Andy Rubin, in our opinion, is one of the most impressive personalities who not only had the skills of an inventor, but also the acumen of a business person. The founder of Android, now a part of Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG), also has a slew of patents on his name and is the reason smart-phone adoption in the world has spearhead beyond expectations today.

His father ran a direct marketing business which photographed electronic gadgets and sent offers to consumers of credit card companies with their bills. The products that were photographed to go into marketing catalogs ended up in his room, thus setting his interest in gadgets and technology.


Touted to be the man behind the $12.5 billion Motorola deal, Senior Vice President of Mobile and Digital Content at Google until March 2013, Andrew E. Rubin co-founded Android Inc., bought out by Google on  August 17, 2005 for about $50 million, and Danger Inc. whose signature product was Danger Hiptop (also nicknamed Sidekick), a phone with PDA-like abilities, which got acquired by Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) on February 11, 2008 for about $500 million.

Having a history of making hobbies into his career, Rubin’s first job was of a robot engineer at Carl Zeiss, the lens manufacturing company, where he worked on the digital communications between networks of manufacturing and measurement machines. He calls himself an engineer and tinkerer. Robotics is his hobby, as a result of which he has built his own and amassed a collection of robots from Japan. Two of his amazing robotic innovation adoptions are found right as you visit his home:

1. Andy Rubin has done away with keys and (dealing with former girlfriends, he jokes) thanks to the Retinal Scanner monitoring the entrance to his home. If you are in the database of the machine, your get through, else you have to ring the doorbell.

2. His Doorbell is a robotic arm that grips a mallet and strikes a large gong behind the glass foyer at the entrance.

There are more than just five interesting facts from his life and some of them are:

1. Andy gave shelter to a vacationing Apple engineer, Bill Caswell, who was thrown out of his cottage by his angry girlfriend. Mr. Caswell offered him the job at Apple in reciprocation.

2. Mr.Rubin adopted the name given to him by his coworkers at Apple who called him Android because of his love for robots, for his mobile OS venture he started years later.

3. At Apple, he took on research and development tasks that included development of Quadra, a desktop computer and a software modem.

4. He got into trouble with Apple’s IT Department, after his prank of reprogramming the phone system to make it sound like John Sculley, the CEO was offering special grants to his colleagues.

5. Andy, in an interview with AllThingsD, admitted that there was no way he would have been profitable as a startup without Google buying it out. His business of Android Inc earlier, was of putting Android on devices and giving it free and they earned by selling services to the operators. Now with Google, Android earns thanks to the people who view ads via the Google products and mobile advertisement platform.

6. There was a rumor that Andy had got a no strings attached offer from Facebook that was looking to build, maybe, a Facebook phone or a more social mobile operating system, that he could not refuse.

And today 52-year-old Andy Rubin has a net worth of $100 million and a huge part to play after being made the head of the robotics scene at Google. We wish him an amazing year of inventions and innovations ahead and look forward to how he would drive the next phase of this every changing technology world.
 P.S.: The interesting similarity that we see between yesterday and today is both Pierre Omidyar and Andy Rubin made businesses out of their hobbies and both worked in General Magic, at about the same time. That leaves us to ponder if there was really some magic this  Apple spin-off  did to its employees or was it just hiring similar minds.