So, the story has been told of how Android is causing a storm in the smartphone market by taking up a lion’s share of the market. Also, Android has revolutionized the smartphone market by making it possible for smartphone manufacturers to make phones of different price ranges. However, one question that most people do not ask is this: who is the guy behind Android? In a simple answer, the name behind the success of Android is Andy Rubin, a Silicon Valley engineer.
Why you should know Mr. Andy Rubin
Knowing Mr. Rubin is quite important since he has proven that he can predict and shape the future with regard to mobile computing. His visionary ideas have proven to be a viable pointer to what to anticipate in the world of mobile computing. This is more important for technology analysts, as they can count on his predictions with some degree of accuracy. Also, since this seems to be the decade of mobile revolution, getting to understand Mr. Rubin’s philosophy will be handy in getting a clear perspective of where Android is headed.
The brainchild behind Android
This is the guy who foresaw the huge potential that the smartphone market offered, and executed a strategy to make this happen. Mr. Rubin is a respected engineer, and this is mainly due to his remarkable experience in building mobile gadgets and working with successful mobile start-up companies. He is the one running the Android unit at Google, and he has been recently promoted to be one of the 18 senior executives at Google. But then, what makes this guy stand out?
Perhaps the most interesting characteristic of Mr. Rubin is that he is a renowned tinkerer. Legend has it that his house is full of robots, all of which he has made during his free time. However, this tinkering has not always been limited to robots; Mr. Rubin has been known to anticipate the mobile market, and this is why he became a perfect fit for Android. As he is known to be a prolific code writer, Mr. Rubin is said to have started working on the Android operating system as early as 2003, and this is way before Apple released the flagship iPhone, which shaped the smartphone market.
Many people who have worked with Mr. Rubin have accused him of being too demanding, requiring his employees to work more than is necessary. This allegation has been buttressed by the fact that the file and rank of Android has been seeing constant turn over. But then, this may be one of the reasons as to why Android is such a successful product. With the mobile market being so competitive, such kinds of attitudes and traits are not uncommon. Having weighed the options and placed his bets on the smartphone market, Mr. Rubin convinced the then Google CEO Eric Schmidt to give him resources necessary to develop the Android operating system to compete with Apple’s iOS. Actually, it is Mr. Rubin’s persistent nature that first got him into Google. He had made the Sidekick phone that happened to be a favourite of the two Google founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Their meeting then led to Mr. Rubin convincing them to take up the Android project, and he was thus given the task of running it at Google.
A generous man
Mr. Rubin is renowned for his meticulous attention to detail, as well as his generous. This may seem like a personality contrast, but it is how he has managed to blend these two traits that has enabled Mr. Rubin to be so successful. It is said that after the fall of 2008, when Android started paying off, he received millions of dollars due to a clause in his contract. He then surprised everyone in his team when he shared some of the money with his employees, and from then henceforth, he has been throwing a party for them every six months in his home. This has been instrumental in getting the employees to work so hard on Android and make it the operating system that it is today. This was also a big gesture since it was the first time such a thing had happened at Google.
Unique business acumen
Mr. Rubin changed the status quo of the mobile operating system market with the successful introduction of Android. For two years, between 2005 and 2007, Android was a very secretive project at Google. During that time, mobile wireless carriers had the authority to determine which apps could be installed on mobile phones, and this proved to be very limiting. However, when Android was released, it changed the dynamics. Having worked at Apple, Mr. Rubin was well aware that Android needed to be somewhat different from Apple’s proprietary iOS in order to stand a chance of getting a significant share of the smartphone market. This happened to be releasing Android as free software, as opposed to iOS, which was a closed ecosystem. The reasoning behind this was that it would make it easier for smartphone manufacturers to adapt the operating system to their phone’s specifications. Mobile CEOs started trooping to his office in an attempt to get the opportunity to install Android on their smartphones, and this was thus the game changer.
Simple but effective strategy
The strategy behind the launch of Android as free software was to increase its market share in the smartphone market, and then leverage on this to sell advertisements on the mobile devices running the operating system. This was a strategic move that changed the mobile industry. Google had been making apps for iOS, and it saw this as an opportunity to get many more apps on Android, and thus reach more people. Being visionary, Mr. Rubin saw the potential of the mobile market as a new and lucrative advertisement frontier. Thus far, this strategy seems to be working since Google is gobbling up around 80% of the mobile advertisement revenue, according to comScore, an authoritative technology analyst. This has thus put Google in a great position to build products for the future, mostly on mobile. Also, Android in the operating software running emerging ubiquitous consumer computing gadgets such as Google Glass, which enables you to send emails, photos and even use Google Maps on the glasses.