An exec who spent nearly 8 years helping grow Google Cloud into a behemoth explains why he ditched his Silicon Valley job to join tiny, mid-Western 3D modeling startup Physna

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An exec who spent nearly 8 years helping grow Google Cloud into a behemoth explains why he ditched his Silicon Valley job to join tiny, mid-Western 3D modeling startup Physna
Physna CTO Dennis DeMeyerePhysna
  • In April, former Google Cloud technical director Dennis DeMeyere joined the 3D modeling startup Physna as CTO.
  • DeMeyere worked at Google Cloud for nearly eight years and helped it grow into a large cloud computing platform that's on track to have a run rate of over $10 billion this year, and he hopes Physna takes a similar trajectory.
  • DeMeyere believes Physna has the potential to solve larger problems like medical imaging, supply chains, and 3D printing.
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Before Dennis DeMeyere joined 3D modeling startup Physna as CTO in April, he spent nearly 8 years ushering Google Cloud from a small collection of disparate services to a giant, comprehensive platform that now competes with Amazon and Microsoft.

At Google Cloud, DeMeyere served in the Office of the CTO and as a technical director, helping it grow into the $10 billion-dollar business that it is on track to become this year.

Though Google Cloud still has plenty of challenges ahead, it's no longer the scrappy organization that DeMeyere remembers.

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"If you've been part of an early stage product, it's genuinely exciting everyday," DeMeyere told Business Insider of his time at Google.

So, when he learned about Physna, a young company which helps businesses work with — and collaborate on — 3D models, he decided to take the leap, moving from Silicon Valley to Ohio to be its CTO.

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"When you think about 20 years out in California working with some of the larger tech companies and you think about making that move to an early stage series A in the Midwest, how do you make that decision?" DeMeyere said. "It was a combination of two things: underlying technology and the people."

Physna launched in 2015 and has raised a mere $8.9 million, but DeMeyere believes it could eventually solve problems related to medical imaging, supply chains, and 3D printing.

"For me at least, I think less about what the product is now and what the future of that product could be," DeMeyere said.

Like Google Cloud's ascent from a service that only offered storage and a few other paid services into a behemoth with an annual revenue run rate of over $8 billion, he believes Physna has the potential to become a giant.

He also wants to bring some of Google's philosophies to the startup. Google Cloud employees thought about product development in a "heavily user and customer centric" way, he said, and would get feedback by interviewing users to improve their products. He's bringing that style to Physna.

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"What you're going to see is that idea we are focusing on simplicity, users and solving problems in a unique way that's better than any solution that they can get access to," DeMeyere said.

Read more: Google Cloud did some 'myth busting' about data privacy and winning large customers this week as it tries to win the war against Amazon and Microsoft, analysts say

Right now, Physna is building products to individual consumers, though it eventually plans to build products for large businesses. Physna has already gotten inbound interest from enterprise customers and it even has a backlog of people who want to try out its products, says Paul Powers, cofounder and CEO of Physna.

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