Business Insider took a look at HTC's gross profit, and noticed something interesting: since the introduction of the Nexus One, the company's gross profit has nearly tripled. Although the Nexus One was a flop by sales standards (although certainly not by consumer standards - I've yet to meet an N1 owner who doesn't swear by the phone), there were clearly positive implications in building the device for HTC.
It's hard to say what caused the massive increase - whether because building the flagship device provided the company with valuable experience, because it coincided with Android hitting its stride, or because of the attention the company received for being chosen by Google. Whatever the case, it clearly worked.
[Source: Business Insider]