Mike Cassidy is an entrepreneur, and was CEO and co-founder of four previous Internet start-ups: Stylus Innovation, Direct Hit, Xfire, and Ruba. Currently, he is Director of Search Product Management at Google following Google’s acquisition of Ruba.
Cassidy was educated at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (BS ’85, MS ’86 in Aerospace Engineering), Harvard Business School (1991), and studied jazz piano at the Berklee College of Music.
His first success, Stylus Innovation, was started with $500 from each of the three co-founders, Cassidy included. The company was later sold to Artisoft for $13 million in 1996. His second effort was early Internet search engine Direct Hit, which was sold to Ask Jeeves for $532.5 million in January 2000 only 500 days after launch. Cassidy’s next effort was Xfire, a freeware instant messaging service aimed at gamers. Xfire was sold to Viacom on April 25, 2006 for $110 million.
After a stint as an EIR at Benchmark Capital, Mike founded Ruba with Arnaud Weber, who was previously a technical lead for the Chrome browser project at Google.
Cassidy is perhaps best known for his promotion of “speed as the primary business strategy.” He has given numerous talks on the subject, and his Slideshare presentation on the subject has received over 16,000 views.
Mike is also the recipient of the DEMO Lifetime Achievement award. DEMO bills itself as the “Launchpad for Emerging Technology.”