“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” Chinese Proverb. Cloud Bender
Hong Bui is one of the more amazing people I have had the opportunity to meet. Over the course of my business career I have had the opportunity to listen to and meet a variety of men and women who have shared their story as a trade show keynote speaker or on a panel in addition to attending hundreds of Friday lunch meetings at my Rotary Club.. The stories that leave me emotionally engaged, enlightened and inspired are the speakers that share something common that I can relate to and the path they took to reach the level of professional success they have achieved. A few examples of spekers that left me moved and inspired are retired US Supreme Court justice Sandra Day O’Connor, former Archbishop of Los Angeles Roger Mahony, and film director, technology inventor and multiple business founder, James Cameron.
I now can add Hong Bui to this list of inspirational individuals. Why Hong Bui’s story stands out is the journey he tool from Vietnam, the country of his birth until the age of eleven to his position leading another amazing startup. Not every founder can say that a normal childhood included watching B-52s dropping bombs just a short distance from your home as you were playing with your friends. His grandfather, who had 10 children, was forced to fight in the French army over in Africa. When he came home he was considered a traitor to other Vietnamese who were fighting for their independence from being colonized for over 200 years by the French. His grandfather assisted in gaining the freedom of a young neighbor boy who later shot him because of his association with the French.
Hong’s father had 9 children and was a Coronel in the South Vietnam army. He was rarely home off fighting with the United States troops. He said that he has 5 siblings that all have birthdays in September. When the downfall of South Vietnam occurred his family was able to be sponsored to the United States and located in Fresno, California.
His new company was named with help from his daughter who told him that it looked like polka dots.
During our interview along with learning about Polkast, other great companies he has had the opportunity to work which include Apple, Sun Micro Systems and Amazon and companies he has founded Visto (Now Good), and Memeo, I learned other parts of his story. that he told me about some of his early years before coming to the United Stateswhen I asked him about his background, where he went to school and companies he has worked with he added personal information about his family, grandfather
Polkast By Passes The Cloud
Not everyone sees B-52s bombers dropping bombs during the day while they were growing up. But one of leading technology visionaries who has worked for Apple, Sun Microsystems, and Amazon in addition to and starting 3 successful companies, one valued at $2 billion, did when they were growing up in Vietnam. I met with Hong Bui, founder of Polksdy, his third startup, and during the course of our interview while asking about his background he started to tell me an amazing story about his grandfather and father who both forced to serve for the French army during the time when France ruled Vietnam as a colonized county.
I first me Hong at the Polkast trade booth at ITEXPO which was at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center this year from August 26th to 29th. I thought I would be wriitng about Steve Wozinak, co-founder of Apple who gave a great keynote talk. Since I attend over 40 events a year and hear hundreds of speakers on panels and keynote talks it is not often that I have been this motivated to provide personal backgroud for an article that usually only focuses on the company.
Hong has a unique background and has achieved the American dream.
Hong Bui Founder and CEO of Memeo, with 40M customers, 70M devices, 100,000 businesses, 15 Partners including Sony, WD, Netgear, and Seagate. Former executive from Apple, Javasoft, and Amazon. Led e-commerce, UX, and cloud scaling at Amazon. Co-founded Visto/Good (secure mobile platform). Led advanced workgroup solutions at Apple. Productized Java & Enterprise cloud computing at Sun Microsystems.
Bui was CoFounder and Board Member of Memeo, where he was the CEO from 2003-2010. Memeo has over 40 million customers and 100,000 businesses clients. Partners and distributors include Sony, Google, Seagate, Western Digital, SupportSoft, and Netgear.
Hong is a consumer software veteran with over two decades of experience leading and developing technology for top consumer brands that focus on usability and mass market acceptance such as Amazon.com, Visto.com, JavaSoft, and Apple.
While at Amazon.com, Hong’s division was the driver for development of their award winning consumer shopping experience used by millions each day. His division also helped develop Amazon’s cloud platform that has been a model of worldwide scalability.
Prior to Amazon.com, Hong co‐founded Visto/Good and was instrumental to creating widely accepted mobile computing technology to compete with the Blackberry (RIM paid $267 for patent infringement that he co‐authored).
At JavaSoft, he is credited with development of the Java Servlet standard that has since been adopted industry wide.
Hong spent 7 years at Apple where he led teams to develop highly regarded workgroup software solutions and plug-and-play networking technology that is today’s standard for consumer.
Companies CEO and FounderPolkastSeptember 2010 – Present (3 years 1 month)California Polkast is a private (P2P) cloud and MCM solution that provides direct mobile access to your computer and storage devices. Any computer can be turned into a private cloud server. Users get instant access to 100% of their content, directly from their desktop or NAS device to all of their mobile devices. That means they can access unlimited file storage, without having to pay costly storage fees on Dropbox, Box, and other traditional clouds. Polkast users share and access files without having to upload or sync, and without having to purchase new equipment.
CEO and FounderMemeo Inc.January 2003 – August 2010 (7 years 8 months) Memeo offers software products and services that help individuals and businesses manage their digital contents across computers, media appliances, and mobile devices.
www.memeo.com Memeo Inc is a Silicon Valley-based software and services company focused on providing data management services to small and medium businesses. Founded in 2003, Memeo provides easy-to-use backup, sync and sharing solutions to simplify the protection and accessibility of valuable data. Memeo has 22 million customers and has shipped over 70 million software licenses to more than 150 countries in 20 languages.
Co-Founder and VP Product DevelopmentGood, Inc. (Visto)1996 – 1998 (2 years) Co-founded Visto/Good, a company that provided complete, secure, and cost-effective access to corporate e-mail over a broad array of devices. Acted as its COO in its first year. Oversaw all company functions including the development of business plans and product plans. Directed the completion of the Visto Briefcase product from conceptualization to shipment. Visto was honored as one of the top ten startups by Wired magazine.
Good Technology delivers the world's most comprehensive secure mobility solution, and continuously develops new innovations—innovations that fuel our passion for security, manageability, scalability and usability. This passion results in technology that enables users and business leaders to pursue new and bolder strategies. The results: a world where business moves freely, where people focus on what matters, and where security and mobility are not an either/or proposition. It's why we are Good Technology.
Established in 1996 and headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, more than 5,000 organizations in 130+ countries use Good Technology solutions, including FORTUNE 100™ leaders in commercial banking, insurance, healthcare, retail, government, and aerospace and defense.
Department ManagerSun Microsystem1995 – 1996 (1 year) Pioneered the Java Enterprise Servlet Architecture, which became the industry standard for server-side development and was honored by Byte, PC Week, and LAN Times magazines
Sr. Manager, Architect, DeveloperApple Computer1987 – 1995 (8 years) Led technical teams to develop a range of key products including Advanced Server Workgroup Solutions, AppleTalk, Mac OS 7.x.x/6.x.x, AppleShare, Distributed Computing Framework for multiple OS environments.