10 Things You Didn’t Know About David Duffield

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David Duffield carved a niche for himself as a tech entrepreneur and philanthropist known for building software companies like PeopleSoft and Workday. However, beyond his remarkable accomplishments in the world of technology, there exist lesser-known facts that shed additional light on the character, interests, and life of this influential figure. Prepare to be enlightened as we delve into 10 things you didn’t know about David Duffield.

1. Early Life and Education

Contrary to what you might have thought, David Duffield wasn’t always into computer programming. He was born on September 26, 1941, in New York City and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical engineering from Cornell University. Duffield also holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

While working towards his master’s degree, he wrote a computer program that Cornell University bought for $1,000. This was his first dip in the pool of software development, which would later become his primary career.

2. First Failed Business

Most great entrepreneurs experienced failures before their eventual success, and David Duffield was no exception. After graduating, he tried his hand in business by starting an enterprise called Information Associates, which failed. However, Duffield did not let this deter him from trying again.

Instead, he took the lessons from his initial failure and used them when he moved forward on his entrepreneurial journey. It was this determination and resiliency that laid the groundwork for his future successes.

3. Peoplesoft and its Sale

David Duffield co-founded Peoplesoft, a software company that developed human resource management systems, with Ken Morris in 1987. Although it was not his first company, it was the endeavor that brought him into the limelight.

Peoplesoft grew rapidly, becoming one of the leading multinational companies offering enterprise software. However, in 2005, it was sold to Oracle Corporation after a contentious takeover bid. The deal was worth an impressive $10.3 billion.

4. Unplanned Retirement

Duffield didn’t initially plan on starting another company after selling PeopleSoft. In fact, he retired after the sale, intending to spend more time with his family and philanthropic work.

However, a couple of years into his ‘retirement,’ he was again drawn back to enterprise software. Unable to resist the entrepreneurial itch, Duffield partnered again with Aneel Bhusri to create Workday in 2005, a cloud-based financial management and human capital management software vendor.

5. Philanthropy

Duffield is renowned for his philanthropic activities. He and his wife, Cheryl, are the founders of Maddie’s Fund, a charitable foundation dedicated to ensuring better health and welfare for animals. The fund was established in honor of their miniature schnauzer, Maddie.

Their contributions to animal welfare don’t stop there. The Duffields have also contributed hundreds of millions of dollars to animal-related causes and organizations, showing a genuine care and concern that goes far beyond their business pursuits.

6. Duffield’s Net Worth

Duffield’s success in the tech industry has earned him significant financial reward. As of 2021, his estimated net worth stands at about $10.4 billion according to Forbes.

Much of his wealth was generated from his stakes in his software companies, especially the enormous profits made from the sale of PeopleSoft and the success of Workday. Despite this immense wealth, Duffield lives modestly and is known for his charitable initiatives.

7. Quote to Live By

Every entrepreneur has a favorite quote, and for Duffield, it’s “Take care of your employees, customers, and shareholder – in that order!” He operates on the firm belief that satisfying your employees ultimately leads to satisfied customers and stakeholders.

This philosophy has served him in both PeopleSoft and Workday. The culture he has strived to foster in his companies results in a dedicated, hardworking team that inevitably leads to company growth and success.

8. Workday’s Unique Asset

Workday’s major differentiator is its ability to incorporate frequent updates and system upgrades without interrupting client operations, a feature largely unheard of in the industry.

Instead of using customer feedback to improve their product, Duffield and Bhusri envision the direction Workday should take, and the changes they have consistently made have kept them ahead of the competition.

9. Spirituality

Although not overly public about his spiritual believes, Duffield is a devout Christian. He attributes much of his success to his faith and maintains that his Christian values guide his business decisions and philanthropic endeavors.

Many of his philanthropical contributions are driven by his faith and the desire to help and lift others in need – a testament to his character and values.

10. Personal Life

Away from the tech and philanthropic world, Duffield is a father of seven and a huge dog lover. He and his wife Cheryl, live in a relatively modest house – by billionaire standards – in Nevada.

Duffield’s desire to give back to society through his philanthropic efforts is a testament to his belief that success isn’t merely about accumulating wealth but also about making a difference in the lives of others.

Here are some useful links to learn more about David Duffield:

David Duffield – Forbes

Workday Official Site

Maddie’s Fund