Mike Cassidy (entrepreneur)

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Mike Cassidy is an American entrepreneur, and was CEO and co-founder of four previous Internet start-ups including Stylus Innovation, Direct Hit, Xfire, and Ruba.com.[1] In January 2012, he became director of product management at Google and led Project Loon[2] with Google[x]. In April 2017 it was reported he is working on a clean energy startup, Apollo Fusion, using a hybrid reactor technology based on fusion power.[3]


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.[4]


His first success, Stylus Innovation, was started with $500 each from Cassidy and his two co-founders, Krisztina Holly and John Barrus, and subsequently won the MIT 10K (now called the MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition).[5] The company was later sold to Artisoft for $13 million in 1996.[6] 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,[7] Mike founded Ruba with Arnaud Weber,[8] 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 75,900 views.[9]


Mike is also the recipient of the DEMO Lifetime Achievement award.[10]


  1. ^ [1],'Start-up King' Mike Cassidy
  2. ^ "Mike Cassidy", Project loon: Meet the team
  3. ^ Bloomberg Technology, Former Google Vice President Starts a Company Promising Clean and Safe Nuclear Energy
  4. ^ Notable Biographies, Mike Cassidy.
  5. ^ VentureBeat, How many times can you bet on this guy?
  6. ^ VentureHacks, Cassidy and speed.
  7. ^ GameDaily Interview, Mike Cassidy on Leaving Xfire, Joining Benchmark Capital.
  8. ^ Ruba- Discover your next perfect trip
  9. ^ Slideshare Speed Presentation, Speed as THE Primary Business Strategy.
  10. ^ DEMO, Lifetime Achievement Awards Fall 2009.

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