Brooks Brothers Returns To Roots With Planned Steakhouse

Brooks Brothers / Via facebook.com

With its plan to open a new steakhouse in Manhattan as a way to leverage its brand, Brooks Brothers is actually making a return to its roots.

Sounds crazy, but it’s true.

While plans for the retailer’s new restaurant, “Makers and Merchants,” raised eyebrows when it was first reported by the New York Post earlier this week, the reality is that the Brooks Brothers aesthetic and core customer dovetail perfectly with the prototypical steakhouse diner. Think bankers, politicians, corporate executives who have no problem dropping $200 or more on a meal for two.

“A steakhouse feels consistent with the Brooks Brothers DNA,” said Allen Adamson, a managing director at brand consultancy Landor Associates in New York. “Steakhouses are very traditional. Wood paneling, mahogany tables, waiters that look like they know one side of beef from the other.”

At its core, Brook Brothers is also very traditional. History and heritage are essential pieces of America’s oldest retailer. The company’s website has a timeline that starts in 1818, with its first store, and includes key moments in American history, such as the opening of the Erie Canal and when California became a state, overlaid with the dates for when the Brooks Brothers logo and the brand’s original button-down polo shirt were invented. In an entry for 2001, it refers to the company’s purchase by Italian billionaire Claudio del Vecchio after the 9/11 attacks as “an heroic rescue.” (Fun fact: del Vecchio co-opened a restaurant in Hartford, Connecticut, named Spris, that closed about three years ago.)

By opening a restaurant, “what you’re going after is the center of the bull’s eye of your core customer,” said Lee Peterson, executive vice president of creative services at WD Partners, a retail strategy and design company based in Dublin, Ohio. “People who love Brooks Brothers and are avid Brooks Brothers fans will be the first testers to see if the whole thing works.”

Further, Brooks Brothers’ plan to open a restaurant follows a number of moves in recent years attempting to connect with new shoppers that may have made the retailer “a little mall-oriented, airport-oriented,” Peterson said.

Included among those moves were introducing a “Flatiron” chain of stores geared towards college students and young professionals, partnering with designer Thom Browne for the fashion-forward Black Fleece by Brooks Brothers line, and selling home goods, children’s clothes and licensed collegiate apparel. Brooks Brothers expanded so aggressively internationally that nearly half of its more than 300 stores are now located overseas. This summer, the brand outfitted all the men in The Great Gatsby.

That’s a lot of changes for a company that waited 40 years before introducing a new suit silhouette in 2006.

And while those moves were aimed squarely at shedding its reputation as being a little stuffy, Brooks Brothers has to be conscious of morphing too much into a lifestyle brand.

“I wouldn’t do one in every mall or as many stores as they have, that’s for sure — that’s the kiss of death,” Peterson said. “That would dilute the brand.”

But following the blueprint of fellow retailers like Tommy Bahama, Urban Outfitters and Nordstrom that have opened restaurants in select locations in a bid to combine food and shopping has the potential to work very well for Brooks Brothers.

After all, the jeans-and-hoodie aesthetic popularized by the tech industry appears to have given way to a return to more traditional business attire in the workplace. Sales of men’s tailored clothing in the U.S. rose 11% to $4.6 billion in the year through August 2013, compared with a 2.6% increase in menswear overall to $58.5 billion, according to the NPD Group.

And what better way to unwind from a long day of suit-fitting at Brooks Brothers than with a scotch and a filet mignon at the steakhouse next door?

Read more: http://buzzfeed.com/sapna/brooks-brothers-returns-to-roots-with-planned-steakhouse

Liberals trust the Times, conservatives trust Fox, and nobody trusts BuzzFeed

Liberals trust the Times, conservatives trust Fox, and nobody trusts BuzzFeed

Liberals trust a much larger mix of news outlets than conservatives do, according to a new report on political polarization and media habits from the Pew Research Center’s Journalism Project. People who described themselves as consistent liberals said they trusted 28 of the 36 media outlets considered in the survey, while consistent conservatives trusted only eight of them.

Liberals cited outlets such as NPR, PBS, the New York Times and the BBC as their most trusted news sources. Consistent conservatives, on the other hand, were more tightly clustered around a single news source: Fox News. The Pew survey suggests that Fox News is simultaneously one of the least and most trusted news sources in America, with 37 percent of Americans saying they don’t trust it and 44 percent saying they do.

Read more: http://knowmore.washingtonpost.com/2014/10/21/liberals-trust-the-times-conservatives-trust-fox-and-nobody-trusts-buzzfeed/

The Phone That Cost BlackBerry About $1 Billion

Jon Blacker / Reuters

BlackBerry’s new flagship smartphone, which was supposed to save the company, is officially a flop.

BlackBerry is taking a huge pre-tax charge against inventory and supply of nearly $1 billion, which is primarily attributing to the BlackBerry Z10. That smartphone was supposed to put BlackBerry back in competition with the iPhone and Android devices, but apparently wasn’t able to do enough to save the company — which is reportedly shopping for buyers.

“As a consequence of the more intense competition the Company is experiencing in its hardware business, it expects to report a primarily non-cash, pre-tax charge against inventory and supply commitments in the second quarter of approximately $930 million to $960 million, which is primarily attributable to BlackBerry Z10 devices.”

Increased competition is right, as the iPhone and Android have essentially decimated BlackBerry’s market share and sent the company’s stock diving along with it.

Source: ComScore data

BlackBerry’s stock is now down another 20% just before the end of trading on Friday.

In addition, BlackBerry is preliminarily delivering its quarterly earnings, which brought in $1.6 billion in revenue, while analysts were expecting the company to bring in around $3.1 billion in revenue. It’s also cutting 4,500 jobs, carrying a Q2 operating loss of somewhere between $950 million and $995 million.

And in addition to all that, the company is trimming its lineup of smartphones to focus almost exclusively on enterprise markets and what it calls “prosumers.”

The portfolio will focus on enterprise and prosumer-centric targeted devices, including 2 high-end devices and 2 entry-level devices in all-touch and QWERTY models. With the launch of the BlackBerry Z30 – the next generation high-tier smartphone built on the BlackBerry 10 platform — this week, the Company will re-tier the BlackBerry Z10 smartphone to make it available to a broader, entry-level audience. At the same time, the Special Committee of the Company’s Board of Directors continues to evaluate all strategic alternatives for the Company.

Read more: http://buzzfeed.com/mattlynley/the-phone-that-cost-blackberry-about-1-billion

Do You Know How Big Yahoo’s Business Really Is?

Denis Balibouse / Reuters

Yahoo, like Facebook and Google, makes money off online advertising.

But unlike those companies and others, Yahoo’s online advertising business has been stagnant for years. That’s led many of Yahoo’s investors to remain in the company not for the sake of its business, but for the sake of its stake in Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba.

Yahoo still has a roughly 15% stake in Alibaba, which is worth around $34.4 billion. The company also has a stake in Yahoo Japan worth $8.2 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. In addition, Yahoo sold 140 million shares (including additional shares as part of the IPO’s “greenshoe”) in Alibaba’s IPO at $68, netting the company about $9.5 billion.

As the Wall Street Journal points out, if these were all taxed based on the 38% capital gains rate, the contribution of its Asian assets and the Alibaba windfall to Yahoo’s worth would be around $33.1 billion. Yahoo also had around $1.1 billion in cash and cash equivalents at the end of June, according to its most recent earnings release. That would leave Yahoo’s core advertising business worth around $6.3 billion — far less than its current market capitalization of $40.5 billion.

This makes Yahoo not a very big online advertising business at all, compared to giants like Facebook and Google. That’s partially why some activist investors are now suggesting that Yahoo buy AOL, another company that makes money off online advertising, to beef up its business. Shares of Yahoo are actually up about 5% in trading today.

So, with that in mind, can you guess if the $6.5 billion value of Yahoo’s core business is worth more or less than:

  1. 1. Which is worth more?

    1. AP Photo/Alex Washburn


      Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s net worth


    2. Yahoo’s core business



    X

    Mark Zuckerberg is worth $34.3 billion, according to Forbes.

  2. 2. Which is worth more?


    1. Yahoo’s core business

    2. Aol


      Aol



    X

    Aol is worth $3.4 billion.

  3. 3. Which is worth more?

    1. Yahoo


      Yahoo’s core business

    2. News Corp


      News Corp’s core business



    X

    News Corp’s market capitalization is $9.6 billion.

  4. 4. Which is worth more?

    1. Chesnot / Getty Images


      Former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg’s net worth

    2. Yahoo


      Yahoo’s core business



    X

    Bloomberg is worth $34.5 billion, according to Forbes.

  5. 5. Which is worth more?

    1. Yahoo


      Yahoo’s core business

    2. Google


      Google’s core business



    X

    Google brought in nearly $16 billion in revenue alone in its most recent operating quarter.

  6. 6. Which is worth more?

    1. Noah Berger / Reuters


      Former Oracle CEO Larry Ellison’s net worth

    2. Yahoo


      Yahoo’s core business



    X

    Ellison is worth $48.4 billion, according to Forbes.

  7. 7. Which is worth more?

    1. Yahoo


      Yahoo’s core business

    2. Tiksa Negeri / Reuters


      Microsoft founder Bill Gates’ net worth



    X

    Gates’ net worth is $80.9 billion, according to Forbes.

  8. 8. Which is worth more?

    1. Dropbox


      Dropbox

    2. Yahoo


      Yahoo’s core business



    X

    Dropbox was most recently valued at $10 billion.

  9. 9. Which is worth more?

    1. Yahoo


      Yahoo’s core business

    2. Pinterest


      Pinterest



    X

    But only barely. Pinterest was valued at $5 billion as part of its most recent financing round.

  10. 10. Which is worth more?

    1. Uber


      Uber

    2. Yahoo


      Yahoo’s core business



    X

    Uber was valued at $10 billion during its most recent financing round.

  11. 11. Which is worth more?

    1. Brendan Mcdermid / Reuters


      Activist investor Carl Icahn’s net worth

    2. Yahoo


      Yahoo’s core business



    X

    As he would say, this is a no brainer. Icahn is worth $25.7 billion, according to Forbes.

  12. 12. Which is worth more?

    1. Yahoo


      Yahoo’s core business

    2. New York Times Co.


      The New York Times Co.



    X

    The New York Times Co. was most recently valued at $1.7 billion.

  13. 13. Which is worth more?

    1. Washington Post Co.


      The Washington Post Co.

    2. Yahoo


      Yahoo’s core business



    X

    Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos bought The Washington Post for $250 million.

  14. 14. Which is worth more?

    1. Twitter/@wholefoods / Via Twitter: @WholeFoods


      Whole Foods

    2. Yahoo


      Yahoo’s core business



    X

    Whole Foods was most recently valued at $13.6 billion

  15. 15. Which is worth more?

    1. Yahoo


      Yahoo’s core business

    2. Win McNamee / Getty Images


      Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ net worth



    X

    Bezos is worth $29.8 billion, according to Forbes.

Do You Know How Big Yahoo’s Business Really Is?

SHARE YOUR RESULTS

Read more: http://buzzfeed.com/mattlynley/yahoo-is-not-very-big-at-all

Only 113,000 Jobs Created In January

The U.S. economy added only 113,000 new jobs in January while the unemployment rate dipped down to 6.6% from 6.7% in December. Economists projected that 180,000 jobs would be created in January.

The previous months’ job creation data were only slightly revised: 274,000 jobs created in November compared to the original 241,000 number and 75,000 jobs created in December compared to 74,000 as originally reported last month.

Jobs created per month

Via Bureau of Labor Statistics

The unemployment rate, which is based on a survey of households (the jobs-created number is based on a survey on employers), showed slightly better news. The 6.6% unemployment is the lowest since October, 2008 and the labor force participation rate, which measures the portion of the population that has or is looking for work, ticked up to 63% from 62.8% in December.

The unemployment rate dropped in January for the “right reasons” — namely that the number of individuals reporting that they were employed in the household survey, 616,000, was larger than the number of individuals enetering the labor force, 499,000.

“The trend in the job market has not changed,” said Moody’s Analytics Chief Economist Mark Zandi on CNBC, noting that the new numbers were roughly in line with the average jobs created over the last year of 194,000 per month.

While some analysts were expecting low numbers due to bad weather in January, the sector of the economy that would seem to be most affected showed job growth actually reversed losses from December: Construction added 48,000 jobs compared to a 22,000 job lost in December. State, local, and federal governments shed 29,000 jobs — 12,000 from the federal government and 9,000 jobs lost in the Post Office alone.

Read more: http://buzzfeed.com/matthewzeitlin/only-113000-jobs-created-in-january

Lululemon’s Next CEO Rumored To Be A Coach Executive Who Announced His Resignation Today

Coach is losing its president and chief operating officer — and rumors in the industry are that he may be leaving to take the top spot at Lululemon.

Jerry Stritzke will resign from Coach effective Sept. 2 “to pursue other interests,” the company, which reported dismal fourth-quarter earnings today, said in a statement. Coach “cannot provide additional comments” around his exit, Andrea Shaw Resnick, a spokeswoman for the company said in an email to BuzzFeed. A representative for Lululemon said the company has no updates at this time on its search for a new chief executive officer.

Stritzke, who has worked at Coach since March 2008, joined Lululemon’s board last year and was noted as a possible contender for the CEO spot there in a Women’s Wear Daily article in June. Lululemon’s superstar CEO Christine Day abruptly said last month that she would resign after five years for “personal reasons” once a successor was found, sending the company’s stock into a tailspin.

“Since he’s already on their board, it likely signals that they like, respect and trust him,” said Howard Gross, managing director of the retail and fashion practice at executive search firm Boyden in New York. “Might make the transition a bit easier than hiring an outsider.”

Lululemon “could certainly make a convincing case for appointing him CEO,” he said.

Stritzke has a long history in retail — he held a number of top positions at Victoria’s Secret parent L Brands before joining Coach, including a stint as COO of Victoria’s Secret, helping oversee the brand’s stores, website, Pink, and beauty product line. The Oklahoma State University graduate started his career as a lawyer and, according to Gross, “his professional experience lies more in operations than merchandising.”

Lululemon is seeking a chief executive to oversee the next five to 10 years of growth for the yoga-wear retailer, which has expanded rapidly in the past few years. The new CEO will helm a growing international expansion and the dive into new products, such as a larger men’s segment.

Lululemon did take down the chief executive officer job listing from its website, which was posted last month. (It is unclear if Stritzke has Oprah Winfrey and Bill Clinton on speed dial, as the job listing specified.)

Read more: http://buzzfeed.com/sapna/lululemons-next-ceo-may-be-coach-executive-who-just-stepped

How Credit Card Reform Totally Worked

Jason Reed / Reuters

The CARD Act, signed by President Obama in May 2009, was the largest overhaul of the $688 billion credit card — and 470 million cards — industry in years. The legislation instituted a wide variety of protections that took aim at some of the fees that consumers understood the least and banks profited from the most. More than three years after it began to take effect, the evidence is starting to trickle in on whether or not the legislation has been effective at protecting consumers, especially those riskiest borrowers, with lower credit scores, who were the richest source of fees for banks issuing credit cards.

Some of the rules instituted by the CARD Act mandated that customers had to be given 45 days’ notice before an interest rate jump and be given statements three weeks before a bill was due. It also stipulated that issuers could process payments only above the credit limit (and charge the requisite fee) if the customer opted in, and said that fees for going over the credit limit could be charged only once per billing cycle. The act made a raft of new regulations on credit cards for borrowers under 21 and college students.

Payments for interest and fees are lower.

The CARD Act’s limits on fees are working, according to a new paper from four research and government economists that looked at 150 million credit card accounts that cover about 40% of all credit card counts. Over the limit fees, which the CARD Act greatly restricts and increases transparency for charging, used to be about 1% of a credit card user’s average balance and have fallen to about zero. Now that banks have to clearly disclose their structure for late fees and get explicit permission to even process the charges that incur the fee, people have basically stopped going over their credit limit.

Something similar happened to late fees, which used to be about 2% of balances — they’ve been cut in half to 1% of daily balances. Overall, the cost savings on fees alone, about 2.8% of annual borrowing on credit cards, have dropped by $21 billion per year thanks to the new restrictions. And the decline has been the biggest for borrowers with the lowest credit card scores: For borrowers with FICO scores below 620, fees went from 23% of their average daily balance to 9%. Those borrowers represent 17% of all credit card accounts.

Cards aren’t getting more expensive.

With revenue from fees cut off by the new legislation, one might expect that credit cards would get more expensive, especially for those with worse credit. But the researchers “[did] not observe a sharp uptick in interest charges” while the CARD Act was being implemented. Even new credit card contracts, issued after the rules were fully in effect, don’t have an “uptick or gradual increase” in pricing, while the “number of new accounts opened and the credit limits on new and existing accounts seem unaffected or are even increasing during the CARD Act’s implementation period.”

Once again, the credit card borrowers with the worst credit are seeing the biggest gain, according to the paper, the low-FICO score borrowers with fee drops of 10% “did not experience a resulting increase in interest charges” compared with credit card users with better credit whose fees stayed steady as the bill was implemented.

Cards are still profitable and available.

What’s interesting about credit cards is that if you have pretty good credit, you’re probably costing your bank to have a card with them. The researchers found that card holders with FICO scores below 620 generated profits of 7.9% of their balance, while the most creditworthy generate 1.5% profits on their balance and those in the middle, with FICOs between 660 and 719, cost their bank 1.6% of their balance.

The four economists conclude that “credit cards are a particularly profitable segment of the banking industry,” and that “at the height of the financial crisis…credit card issuers were earning their largest profits from the subprime segment of the market.”

That’s a changed a little thanks to the new rules: For the riskiest borrowers, net income for card issuers dropped 18 percentage points, while it dropped around 3 percentage points on average.

But if the profitability of cards has fallen off, will banks restrict consumer credit? This has been the argument of the American Bankers Association, which said in a letter to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau this year, “Credit card interest rates are higher, despite the fact that interest rates are at historic lows.”

But the researchers say that the data doesn’t quite bear this out: If there was an overall trend of lower interest rates that was forestalled by the regulations, then you’d expect the risky borrowers who had the biggest drop in fees due to the CARD Act to have higher interest charges, compared with those borrowers with good credit whose fee payment were not affected by the new rules.

That didn’t happen, and instead the researchers have found that the risky borrowers whose fees were reduced did not see their interest charges go up any more than the high FICO score cardholders — indicating that the CARD Act didn’t raise interest rates compared with a downward trend.

Read more: http://buzzfeed.com/matthewzeitlin/how-credit-card-reform-totally-worked

What Kind Of Investor Are You?


    1. Satoshi Nakamoto


    2. John Bogle, inventor of the index fund

    1. CBS/60 Minutes


      Hedge fund legend Paul Tudor Jones

    2. Via Heinz Peter Bader / Reuters


      Kim Kardashian






    1. Via D-schaub nature photography



    1. Stormbreath Dragon



    1. Ronald Reagan


    2. President Camacho

    1. Via Olivier Douliery / Getty Images


      Bill Clinton

    2. Via Ethan Miller / Getty Images


      Ron Paul

    1. Flickr/krossbow / Via flic.kr


    2. flickr/sjssharktank / Via Flickr: sjsharktank


    1. Flickr/jameskm03 / Via Flickr: jameskm03











    1. Wikimedia / Via upload.wikimedia.org




    1. Wikimedia / Via upload.wikimedia.org


What Kind Of Investor Are You?

  1. You got:

    All Bitcoin Everything

    The fiat money system is going to collapse along with a stock market propped up by inflationary central bank policy. What’s more useless than a dollar issued by a perfidious Federal Reserve? You have all your assets in the only thing you can trust: nobody. (and hopefully not Mt. Gox!)

  2. You got:

    Stock Picker

    If the market’s going up, down, or sideways, you always know the right trade. You have two loves in your life: your Scotttrade account and CNBC. You always can beat the market, right?

    CNBC

  3. You got:

    Index Investor

    You’re the model of prudence, conservatism, and long-term thinking. The only thing you look at in your investments is the expense ratio. You have nearly everything in a Vanguard target-date and aren’t even thinking about the markets for another few decades. Why waste money trading when you can make money by doing nearly nothing?

    Vanguard

  4. You got:

    Investing?

    Umm, my paycheck is for paying rent and going out, not dumping into a 401(k). Mutual funds? Bottle service!

    HBO / Via blog.chron.com

SHARE YOUR RESULTS

Read more: http://buzzfeed.com/matthewzeitlin/what-kind-of-investor-are-you

How To Prosecute And Defend The Real Wolf Of Wall Street

Via Paramount Pictures

“Was the movie accurate? It played down the sex and drugs,” said Ira Sorkin, a partner at Lowenstein Sandler who defended Jordan Belfort, the real “Wolf of Wall Street,” as well as Bernie Madoff.

Sorkin was speaking on a panel at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York with the lawyer and FBI agent he was working against when he defended the infamous Long Island brokerage founder, whose massive riches, prodigious drug and alcohol abuse, and eventual fall has been immortalized by Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio in the Wolf of Wall Street.

The three, who were sitting on a panel with Robert Khuzami, the former federal prosecutor and SEC enforcement chief who is now a partner at Kirkland & Ellis, all agreed they were dealing with someone who was intelligent, persuasive, and ultimately deluded about his ability to defeat the law.

“Jordan was a very smart individual,” Sorkin said. “He was a tremendous salesman and was able to influence all these young and inexperienced and naive people.”

Greg Coleman, the FBI agent who investigated the case, said he saw Stratton Oakmont, Belfort’s firm, as encased in a suit of armor and himself “as a parasite trying to get into that suit of armor.”

“It was all about blatant fraud, pushing stock to unsuspecting investors to get people to buy stuff that wasn’t suitable for them and didn’t have any value,” said Joel Cohen, who prosecuted Belfort as a assistant U.S. attorney in Brooklyn and is now a partner Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher.

Although Stratton and Belfort made their riches through fraud, the criminal investigation that brought them down was over money laundering.

Sorkin said that Belfort came to him 1991, two days after the Wall Street Journal reported that the Securities and Exchange Commission was investigating Stratton Oakmont. “My first reaction was that we had to keep this from going criminal,” Sorkin said. They ended up reaching a deal with SEC that left Belfort with “tens of millions of dollars.” He could have “disappeared into the sunset,” Sorkin said.

That didn’t happen.

Instead, Stratton tried to pay Belfort $180 million for a non-compete agreement despite him being banned from the industry. Then Belfort and his partner Danny Porush (played by Jonah Hill), started laundering money out of the country with their friends and family, including Jordan’s wife’s aunt. “They were so drugged up I’m not sure they understood anything at this point,” Sorkin said.

“The big break for me is when Jordan went offshore,” said Coleman. “What Belfort was ultimately charged and prosecuted for had nothing to do with five years of pump and dumps.”

Once they were able to indict Belfort and Porush, prosecutors threatened to indict Belfort’s wife Nadine the next day to try to get him to cooperate. “I think that’s outrageous behavior that no prosecutor should engage in,” Cohen explained, speaking this time from his role as a securities lawyer, “but it did tend to lubricate his decision to cooperate rather quickly.”

Even arresting someone as gaudily wealthy as Belfort presented its own unique challenges. Belfort’s bail was set at $10 million, which he paid with $7 million of his wife’s jewels and $3 million of cash that had to be hauled over to a Brooklyn courthouse in a Brink’s truck.

Belfort would ultimately serve only 22 months because he cooperated with prosecutors in taking down other corrupt brokers. And he and Porush agreed quickly. “Both of their lawyers conveyed a few days after they were arrested that they were quite eager to cooperate,” Cohen said.

And they needed both of them to cooperate, but to do so separately without each other’s knowledge. “You can’t call guys like Belfort or Porush to the stand without being absolutely certain they’re telling the truth,” Cohen said. “They woke up every day and told lies. That’s what they did for a living.”

Preet Bharara, the U.S. attorney in the Southern District of New York, ended the evening with a speech where he concluded, “Is there any hope? Do the bad guys always win or did they get a movie deal and be played by Leonardo DiCaprio?”

Read more: http://buzzfeed.com/matthewzeitlin/how-to-prosecute-and-defend-the-real-wolf-of-wall-street

Google Just Bought A Smart Thermostat Company For $3.2 Billion

Google said Monday it would acquire Nest Labs, the developer behind a smart thermostat and smoke detector, for $3.2 billion in cash.

What this means for Google, first off, is that the company is clearly interested in expanding its portfolio of devices. Outside of phones (and, arguably, tablets) Google has not had much success in creating devices, such as the ill-fated home-theater, weirdly spherical Nexus Q device. But the company has continued to make an effort at doing so, recently with a small dongle that plugs into a television to play a few Android apps called the Chromecast.

However, the appeal of Nest Labs’ products goes beyond just devices. Much excitement in the investor community about the Nest and the follow-up smoke and carbon monoxide detector the Protect stems from the products’ ability to “train” homeowners to think of their homes in multiple states that are not just home and away.

For example: Initially, when leaving the house, homeowners would either leave the air-conditioning or heating running or turn it off. With Nest, home owners can think of more phases that a time of day has — such as waking up, leaving for work, coming home for work (as in, turning the heat/air on in anticipation of being home), and so on.

Understanding the behavior in those states, and how to create new ones, would be of natural interest to a company like Google that essentially wants to be the interface for how people interact with the internet, whether that is through search, mail, videos, and now possibly even controlling a home environment.

The overlap possibilities are staggering — imagine a home altering its environment to synchronize with a movie, played via YouTube through Chromecast. That’s entirely hypothetical, but certainly not out of the realm of possibility with a web of connected devices like the Chromecast and Nest thermostat.

AP Photo/Jaime Henry-White

Nest Labs also put out a blog post basically saying that not much would be changing. The company is still supporting iPhone and iPad users, and also said any information gathered from the company’s products will (at least for now) only be used for Nest Labs products.

Previously, Nest Labs was reported to be in the process of raising money at a $2 billion valuation. Typically startups will explore both acquisition and fundraising efforts simultaneously in order to attract better offers from both sides, so it is not all that surprising that Nest Labs was speaking to Google at the same time. (Apple, reportedly, was not in the mix for the company, according to Liz Gannes over at Re/code.)

Like Motorola, Nest will continue to operate under the leadership of CEO Tony Fadell and with its own distinct brand identity, Google said as part of the acquisition. But, either way, there appears to be an enormous amount of potential, particularly in international expansion, which Google CEO Larry Page specifically calls out in the announcement of the acquisition.

“Nest’s founders, Tony Fadell and Matt Rogers, have built a tremendous team that we are excited to welcome into the Google family,” he said. “They’re already delivering amazing products you can buy right now—thermostats that save energy and smoke/CO alarms that can help keep your family safe. We are excited to bring great experiences to more homes in more countries and fulfill their dreams!”

Read more: http://buzzfeed.com/mattlynley/google-just-bought-a-smart-thermostat-company-for-32-billion