Airtime, a video chat service that’s like Chatroulette for Facebook, finally went live today after years of development.It’s led by Napster co-founders Sean Parker and Shawn Fanning. Parker was also an early president of Facebook and serves on the board of Spotify.
It’s largely because of these two star-studded entrepreneurs that Airtime is as hot as it is right now. But there are plenty of people working behind the scenes too.
One of them is Benjamin Stover, who we have heard is Airtime’s superstar engineer.
One industry source close to Stover described him as a “badass” when it comes to privacy and security.
Another person close to Stover said he’s a “down to earth” guy who cares about “doing the right thing” and using technology to help people.
Now Stover is working on (among other things) Airtime’s privacy and security, keeping the site safe for its users. That’s a big task for what is essentially an upgrade of an older site (Chatroulette) frequented by sexual exhibitionists.
Stover came from Mozilla, the developer behind the Firefox web browser and a number of other online applications like the Thunderbird email client.
He had a focus on mobile working on the Mobile Firefox team. He was a hard worker and held his own, and also had some experience in web development, we hear from those close to him.
While he was at Mozilla, he worked on projects like enabling scrolling on non-highlighted browsers, and which parts of a browser to replicate after it’s closed or crashed.
Before Mozilla, Stover worked at Vidoop, a computer security company that was at the time known for developing a log-in process that didn’t use a password. That login process was said to be resistant to brute force attacks, keystroke logging and other forms of cyber attacks (though this was refuted and the company went out of business in 2009).
He graduated from University of Tulsa, where he studied mathematics and computer science.
He also appears to be a pretty compassionate guy. In one Quora thread, he asks how he can actually (logistically) help homeless people. His Facebook feed is filled with superlatives.
He’s also apparently a fan of the Tacocopter, a flying device that delivers food. (Yes, this is a thing.)
Still, online randomised video chatting is a deviant’s playground. We’ll see soon enough whether Stover and the rest of the team can keep things rated PG-13.