[Techie Tuesdays] Why did Giridhar Murthy quit Apple to join an Indian Startup?


Calling Giri's career so far a success, would be an understatement. Giri joined Rational Software (since acquired by IBM) - a company that made tools which could expand the use of modern software engineering practices like explicit modular architecture (splitting product architectures into smaller modules) and iterative development(the Hacker Way). His next big job was right after post graduation when he joined Apple. But for the genius that Giri holds, he normally comes across as a matter-of-fact person. But talk to him about his work and his eyes light up.It is hard to come across people so passionate about what they do.

Giridhar Murthy is today’s Techie Tuesday and his latest assignment is with Little Eye Labs. He is the newest edition to the Little Eye Labs team which comprises of many accomplished individuals. Along with a high acumen for working on machine level computations, Giri also brings to table the reputed Apple design thinking into this Indian startup.

Apple, Steve Jobs and Design

After completing his Masters from the Ohio State University, Giri was immediately hired into Apple for his work on enabling Graphical Processing Units of mobile devices to perform general computation. He said, “My post grad thesis was on GPUs and at the time, Apple was also working on something similar. Most mobile devices today use a lot of the GPU to perform general functions, but back then it was a quite a niche thing to work on. I worked on iOS apps that would use the GPU to perform regular functions.”

Being an ex-employee at Apple, we asked him about his interactions and experiences with Steve Jobs. “I didn’t have much of a chance to speak with him. We used to see him occasionally at the cafeteria. However, our managers used to report our work to him. I had that one degree of separation from him with that respect.” Giri did however, have an obsession with design that is synonymous with Apple. He said, “As a low level programmer, I never really worked on front end coding. But in Apple design is in everything. From how effectively your algorithms work, to how your presentation looks and engages with its audience.”

Giri currently looks at product design at Little Eye Labs.

The Rational love affair

When we asked Giri about the coolest thing he’s done in his eight year long career, we were surprised he didn’t mention anything at Apple. He however, fondly remembers his first job at Rational Software. He says, “At Rational, we were working on a product called PurityPlus. It is the coolest thing that I’ve ever seen in my life. This software takes an executable file, rips it apart, embeds some of its

own code and recompiles it. With this, we can collect information about the performance of a software program like never before.” This work that Giri did for Rational is more closer to his heart, because he had just finished his under graduation. “I learnt more in my first few days at Rational, than I ever did in all my years of engineering,” says Giri.This is also one of the reasons why Giri has come back to India to work with Little Eye Labs. He says, “Most of Little Eye Labs’ people are ex-Rational and the product is very much like PurityPlus, only for mobile apps. I want to relive that experience of working on something as cool as that.” Only love and passion can drive a person to take the leap into the world of startups and that is evident in Giri’s case. Not many would have left Apple to work with a startup, but Giri did. We at YourStory.in respect Giri’s passion and zeal to learn.

When he isn’t understanding the inner workings of a computer, Giri enjoys the great outdoors and does everything from trekking to sky diving.

Get in touch with Giri here.


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