Jul 07 0 Responses

How To Smoke A Fatty, BBQ Sausage Recipe Edition

For those who don’t barbecue, call grilling, barbecuing, or have an affinity for non-clogged arteries, you may have never heard of a sausage fatty. Basically, a fatty is bacon, wrapped around breakfast sausage, wrapped around cheese and other goodness. That’s as American as it gets.

The beauty of smoking a fatty (and yes, that’s how you say it) is it’s really quick by BBQ standards. You can go from the fridge to fully smoked in 2-3 hours. A few people have asked me how to do it, so here are the steps to BBQ a sausage fatty.

1. Put breakfast sausage into a 1 gallon ziplock style bag. Any sausage will do, but I like to use Italian flavored.

2. Seal the bag and roll the sausage out flat with a rolling pin.

3. Cut the top of the ziplock off and transfer the sausage to wax paper.

4. Add the cheese (I’d recommend using 6 slices. 9 was too cheesy).

5. Add additional goodness. This could be sautéed mushrooms or onions, spinach, really anything you think would make for a good stuffing.

6. Roll up the sausage fatty using the wax paper then transfer to cling wrap and wind tight.

7. Make a bacon weave on wax paper. Not only does this look cool, but it’s very simple to do. (I prefer the thick cut bacon in a 6×6 grid.)

8. Unwrap sausage fatty from Step 6 and wrap with bacon weave. Then move from wax paper to cling wrap and roll tight.

9. Allow the fatty to refrigerate for at least a couple of hours and up to an entire day. Then, unwrap and place on your smoker.

10. Allow to smoke for 2-3 hours at 200 – 250 degrees F. You’re looking for the sausage to get to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. Once it hits this temp, you’re done. Remove from the smoker.

Allow to cool. Cut up into discs. Serve.

Total prep time is about 30 minutes then a couple of hours on the smoker. A BBQ fatty is about the easiest way to get started using your smoker.

Apr 08 3 Responses

Everything You Learned In Elementary School About Failure Is Wrong

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill

I have forgotten many things over the years: names, faces, quotes, passwords. But only once have I stood on stage with hundreds of people staring back at me and forgot how to speak. My mind blank, the hours of preparation and practice could not bring back a single word. The only word that I could think of was, failure.

Fortunately, I am well versed at failure. I have failed at everything I have ever tried – usually multiple times. I’ve failed in love and at my career. I’ve failed at friendships and in finance. My life has been a series of one failure after another, and that is a beautiful thing. Because nothing succeeds like failure.

Before the Emancipation Proclamation and long before Mount Rushmore, there was an Abraham Lincoln who tried to be a state legislator and lost. He lost in his first run for Congress and his two bids to be a U.S. Senator. Lincoln faced more than his fair share of failures, but what makes him extraordinary is he continued to get up and continued to push forward.

Michael Jordan missed 26 game winning shots. Babe Ruth struck out 1,330 times. Emmitt Smith, the all-time NFL leader in rushing, averaged getting tackled every 4.2 yards, but he got up every 4.2 yards to carry the ball again. Every failure gets you closer to success.

As long as you keep getting up, that failure provides a data point the next time you are in a similar situation.

Fail Forward
There are hundreds of examples of individuals and organizations continuing to get up until they hit on what would eventually be their big break. Formula 409 was the Rouff Corporation’s 409th attempt to make a commercial grade cleaner. Water displacement, 40th try, became WD40. Angry Birds was a breakout success making Rovio seemingly famous overnight. Angry Birds was Rovio’s 52nd game.

The quickest way to close the gap between your current reality and your dream is to embrace failure. The best way to create a breakthrough product or to launch a new idea is to accept that failure is just a natural part of the process.

ThePoint was created to improve online fundraising. It was an unmitigated disaster. They were so far in debt that the founder had to lay off his friend and partner to pay the small amount of staff required to keep the website online. Wanting a fraction of their money back, investors encouraged the team to focus on the one bright spot on ThePoint: a small widget on the side of the page called Groupon.

Burbn was an HTML5 version of Foursquare. After seeing they had little chance to break into the space, they focused on the one part of the app people were actually using: the picture sharing functionality. They dropped the foursquare features and built an iOS app rebranded as Instagram.

Odeo was a service geared around sharing short audio clips. The team saw virtually no success, but they truly believed people wanted to consume information in short chunks. They dropped the audio concept, refocused around the idea of short text updates, and renamed themselves Twitter.

The list of organizations and ideas who continued to iterate on their idea and not let failure stop them is seemingly endless. These people didn’t experience failure in a shameful or shocking way. When reality punched them in the mouth, they understood it was part of the process and did everything they could to avoid it again. Failure isn’t fun, which is why it’s such a great teacher.

Fail Like A Scientist
When a scientist runs an experiment, any number of results can happen. Some of those results are positive and some are negative, but all of them are data points. Each result is a piece of data that can ultimately lead to an answer, and that’s exactly how a scientist treats failure: as another data point.

For scientists, negative results are not indications they are bad scientists. Proving a hypothesis wrong can be nearly as beneficial as proving it right because of the information gained along the way. In the same way, failures are simply data points leading to the right answer. Failure is the toll you pay on the road to being right.

Imagine a world where Lincoln had quit after that failed Senate run. Or a world in which Henry Ford had stopped after his first, his second, his third, or even his fourth bankruptcy. And there’s always the famous Edison quote, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

Fail Fast
The secret serial entrepreneurs know that other people don’t is that their idea is a bad idea. They don’t know why it’s bad; they just know that it’s bad. Maybe they’re misjudging their market. Maybe they’re overrating the product’s value. Maybe they’re underestimating the amount of effort to pull it off. There are dozens of maybes. This isn’t to say to go into a situation without doing research; it’s just to realize there is a gotcha out there that due diligence will never uncover.

The only way to find this gotcha, to understand what’s wrong, is to release a product, launch your company, try your idea. Then, see how the market responds and iterate. Be relentless in your iterations. Be ruthlessly honest in your assessments. Failing fast is ok. It allows you to respond fast. Failing slow, on the other hand, is death. Listen and adjust. Tweak, add features, remove features. Keep releasing and re-releasing.

Failing fast allows you to learn fast, and it’s the only way to fail. If you fail slowly, by the time you realize you missed the mark, either you will be too tired and burned out to keep at it, or the industry will have passed you by.

You want a magic bullet, the entrepreneur version of six-minute abs? Get your idea in front of people and relentlessly iterate on that idea.

Failure is a lot like going to the dentist. It’s uncomfortable but inevitable. And it’s essential if you want to reach your goals.

Mar 04 0 Responses

How Not To Propose To Your Girlfriend

You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. You have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life. – Steve Jobs

Imagine sitting at a small, intimate dinner table with the person you hope to spend the rest of your life with. The plates are being cleared; your hands brush. This is the moment you’ve been waiting for. Just as the sun slips behind the horizon, you reach into your pocket and pull out the spreadsheet you’ve prepared, analyzing the current state of your relationship.

As ridiculous as this sounds, organizations do this every day. From who we’re going to marry to where we’re going to live, gut and intuition play an enormous role in all of life’s major decisions. Yet, we’ve programmed our corporate decision makers to cower behind numbers and kneel at the altar of data.

 A Hunch is More Than a Hunch
The trouble with this is the very best decision makers, those known for their shrewd business sense and ability to predict future trends, are constantly sending their companies in logic defying directions. They often attribute these decisions to nothing more than “gut”, “intuition”, or “a hunch”.

In actuality, these gut reactions are the result of thousands of hours of subconsciously processed information. Our brains are drawing on patterns we can’t articulate and making connections we can’t explain. It’s this ability that allows a chess master to look at a board and instantly determine which, of over 50,000 possible configurations, is currently in play, and instinctively know where to move his piece[1].

Every time we make a decision, our brains are cross-indexing related information from similar situations. What looks on the outside, and may even feel on the inside, like intuition is actually a calculated response based on a deep understanding of the factors involved. Whether you realize it or not, you are applying a mental model to a specific situation. This model constantly changes and evolves as knowledge and expertise increase.

Decide Fast
The entire knowledge of human history is doubling every single year[2], meaning business models change overnight, and business plans are outdated before the ink is dry on the proposal. The cost of waiting until you have obtained all the data points is an obsolete decision.

Decisions have to be made quickly and tweaked constantly. The rapid pace of technology has moved us to a point where we have to make a call well before all the facts are in. This fluidity in decision making requires a great deal of self-awareness. This self-awareness, combined with the brain’s ability to draw on previous experiences, places you in the perfect position to determine the best path forward.

Gladwell’s 10,000 Hours
Intuitive decision making is the end result of our experiences, and it stands to reason decision-makers who have passed that 10,000 hour threshold, made famous by Malcolm Gladwell in Outliers, would be better at making decisions. This means the only way to make better gut decisions is to expose yourself to making more decisions. Being aware of and okay with making these decisions before all the facts are in will strengthen your ability to do so in the future.

One of the key ingredients of effective leadership is the ability to give an opinion, come to an agreement, or settle a dispute without full knowledge of a particular situation. Ralph Larson, the former CEO of Johnson and Johnson put it this way, “Very often, people will do a brilliant job up through middle management, where it’s heavily quantitative in terms of decision making. But then, they reach senior management, where the problems are more ambiguous, and we discover their intuition is not what it should be. And when that happens, it’s a problem. It’s a BIG problem.”

Know Thy Business. Know Thyself.
Acquiring more knowledge and gaining more experiences are the only way your brain can begin to make those cross-references. Trusting your gut is something that many of us have to learn to do. It’s easy to fall back on data, and we won’t be questioned if we point to numbers. But no one ever said, “Fortune favors the number cruncher.”

You’ll know a lot more about how someone will fit on your team from a long conversation than you could ever glean from a resume. Resumes don’t show intangibles. They can’t predict tenacity, adaptability, or curiosity.

Bold, unconventional decisions turn also-ran companies into market leaders. Motorola put a phone that analysts said would never be more than a novelty into production, and the RAZR is still the best selling clam-style cell phone of all time. Chrysler changed their entire public perception by going against industry experts’ advice and put a V10 engine in a sports car called the Dodge Viper. Microsoft’s former CEO, Steve Ballmer, famously laughed at the launch of Apple’s iPhone, describing it as “the most expensive phone in the world.” Less than a year later, it was also the best selling phone in the world.

When a deal just feels right, sign it. When you can’t put your finger on why a particular candidate seems like the right person for the job, but you just know they are, hire them. You can take solace in the fact that your decision wasn’t just a hunch, or a gut feeling, or some form of intuition; it was based on thousands of hours spent in hundreds of situations. It comes from your brain cross-referencing millions of data points that have been subconsciously wired together.

All so you can tell someone when asked why you did what you did, “I don’t know, I just trust my gut.”

1 Gardner, Howard. “Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligence” 1993
2 Buckminster Fuller, R. “Critical Path” 1981

Dec 02 0 Responses

10 Best Christmas Songs You’ll Actually Want To Listen To

Christmas songs don’t have to be bland and boring. This list of the 10 Best Christmas songs feature everything from original indie rock to fresh takes on classic tunes. In a sea of same, these are definitely worth a listen:

The Killers – Boots (iTunesAmazon)

A beautiful nostalgic reminder of the of the power of Christmas and forgiveness bringing families together.

Death Cab For Cutie – Christmas / Baby Please Come Home (iTunesAmazon)

Rolling Stone rated the original version of Christmas as the number one rock-and-roll Christmas song of all time. Death Cab’s alternative take on this classic is better.

My Morning Jacket – Silent Night (Google)

On a cold Austrian night in 1818, a broken organ at St Nicholas’ Parish led a writer and a composer to collaborate on a guitar accompanied Christmas carol. My Morning Jacket stays true to the song’s roots with this stripped down version.

Summer Camp – Christmas Wrapping (Amazon)

This time of year, we can all relate to just wanting a break. UK indie pop duo, Summer Camp, does justice in their faithful cover of the Waitresses’ cynical holiday song.

Kristy Starling & Jim Brickman – Sending You A Little Christmas (iTunesAmazon)

Sure this is a homer pick with Kristy being my sister-in-law, but it’s not my fault she married my brother.

Ohbijou – Last Christmas (Google)

Canadian indie band, Ohbijou lends some much needed cool in this de-synthesized cover of Wham’s Christmas hit.

Pearl Jam – Someday At Christmas (Google)

We can all hope like The Jackson 5, Justin Bieber  and the dozens of other artists who’ve covered Stevie Wonder’s plea that we can all someday live in a world full of peace. Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder  adds an additional dimension with his take on this socially conscious carol.

Frightened Rabbit – It’s Christmas So We’ll Stop (iTunesAmazon)

In addition to kilts and bagpipes, Scotland also has some amazing indie rock and folk bands. Frightened Rabbit is no exception with this heartfelt and raw Christmas song.

Coldplay – Christmas Lights (iTunesAmazon)

Christmas lights is classic Coldplay. If you’re like me, and you think that’s a good thing, this is a must add to your Christmas playlist.

The Raveonettes – Come On Santa (iTunesAmazon)

I’m a sucker for this Danish garage bands harmony.  This is just a good Christmas song.

Bonus Song

Richard Cheese – Ice Ice Baby (Google)

While it’s not  technically a Christmas song, it does talk about ice which is kind of like snow. If you grew up in the 80’s and 90’s, there’s no way you can listen to this and not at least smirk. In the end, Christmas is all about nostalgia.


Happy holidays to you and yours.

Nov 07 0 Responses

The Art of Hiring Rock Stars

“If each of us hires people who are smaller than we are, we shall become a company of dwarfs. But if each of us hires people who are bigger than we are, we shall become a company of giants.” – David Ogilvy, Chairman of Ogilvy & Mather and widely considered “The Father of Advertising”

The world has fundamentally changed.
And that is why there are so few outstanding managers. It’s not their fault. We are equipping them to manage a world that no longer exists. Companies have been slow to understand this change and even slower to adapt their training. This is why small startups out-recruit Fortune 500 companies on a daily basis.

By 1999 this should have been clear to us. Napster was destroying the music industry, AOL CDs filled every mailbox, and an entirely new economy, soon to be ruled by Apple, Google, Facebook, and their peers, was emerging. The previous 5,000 years of accepted wisdom were undone in less than five. It wasn’t a jock’s world anymore. Geeks were setting the direction of industry.

This realization is what led me to understand everything I had ever learned about managing people was wrong. The idea of someone working for the same company for an entire career all of a sudden seemed like a quaint throwback to the days of milkmen and black and white televisions. I had to understand how to build an environment focused on attracting and keeping talented employees. Those lessons learned and time spent understanding how to manage smart people in this new world became the basis for this book.

And it all starts with hiring.

Hiring is Viral
There is nothing more vital to your organization’s success than hiring the right people. Every hire changes the culture of your team. It’s a viral exercise. Positive people are contagious, and negativity spreads faster than the latest internet meme.

All it takes is one person to infect your team and ruin your culture. The best way to avoid the disruption of bad hires is not hiring them in the first place. Spending a few more minutes on a few more interviews to find the right person is significantly better than spending countless hours micromanaging a bad one. So what if your position is open for longer than you anticipated? It’s worth it if that means finding the right fit and attitude for your team.

It’s All About Attitude
You can give someone experience, but you can’t give them a work ethic, a great attitude, or a desire to learn. You’re looking for talent, not skill sets. Skill sets are a gauge of a person at a particular moment in time. Having a great attitude and the desire to learn is far more valuable.

It’s surprising to find out nearly half of all hires fail within their first 18 months on the job, but much more interesting than the failure rate is why these employees fail. Nine out of ten failures are due to bad attitudes [1]. When you hire someone, you are putting the future of your company in their hands. Their attitude and how they interact with your team is directly linked to your organization’s success.

A Company of Giants
If you’re putting your company in the hands of your people, you need rock stars. Determining the number of average employees it takes to equal one great employee is a bit like figuring out how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie® pop. Everyone has a slightly different answer, but most studies say somewhere between 5 and 28 average employees equal one great employee [2]. From my experience, I’d put that number somewhere around infinity. There simply isn’t a way to replace a rock star employee with a set number of “B” players. You cannot replace talent with numbers.

In today’s economy, innovation has a higher economic impact than productivity. Average employees don’t envision or create breakthrough, game-changing solutions. Focusing on recruiting and retraining these high-end performers may seem unusual, but it’s something that’s done all the time in industries where the only things that matter are winning and money: sports and entertainment.

It’s common knowledge that adding a single superstar player to a team increases its odds of winning a championship, and adding the right A-lister to a movie is often the difference between box office success and failure. These great players make everyone around them more efficient and effective. They produce higher quality work and allow you to recruit people you would not have access to otherwise.

Talent Recognizes Talent
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle put it this way, “Mediocrity knows nothing higher than itself, but talent instantly recognizes genius.” The illustrious JT The Bigga Figga simply said, “Game recognize game.”

Smart people want to work around other smart people. Rock star employees improve your brand among potential hires, and increase your ability to attract top talent. Every hiring choice you make is exaggerated by every new layer of employees you bring on as your organization grows.

Success comes from finding, recruiting, hiring, and retaining the best talent. Taking time to find the right fit, the right attitude, and the right talent makes as much of a difference to your organization as it does to any professional sports team or Hollywood movie, and it’s every bit as important.


1 Murphy, Mark. “HIRING FOR ATTITUDE: research and tools to skyrocket your success rate.” Leadership IQ White Paper 2012: 1.

Sackman, Erikson, Grant 1968 Exploratory Experimental Studies Comparing Online and Offline Programming Performance
Brooks, Fred 1975 The Mythical Man Month
Boehm, Barry W. 1981 Software Engineering Economics
Glass, Robert L 2002 Facts and Fallacies of Software Engineering
McBreen, Pete 2002 Software Craftsmanship


Jul 23 0 Responses

The 3 Most Important Steps You Can Take To Be Awesome At Your Job

Can you imagine anything less human than the inner-workings of a pocket watch? The gears grind with a sole purpose, and the hands tick with precision. There is no wasted motion, no need to adapt. There is only efficiency.

They’re very good at doing exactly what they’re supposed to do, and often, people think if they come in and act like that watch, they’re doing exactly what they’re supposed to do.

But our value as humans does not come from mimicking machines. Our value comes from doing things uniquely human. It comes from seeing a problem and thinking differently. It comes from analyzing situations and creating opportunities.

We cannot view ourselves as some cog in a corporate wheel. We have to be engaged. We have to have our heads up, and we have to be looking for opportunities.

Step 1: Grow

Take responsibility for your career. You have to be constantly learning. The very best employees, the most engaged employees, are the ones who are proactively figuring out ways to be better. You should have an answer for, “What have you done in the last 6 months to be better at doing what you do?”

The power of 1%
Power of 1%In 2009 Alfred Lin, then COO of Zappos, sent a letter to his employees talking about the power of 1%. In it, he explained if you could improve by just 1% every single day, this time next year, you would be 37 times better than you are right now.

It is a simple illustration, but it absolutely shows the power of growth.

Step 2: Treat The Company Like It’s Yours

We’d all be better off if we acted a bit more like an unfunded startup and bit less like some VC just gave us $100 million to blow. Be selfless when assessing need vs. want. Question purchases, and ask why something useful is getting thrown out.

It’s so easy to think of your company as an entity sending you checks every two weeks, but company growth is a collective effort. I’m not saying invite friends over to your house for a sales pitch thinly disguised as a party, but if you believe your company offers a high quality product or fills some real need in the marketplace, keep your ears open for opportunities.

Step 3: Be Happy

No one is going to be rainbows and unicorns every day, but we can all bring positivity every day. Take care of your co-workers. Celebrate their successes, and learn from their failures. Be looking for reasons to give credit as opposed to reasons to criticize.

Great co-workers will push you to be who you are, to be the best at what you do. That’s what engagement is all about. And if that is a little too fluffy for you, I’ll leave you with this:

According to Gallup’s really long and somewhat dry PDF, companies with engaged employees are 16% more profitable, 18% more productive, have 12% more loyal customers, and produce 60% higher quality products than those with disengaged employees.

Engagement is not a fluffy concept. It’s not the icing on the cake; it’s the flour in the batter. You want to be awesome at your job? Get engaged.

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Jul 16 1 Response

NeverWet Review – Hands On Test

When you see something that blows your mind, you’re pretty much obligated to write a review. With that in mind, here’s my obligatory NeverWet Review.

In one word, awesome.

In a 45-second video, look down.

In a whole lot of words, look down farther.

I’m sure Rustoleum’s NeverWet will be incredibly fun to play with on all kinds of things that don’t matter, but I started off using it to solve a real problem. We have a gutter downspout that floods our flower bed every time it rains. Of course, this flooding kills anything we try to plant here.

Initially, I installed a fibre landscaping edge to divert the water around the corner which worked to an extent, but there was still too much water weaseling its way around the edging and into the flower bed. I was to the point of figuring out a way to live with it when I saw NeverWet was available. So I hatched the plan you can see in the video above.

  • Tape off the concrete.
  • Apply 2 layers of both base and top coat.
  • Remove tape and see what happens.

The NeverWet worked better than I expected. It does a great job of not only diverting the water around the flowerbed (see video) but also of causing any water that hits it directly to bead up (see image at the top of this post).

I don’t review many things, but NeverWet is well worth the $20 for the entire kit.

Why it’s awesome:

  • You get to play with a super hydrophobic spray.
  • It protects virtually anything from liquids.
  • It’s very easy to use.
  • Limitless applications.
  • Have you not watched the NeverWet review video?

Why it’s not 100% awesome:

  • It leaves a slight milky haze.
  • It takes a bit of time to apply (mostly drying time).
  • You can’t buy it in large quantities, yet.

But mostly, why it’s awesome:

This type of technology will change everything. It’s still early on in commercial applications, but it’s very exciting to see where they could end up. If they can fix the haze problem, imagine windows coming from the factory with the stuff. There are already some phones that come waterproofed with NeverWet, why not all electronics? It’s fun just to sit around with some friends and think about what you could possibly use it for.

It’s awesome stuff, and you should definitely pick up a kit for yourself.

Jul 08 0 Responses

3 Browser Extensions Designers and Developers Need

I’m not smarter than most people, but I can trick you into thinking I am. You see, I’m a search savant. I find things, and I find them fast.

In order to keep up this facade of brilliance, I use a whole lot of shortcuts, tools, and extensions. Here are 3 that will give designers and developers an immediate efficiency boost.

ColorZilla (Chrome, Firefox)
Use an eye dropper to quickly determine the hex and RGB of any element on a webpage.

WhatFont (Chrome)  FontFinder (Firefox)
Figure out what font is being used by hovering over text. It’s that simple.

Resolution Test (Chrome) and Firesizer (Firefox)
Test web pages in different predefined resolutions or define your own screen sizes.

What extensions do you use to save you time and make your day more efficient?

Jul 01 0 Responses

Learning Is The Key To Leadership

How can someone with the powerful title, the right look, and the impressive background, never actually inspire a soul?

It’s because leadership has never been about authority or power. Leadership comes from your social influence, and your ability to use that influence to get maximum productivity out of others. Leadership is getting your team to follow you into hell wearing gasoline suits – and being excited about it.

Earning Social Influence

The right question is never, “Why isn’t someone following me?” It’s, “What reasons have I given someone to want to follow me?” If you aren’t learning and growing, you can’t reasonably expect someone to think of you as a leader. A leader is at the front. They’re progressive. They’re innovative. They’re continuously learning.

It’s so easy to fall into the trap of learning by chance or learning on the job, but that’s only good enough if you want to almost lead. To make the transition from almost a leader to actually a leader, learning has to be intentional to the point of becoming who you are as a person.

And if all that sounds like a lot of work, it is. The pic at the top of this blog post is not some random image of books found on the web, it’s my next 6 months of free time. So yeah, it’s hard, but if you love the challenge of getting the most out of others, it’s absolutely worth it.

Jun 10 2 Responses

The Nest Thermostat Review: 1 Year In

Is it the Nest the single greatest invention in human history? Probably not. Is $250 a lot of money for a thermostat? Of course.

That being said, after a year of using the Nest, I’ve become an evangelist.

I’m going to break down my real costs, and while there are all kinds of variables to consider when making comparisons between what I have seen and what you might see, this should at least give you a decent idea of what your savings could look like.

For us, the plan was simple. Our energy bill from June 2011 – May 2012 was $2,010.That’s a whole lot of money, and we were looking for ways to cut cost. Thermostats control about 50% of any energy bill so that seemed like a good place to start. Less than an hour after picking up a Nest, our old thermostat was off the wall and the Nest was up and running. Installation is crazy easy.

So here we are, a year in, with at least anecdotally good results. Our energy bill for the first 12 months of Nest usage was $1,352. That represents an energy cost savings of $658 (32%).

I really think the Nest does 3 things better than even very good programmable thermostats.

  • It’s very easy to program. If you can use a smart phone, you can program a Nest – without a manual.
  • Auto-Away – I don’t know how it’s so good at knowing when you’re gone, but it’s impressive.
  • Airwave – Coolest thing, it cuts off your A/C but keeps the fan running across the condensor to get every ounce of cold into your house.

All in all, the Nest saved us a lot of money, and I’d highly recommend it.

By the way, here’s a pretty chart showing our energy saving month to month:

I have the Gen 1 version so I have no idea if Gen 2 would have the same results. It should, but I don’t know.

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