Nvidia, a company with a history spanning three decades, recently joined the league of tech giants such as Apple, Google, and Microsoft, after its market capitalization surpassed $1 trillion. This surge in valuation is a direct result of the growing trend among various tech companies, both large and small, to incorporate generative artificial intelligence tools into their products.
From Beginnings to Tech Industry Success
Nvidia’s incredible success stood out, with its CEO, Jensen Huang, becoming a prominent figure at the company’s Computex 2023 exhibition. Huang’s journey from working overnight shifts at a restaurant to becoming a driving force behind Nvidia’s transformation is inspiring.
Jensen Huang “Jen-Hsun” born February 17, 1963 in Taiwan and raised as an American businessman, electrical engineer, and the co-founder, president and CEO of Nvidia Corporation. In today’s date his net worth is $36Bn.
“I would not be where I am now without the dreams and aspirations of my parents,” says Jensen Huang, founder of Nvidia.
His father was a chemical engineer, his mother taught grade school. In the 1960s, Huang’s father stepped onto U.S. soil for the first time thanks to an employee training program organized by the air conditioning company Carrier. It paved the way for him to one day send his sons to study in the States.
“Every day, my mother would pick ten words out of a dictionary at random and make my older brother and me learn them,” Huang reminisces.
“My father’s dream and my mother’s aspiration ultimately sent my brother and me to America… I owe everything to them.”
Jensen Huang’s Early Life
It wasn’t until Huang was nine that he actually resided in the United States. The family had previously settled in Thailand due to the elder Huang’s work. However, the tumultuous political situation compelled his parents to send the two boys to live with their uncle in the U.S. in 1973.
At the time, Huang’s uncle had also just immigrated. He unwittingly sent the brothers to a reform school instead of a prep school.
The reformatory was the Oneida Baptist Institute, hidden away deep in the mountains of Kentucky.
The Huang family was finally reunited in Oregon. Huang met his future wife, Lori Mills, at Oregon State University. They married five years later and have a son and daughter. In 1990, Huang got his Master’s in electrical engineering from Stanford.
Huang worked for AMD and LSI Logic after graduating from college. On his 30th birthday, which falls on April 5, he founded Nvidia at a Denny’s restaurant with friends and fellow engineers Chris Malachowsky and Curtis Priem.
Nvidia was established in 1993. Its first chip, the NV1, released in 1995 was a failure that cost them $10 million. Within two years of existence, the company had to downsize, and let go of half its 80 employees.
He learned to face customers and find compromises in difficult situations. He learned to face mistakes whether the fault was his own, his colleagues’, or even the customers’.
Nvidia’s success came from developing specialized chips that revolutionized motion graphics in computer games. These chips, now known as GPUs (Graphics Processing Units), became a standard component in computer gaming, powering immersive graphics experiences.
Nvidia’s GPUs established a dominant presence in the gaming industry, fueling numerous globally acclaimed video games. The GeForce suite, Nvidia’s line of graphics processing units, serves a massive user base of 200 million gamers, solidifying its position as the most widely utilized GPU brand in the gaming sector.
Leadership at Nvidia
Nvidia’s Drive PX platform plays a crucial role in enabling car manufacturers to develop autonomous vehicles. Prominent among these manufacturers is Tesla Inc., a leading company in the autonomous driving industry. Tesla embraced Nvidia’s Drive PX 2 open AI platform to power its cutting-edge autonomous car technology.
Another thing that Huang does as C.E.O. is that he doesn’t give too many answers but he likes to ask questions. He realizes that it’s not possible for the C.E.O. to know everything, but a C.E.O. is better at looking around corners than most, and a C.E.O. has better intuition than most, so they can bring a unique perspective to the table.
Nvidia revealed a cutting-edge computer chip on 8 August, designed to fuel artificial intelligence (AI) models and maintain the company’s leading position in the AI field.
Adoption of Unique Style and Philanthropic Contributions
Huang also exhibits all the traits of a hardworking Silicon Valley entrepreneur. He starts his day at four in the morning and can work for 14 hours after a morning exercise session.
Nvidia’s chief, inspired by Steve Jobs, has adopted a distinctive dressing style that includes wearing a black leather biker jacket during keynotes. This iconic attire became a consistent part of his wardrobe for over a decade, impressing stakeholders.
Huang is also widely recognized for his philanthropic endeavours. One such act is a $30 million donation to Stanford University, which led to the establishment of the Jen-Hsun Huang School of Engineering Center. This center, located within Stanford’s Science and Engineering Quad is one its prominent buildings.
- Shortly after arriving in the U.S., Huang was sent to a boarding school in rural Kentucky for troubled youth by his aunt and uncle, who mistook it for a prep school.
- At boarding school, Huang was assigned to clean the boys’ bathroom everyday after class, while his brother worked on the tobacco farm.
- Huang also worked as a waiter at Denny’s, which he says helped him overcome his shyness.
Nvidia, a 30-year-old tech company, recently reached a market value of over $1 trillion. Jensen Huang, the CEO, has an inspiring journey from his parents’ aspirations to co-founding Nvidia. The company’s success is driven by the integration of artificial intelligence.