Apple Mac Prototype Engineer Joins Vungle To Lead Engineering

One of the co-inventors of the original Apple Macintosh, Marc LeBrun, has joined the video ad company Vungle to lead its engineering team, which has more than doubled since January.

Si Crowhurst has also joined to head the company's new creative optimization group from London.

"It's a great opportunity to have an influence on mobile apps and high-performance video, and working with developers to co-create and invent the future," LeBrun said.

With a caveat on how quickly technology changes, LeBrun said he will work on building a structure to help developers of app frameworks work more closely with those who create ad content. He said don't think of an ad as a foreign object inserted in an app. It's part of the collaborative, co-creation process, and will support the work he will do for what the company calls Vungle Labs.

LeBrun's work had a major impact on the world by building a bridge across consumer technology.

"When I look back on the Mac, I don't want to spend time patting myself and the team on the back, but rather look at all the other things," he said. "We intended to make computers useful, but somehow there were a lot of missed opportunities. It was a great start, but how about all these other things."

One of those "other things" is the available resources, tradeoffs and decisions that might make things smaller and less functional or more expensive. The group had to adapt to hardware and software limitations -- a challenge that LeBrun will overcome at Vungle as he works to build out the company's video advertising products and services.

"There are more opportunities for computer systems to model the user, such as when you reach for something it's already placing it in your hand because it anticipates the need," LeBrun said.

Computers have yet to use computing power to its full advantage. Rather than come up with the next great software package, developers need to start thinking differently, such as how the industry defines a mobile app.  

"Today, we tend to think of apps as an entertainment experience, but there's no reason we can't turn an app into an educational experience or empower the user through a social connections,"LeBrun said. "Then we ask what's an ad? An ad is content put into a framework that can dynamically associate with the query or the task."

During his 40-year career, LeBrun has worked with companies ranging from start-ups to Fortune 50 companies, most recently serving as engineering manager for search and advanced data services at Tagged.com, and prior at Adobe Systems as principal scientist for advanced product development. As an authority on signal processing and mathematics, he has worked on the staff of several top researchers, like Stanford, MIT and Xerox PARC, and received the prestigious George Pólya Award from the Mathematical Association of America.  

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