Photo: Aimee Groth, Business Insider
If you need proof that Apple is full of insanely talented people, just consider some of the companies that employees went on to start after leaving the company.Ex-Apple employees have launched companies are innovating everything from cloud computing to gaming and home appliances.
While at Apple, Tony Fadell helped redefine the concept of a portable music player by developing the iPod. Fadell left the company in 2008 and later founded Nest Labs in 2010, a company that is redefining another product: the thermostat. Apple recently partnered with Nest to start selling the thermostat in its online store.
Andy Rubin started his career in the early 90s as an engineer at Apple. He later founded Android, an open source mobile software company, which was eventually bought up by Google. Apple later accused Rubin of drawing a little too much inspiration for Android from his time at Apple.
Upthere, a new cloud OS startup, was founded by two former Apple employees including the brains behind the Mac OS X.
As the brains behind the Mac operating system, Bertrand Serlet was widely considered to be one of Apple's true geniuses. Serlet left the company in mid-2011 and has since been working with a couple other ex-Apple employees on a startup in Palo Alto called Upthere, which is working to create a cloud OS that will change the way people store their files online.
Meeteor is looking to take professional networking to the next level by helping users expand their networks by get introduced to people who might be useful to know. The startup was cofounded by Chris Lee, a former Apple project manager who oversaw the development of several Mac OS X releases.
Dave Morin is probably best known for his impact on social networking, first as an early Facebook employee working on initiatives like Facebook Connect and more recently as the founder of Path, a startup that strives to be a more intimate social network. But before he worked in either of these companies, Morin managed higher education marketing at Apple.
Evan Doll worked at Apple for six years, first as a pro video software engineer and then as a senior iPhone software engineer. He left the company in mid-2009 to co-found Flipboard, an app that essentially turns your social news feeds into a magazine.
Sachin Agarwal worked as an engineer at Apple for six years before he left to found Posterous in 2008, a simple blogging platform that was ultimately acquired by Twitter.
Stocktwits provides stock traders with a way to share investing news with one another in real time. The startup was cofounded four years ago by Soren Macbeth, who spent a brief period working as a senior information security analyst at Apple in the mid-2000's.
Reid Hoffman, the founder of LinkedIn, worked as a user experience architect at Apple for a couple years.
Nearly a decade before Reid Hoffman launched LinkedIn in 2003, he worked as a user experience architect at Apple. According to Hoffman's LinkedIn profile, he spearheaded several big projects for Apple including eWorld International and Global Access Assistant. If those names don't exactly sound familiar, keep in mind this was the mid-90s, before Steve Jobs made his return to the company and completely changed its direction.
Matt Macinniss spent seven years working at Apple in several different positions that revolved around education marketing. He left the company in 2009 to found Inkling, a promising education startup that offers an alternative platform for publishing interactive digital textbooks. Unfortunately for him, Apple released its own software for interactive textbooks.
Trip Hawkins served as a marketing director at Apple in the early days, but ended up leaving the company in 1982 to found Electronic Arts. Steve Jobs apparently viewed this move as an 'act of betrayal,' but something tells us Hawkins probably made the right decision. Hawkins also brought on a couple other Apple employees to help run the young video game company, including Dave Evans and Pat Marriott.
Marc Benioff, Salesforce.com's founder, spent a summer working at Apple, but it had a big impact on him.
Marc Benioff, the founder and current CEO of Salesforce.com, actually spent a summer coding for Apple back in the 1980's. While that may not be enough time to truly consider him an Apple alum, the experience did have a big impact on him. Benioff later wrote in his memoir, 'That summer, I discovered it was possible for an entrepreneur to encourage revolutionary ideas.'
No, Square wasn't founded by an ex-Apple employee (unless there's something Jack Dorsey isn't telling us), but the startup is flooded with plenty of Apple alums. Square is filled with former Apple designers and the company recently hired a former Apple hardware engineer to help spearhead the company's push into hardware.