAS losses in Dewan Rakyat rejected

Jun 9 2014 3:39am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: AN emergency motion to debate the losses incurred by Malaysia Airlines last year, amounting to RM1.2 billion was rejected ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
7

7 weeks ago

MH370 Tragedy: Hisham: RM27.6 mil spent on 1st phase of SAR

Jun 9 2014 2:11am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia spent some RM27.6 million in its first phase of the search operations for missing Malaysia Airline flight MH370, said Acting Transport Minis ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
6

7 weeks ago

9.1m litres of diesel seized in a month

Jun 8 2014 1:11am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

PUTRAJAYA: The Domestic Trade, Cooperatives, and Consumerism ministry has seized some 9.1 million litres of diesel and property worth RM58 million since mounting ‘Operasi Diesel Sela ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
5

7 weeks ago

Girl, 9, awarded RM2.78m compensation for medical negligence

Jun 6 2014 4:56am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: A nine-year-old girl who suffered brain damage during her birth at a government hospital was awarded over RM2.78 million in comp ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
4

7 weeks ago

Malaysia's total trade in April up 12pc

Jun 5 2014 11:52pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's total trade in April 2014 rose by 12 per cent from a year ago to RM123.86 billion due to growing trading activities, International Trade and Indust ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
3

7 weeks ago

Works Ministry to spend RM20m for upgrading works at 50 accident black spots

Jun 4 2014 11:35pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

JOHOR BARU: The Works Ministry will implement upgrading works at 50 accident prone locations in the country that have been identified this year involving an allocation of ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
2

7 weeks ago

Najib launches loan scheme for Ramadan traders

Jun 4 2014 10:24pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today launches RM45 million Ramadan Bazaar Schem ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
1

7 weeks ago

Residents bring up objection against Kidex to Suhakam

Jun 4 2014 4:49am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

PETALING JAYA: A group of 20 Petaling Jaya residents held a meeting with the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) over their objection against the proposed RM2.2 billion Kinrara Damansar ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

EU to impose more restrictive measures against Russia
Brussels, July 30 (IANS) The European Union (EU) has agreed a package of "significant" additional restrictive measures targeting sectoral cooperation and exchanges with Russia, the European Council said in a statement Tuesday.
 
 
Green spaces impact birth weight positively
London, July 29 (IANS) Where expecting mothers live can also have a bearing on the birth weight of their babies as researchers have found that mothers who live near green spaces deliver babies with significantly higher birth weights.
 
 
What makes you a pessimist?
London, July 29 (IANS) Cannot see thing turning out to be all right? A hyperactive habenula, half the size of a pea in the brain that tracks predictions about negative events, could be the key, a study suggests.
 
 
Russian space 'sex geckos' are safe for now
Moscow, July 29 (IANS) There is good news for the geckos aboard the Russian Foton-M4 space satellite meant to study the effects of microgravity on sex and reproduction.
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

Zac Efron was 'going crazy' before rehab
Zac Efron admits he was ''going crazy'' at home before seeking help in rehab. The 'That Awkward Moment' star, who sought treatment for an alleged cocaine addiction twice last year, says he realized he had a problem when...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Kanye West wants to put baby plans on ice
Kanye West wants to put his plans to have a second child with Kim Kardashian on ice. The 'New Slaves' hitmaker, who has 13-month-old daughter North with the reality TV star, is reportedly stressed out by his wife's...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Hayden Panettiere will be 'an amazing mother'
Hayden Panettiere's fiancé Wladimir Klitschko thinks she's going to be ''an amazing mother.'' The heavyweight professional boxer, 38, is thrilled the 'Nashville' actress, 24, is expecting their first child and is...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Mila Kunis celebrates her baby shower
Mila Kunis celebrated her baby shower on Sunday (07.27.14). The 'Black Swan' star, who is expecting her first child with fiancé Ashton Kutcher this year, attended a top secret party in her honor in Los Angeles, where...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
George Michael hints at Wham reunion
Los Angeles, July 30 (IANS) Singer George Michael has hinted that there could be a reunion between him and his former bandmate Andrew Ridgeley. The 51-year-old said that it was a mistake "splitting Wham!" and...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Indian weightlifter Chandrakant Mali gets bronze
Glasgow, July 30 (IANS) Weightlifter Chandrakant Mali won the bronze medal in the men's 94kg category bringing home the 10th medal for India in the day at the Commonwealth Games here Tuesday. The gold went to Papua...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
EU to impose more restrictive measures against Russia
Brussels, July 30 (IANS) The European Union (EU) has agreed a package of "significant" additional restrictive measures targeting sectoral cooperation and exchanges with Russia, the European Council said in a statement...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Medals tally at Commonwealth Games
Glasgow, July 30 (IANS) Australia are leading the medals tally with 33 gold, 28 silver and 37 bronze on the fifth day of the 20th Commonwealth Games. India are now sixth with a tally of 35 medals, including 10 gold,...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Chris Brown's neighbour threatens to shoot him
Los Angeles, July 30 (IANS) Chris Brown's neighbour has threatened to kill him if the singer will try to step onto his property. The pop star's new neighbour at the 8,000 square foot house in Agoura here has tried to...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Shooters, wrestlers inspire India's medal rush in Commonwealth Games (Roundup)
Glasgow, July 30 (IANS) Shooters and wrestlers put on a stunning show as India grabbed nine medals, including three gold medals, in what was their best show so far in the 2014 Commonwealth Games here Tuesday. Sushil...
Read more on Sport Balla