Where 7 Hot Web Start-ups Were Born

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Nest

Where it started: A garage

Nest Labs re-designed what the home thermostat could look like and do, so it should come as no surprise that the company grew out of re-designed garage space in Palo Alto. During the warm summer months, the Nest team would open the garage door to let in some sun--and a few early admirers.

Squirrels used to run in and disrupt the hardware engineers soldering, giving the term "nest" a literal significance. One software engineer put up a sign to deter the furry invaders. Unfortunately, squirrels can’t read. But the sign became an office icon, and the team’s favorite conference room in the new office still bears the warning: "No Squirrels."