Happy Birthday Andy Rubin: The Man Who Sold Android For $50 Million To Google

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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), has also 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 catalogues 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 is also the co-founder and former CEO of both Android Inc. and Danger Inc. In August 2005, Android was bought out by Google for about $50 million. While the other company Danger Inc., whose signature product was T-Mobile Sidekick (also known as Danger Hiptop), a phone with PDA-like abilities, was acquired by Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) on February 11, 2008, for about $500 million.


Later in November 2015, Andy Rubin has co-founded Essential Products, Inc., which developed the AI-powered Android-based Essential Phone and Essential Home. Though the company has so far failed to impress smartphone users, Andy Rubin is once again apparently ready to launch a new Essential smartphone soon.

andy rubin essential phone

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, you 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.

Here are some interesting yet lesser known facts:

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 the 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 putting Android OS 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 rumour 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, 56-year-old Andy Rubin has an estimated net worth of $300 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.

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 wonder if there was really some magic this Apple spin-off did to its employees or was it just hiring similar mind.


The post is a part of a B’day Series where we celebrate the birthday of renowned personalities from Tech Industry, very frequently. The series includes Entrepreneurs, C-level Executives, innovators or renewed leaders who moved the industry with his exponential skill set and vision. The intent is to highlight the person’s achievements and touch base the little known, but interesting, part of his life. You can see the list of all earlier celebrated tech personalities, including Mark Zuckerberg, Marissa Mayor, Sean Parker, Andy Rubin, Julian AssangeSir Richard Branson, Sergey Brin by following this link or subscribe to your daily newsletter.


  1. Happy Birthday Andy Rubin!!!! Wish you a life full of successful Inventions and Prosperity….


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