Paul Buchheit

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Paul Buchheit
Paul Buchheit.jpg
Born (1977-11-07) November 7, 1977 (age 44)[1]
Alma materCase Western Reserve University
OccupationComputer programmer, Software developer
Known forFriendFeed, Gmail, one of Google's early employees

Paul T. Buchheit is an American computer engineer and entrepreneur who created Gmail. He developed the original prototype of Google AdSense as part of his work on Gmail. He also suggested Google's former company motto "Don't be evil" in a 2000 meeting on company values. That motto was initially coined in 1999 by engineer Amit Patel.[2][3]

Early life and education[edit]

Buchheit grew up in New York.[1] He attended Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio[4] where he rowed crew.[5]


Buchheit worked at Intel and later became the 23rd employee at Google. At Google he began developing Gmail in 2001, with its innovations in search and storage. He also prompted[vague] what would become AdSense. Leaving Google in 2006, Buchheit started FriendFeed, which was launched in 2007 with partner Bret Taylor. FriendFeed was acquired by Facebook in 2009 in a private transaction that resulted in Buchheit being a Facebook employee.[6] In 2010, Buchheit left Facebook to become a partner at the investment firm Y Combinator. From 2006 (when he started investing) until 2008, Buchheit invested about $1.21 million in 32 different companies.[7][third-party source needed] and he left Facebook to become a full-time angel investor.

He continues to oversee angel investments of his own in "about 40" startups (by his own estimate)[8] and is active with Y Combinator.

Honors and certificates[edit]

He won the 2011 The Economist Innovation Awards for the Computing and telecommunications field.[9]


In 2009, Buchheit set up Google Moderator to crowdsource ideas for the causes (501(c)3 non-profits) should benefit from his financial support. To quote him:

In terms of which causes I'd like to support, I'd consider anything, but am probably most sympathetic to health, freedom, and education. In terms of solutions, I'm very skeptical of centralization, one-size-fits-all solutions, and people who are certain of the answer. I also prefer to support things that have tangible, objective outcomes (where you could say, 'this money was used to purchase X' or 'this money was used to fund study Y, which will be published this fall.').

Buchheit has donated to various health organizations since the death of his 33-year-old brother from pancreatic cancer.

Buchheit has stated that he believes society has the technology and resources to provide adequate food, housing, education, and healthcare for everyone, using only a fraction of available labor and resources. In his view, this implies it is possible to put an end to wage slavery.[10] Buchheit further stated:[10]

I don't have to work. I choose to work. And I believe everyone deserves the same freedom I have. If done right, it's also economically superior, meaning we will all have more wealth. We often talk about how brilliant or visionary Steve Jobs was, but there are probably millions of people just as brilliant as he was. The difference is they likely didn't grow up with great parents, amazing teachers, and an environment where innovation was the norm. Also they didn't live down the street from Steve Wozniak. Economically, we don't need more jobs. We need more Steve Jobs. When we set everyone free, we enable the outliers everywhere. The result will be an unprecedented boom in human creativity and ingenuity.


  1. ^ a b "Paul Buchheit Success Story". Archived from the original on January 8, 2018. Retrieved October 25, 2018.
  2. ^ "Paul Buchheit on Gmail, AdSense and More". Google Blogoscoped. July 16, 2007. Retrieved March 3, 2009.
  3. ^ "Don't be Evil or don't lose value?". April 15, 2008.
  4. ^ Gmail creator, CWRU Computer Engineering alum Paul Buchheit to deliver his own message at commencement | Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
  5. ^ "Spartan Alumni Rowing Association Members". Spartan Alumni Rowing Association. Archived from the original on August 31, 2018. Retrieved October 25, 2018.
  6. ^ Kincaid, Jason. "Facebook Acquires FriendFeed". TechCrunch.
  7. ^ "Angel investing, my first three years". Paul Buchheit's Blog. January 3, 2011. Retrieved January 3, 2011.
  8. ^ "Facebook's Paul Bucheit Talks About Facebook, Google, and His New Gig". The Los Angeles Times. November 12, 2010. Retrieved November 14, 2010.
  9. ^ "Monitor And the winners were… Innovation awards: Our annual prizes recognise successful innovators in eight categories. Here are this year’s winners", The Economist, December 3, 2011.
  10. ^ a b Paul Buchheit Talk at Startup School Europe 2014, London, UK.

External links[edit]