10 tech marvels that came from ex-Apple employees
Apple attracts the best and the brightest, but the problem with the best and brightest is that they won’t necessarily stay with you forever.
Some hires may think a little too differently to be comfortable in Cupertino, others may decide to risk everything on a moonshot rather than settle for corporate conformity.
Some left because Steve Jobs started acting all weird to them, and some because Sam Sung is a terrible name for someone who works in an Apple Store*.
Here’s a selection of devices, services and startups whose stories began when their Apple adventures ended.
1. All Android devices
Most people know that Android creator Andy Rubin co-founded Danger, the smartphone firm that Microsoft bought in 2008. But not everybody knows that a decade before he founded Danger he was a manufacturing engineer with Apple. In 2011, Apple’s lawyers claimed that Rubin’s “inspiration for the Android framework” came from his time in Cupertino.
2. Blossom One Limited
YouTube : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dsMwGV_7ZVQ
Apple doesn’t do cheap, and neither does the Blossom coffee company: its coffee machine, designed for commercial rather than home use, is a hefty $11,111. President Jeremy Kuempel previously worked for Apple, Tesla and BMW, and the firm boasts not just former Apple employees but NASA ones too. Maybe making a decent coffee is rocket science after all.
Eightly, “a completely new way to enjoy your social lifestyle”, is currently in stealth mode – but founder Andy Grignon isn’t, telling the Financial Times that he “got yelled at all the time” by Steve Jobs. Grignon worked on the iPod, developed iChat AV and OS X’s Dashboard and was part of the original iPhone team.
Evan Doll was a senior iPhone engineer at Apple, and he co-founded the social news app Flipboard in 2010. Flipboard allows you to discover and curate your news that interests you from around the web and share it with your friends.
YouTube : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0dtLcU8Bg0
Matt MacInnis, a former Apple education executive, founded Inkling in 2009 to produce interactive electronic books. Inkling’s platform, Habitat, is used by some of the world’s biggest book publishers.
Before creating the business network LinkedIn, Reid Hoffman worked as a user experience architect at Apple. A serial entrepreneur, Hoffman founded ahead-of-its-time social network Socialnet and was a founding director of PayPal too.
7. Luxo Jr
YouTube : youtubeurlhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6G3O60o5U7w
Pixar’s loveable lamp wouldn’t be a familiar sight in cinemas if it weren’t for former Apple CEO Steve Jobs: during his time as an ex-Apple employee he turned Pixar from a hardware maker to an animation studio.
Right now, Tim Bucher is preparing to launch a touchscreen device that stores millions of photos and videos – but back in 2005 he was suing Apple for wrongful termination. He joined Apple in 2003, became head of Macintosh Hardware Engineering and oversaw the development of the Mac Mini. His departure was weird, to say the least. Bucher says that Steve Jobs and Tim Cook wanted him to leave, but didn’t tell him why.
Ex-Apple stories don’t always have happy endings: Meeteor, a professional social network created by former Apple project manager Chris Lee, was dubbed “insanely great” by Business Insider in 2012. It shut down in early 2013.
10. Mass Effect, Titanfall and FIFA 14
In 1982 Trip Hawkins was Apple’s director of product marketing and sitting on a tidy pile of cash thanks to Apple’s IPO. He quit Apple and invested a reported $200,000 in setting up a new company, Amazin’ Software. Amazin’ became the rather better known Electronic Arts in late 1982.
10 more marvels from ex-Apple staffers
YouTube : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ExhD6UWEV8I
Moov is the so-called “Siri for sweat” motion tracker. It claims to be the world’s most advanced fitness tracker, and you’ll never guess where its creator, former Halo developer and Microsoft researcher Nikola Hu, used to work. Here’s a clue. It rhymes with “grapple”.
Nest’s creator, Tony Fadell, is famed as “the father of the iPod”. He’s not the only ex-Apple brain that joined the Googleplex when Google bought out Nest this year. The firm employs an estimated 100-plus former Apple engineers, product designers and executives.
YouTube : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CpVwI67gxFs
At Apple, Mike Matas worked on the user interface for the iPhone and iPad. As design lead for the iOS app Paper he’s responsible for one of the most beautiful iOS apps around.
Path co-founder Dave Morin worked at Apple for just over two years, leaving the firm to join Facebook in 2006. He left Facebook in 2010 to co-found Path, a social networking site. “We wanted to build the Apple of the internet,” he said in a 2013 interview.
The blogging service Posterous comes from the brain of Sachin Agarwal, who worked on Final Cut Pro for six years and left Apple just before the controversial Final Cut Pro X. The self-described “Apple fanboy” quit his dream job because he felt a “burning need” to make online sharing better.
16. Square Card Reader
Square’s payment system wasn’t invented by a former Apple staffer, but the latest version of its card reader comes from a team headed by former Apple engineer Jesse Dorogusker. Dorogusker worked on projects including the Lightning connector and the intriguing iPod-compatible “smart bike” during his eight years with the firm.
YouTube : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MEQj_b2nsn8
The Stir is no ordinary desk: it moves from sitting to standing, learns your work patterns and urges you to get up and move. Creator JP Labrosse was one of the first 35 employees of Apple’s iPod division and led the engineering teams for two iPod programmes.
Mark Kawano’s app makes it easy to organise photos, videos and words, and it’s a very good looking thing. You’d expect nothing less from the man who designed iPhoto and worked with developers to make attractive iOS apps.
Not the service, but the app. The app (which was bought by Twitter) was created by former Apple Graphic Engineer Loren Brichter. Brichter now makes Twitter’s official desktop and mobile apps.
UpThere is a “mystery startup” from Bertrand Serlet, former Senior Vice President of Software and Engineering at Apple and the man largely responsible for OS X Tiger, Leopard and Snow Leopard. He left Apple in 2011 “to focus less on products and more on science” and founded UpThere in 2012, which promises to be the future of the cloud. And that’s pretty much all we know, as UpThere is still in stealth mode.
* Sam Sung worked for Apple in Vancouver, much to the internet’s amusement. He now works for a headhunting company.
- Check the iPad Air, a tech marvel mad by current Apple staffers