From Intrapreneur To Googler
Dave Rensin, Sr. Director of Engineering, Google

August 25, 2020

From Intrapreneur To Googler

Our guest this week, Dave Rensin, is a Senior Director of Engineering at Google. Dave talks to us about remote work during the 'new normal', the internet tech bubble in the late 1990's, Palm Pilots, startups, concert piano, the value of persistence, and more.

The Intrapreneur

intrapreneur: an employee of a large corporation who is given freedom and financial support to create new products, services, systems, etc., and does not have to follow the corporation's usual routines or protocols. --

Dave Rensin is one of the closest real-life examples of an ‘intrapreneur’ that I’ve ever met. In the 1990’s, while working at tech consultancy Noblestar, Dave was driven to start developing products and services around the Palm Mobile Platform. His instinct and drive paid off in this endeavour, which led to Noblestar’s spin-out of a new company, Riverbed Technologies, co-led by Dave (CTO) and Wayne Jackson (CEO), whose mission was to provide a ubiquitous Enterprise Mobile Data Synchronization Platform while also offering related software products and services. Nobelstar’s gamble on the Wayne Jackson/Dave Rensin duo paid off in spades.

Dave had become the CTO of Riverbed Technologies not long after completing his undergrad studies in Business Administration at the University of Maryland.

Riverbed Technologies sold for close to $900 million just a few short years after being formed. And no, this was not the Riverbed company you find on the web today - it was cooler.

In this podcast, you will hear a bit more about how Dave thinks they were able to pull all of this off.

The Googler

Dave did not stop pursuing technical and business challenges after his Riverbed success. He went on to become the CTO of OmniSky, then started another startup company, called Reality Mobile, where he served as CEO. From there, he got back to his technical roots serving as a Principal Solutions Architect at Amazon Web Services before moving on to becoming a Senior Director of Engineering at Google.

Google employees have a bit of a tech mythology about them. In our interview with Dave he reveals a little bit about how Google Unicorns are hired.

An Inspiration

In our interview with Dave, he reveals one of his childhood dreams of becoming a concert pianist and how he dealt with relevant setbacks along the way.

I had the pleasure to work for Dave at Riverbed Technologies and to observe his technical acumen and ‘big think’ first-hand, if only for a few short years. But you, and I, can continue refining our technical chops by watching some of Dave’s technical sessions found on the web, or by picking up one of his books!

Thanks, Dave, for Dreaming 10X!

podcast Google University of Maryland Dave Rensin Google Cloud Riverbed Technologies Noblestar Reality Mobile Amazon Web Services

Dialogue & Discussion