Nvidia CEO Balances 10 Plates, Serves Food, After Denny’s Trillion Dollar Event

Nvidia at Denny's
(Image credit: Nvidia)

On Tuesday, a plaque was unveiled at the chain’s Silicon Valley diner to mark the special place Denny's holds in Nvidia lore. The plaque is located at one of the diner’s tables and proudly boasts that visitors are seated at “the booth that launched a $1 trillion company.”

Nvidia’s origin story, where CEO Jensen Huang got his start and cooked up the idea of introducing a revolutionary family of 3D chips at Denny’s diner, is pretty well known. Much of the foundational work that got Nvidia to where it is today was begun during the CEO’s stint at this humble eatery.

The Nvidia CEO recalls meeting at Denny’s with Chris Malachowsky and Curtis Priem in 1993 “to discuss creating a chip that would enable realistic 3D graphics on personal computers,” notes the Nvidia Blog. According to Jensen Huang, important life and work lessons were learned from working at Denny’s. The business, where he started as a dishwasher and also worked as a busboy and server, “teaches you humility, it teaches you hard work, it teaches you hospitality,” he asserted.

Jensen Huang met with Denny’s CEO Kelli Valade (pictured top) to unveil the commemorative plaque (pictured below). Interestingly, both CEOs got their start at the diner chain during their teens. However, Huang’s path to CEO-dom wasn’t quite as straight as Valade’s.

Nvidia at Denny's

(Image credit: Nvidia, Denny's)

Denny's Trillion-Dollar Incubator Contest

In addition to the plaque unveiling, the two CEOs were at the morning diner event to kick off the Denny’s Trillion-Dollar Incubator Contest. It isn’t quite as generous as it might sound, but it offers $25,000 in seed money “for the next $1 trillion idea.” The incubator contest runs until Nov 21 at 8.59 am, with the winner announced early next year.

Jensen Hasn't Forgotten His Serving Skills

Nvidia’s Bryan Catanzaro, VP of Applied Deep Learning Research, joined Huang at an after-work event the same day and provided some interesting commentary on the CEO's capabilities. Catanzaro says there were about 100 people at the after-work event, and Huang didn’t just sit and eat. Apparently, the trillion-dollar CEO made himself busy serving his 100 colleagues, where he “balanced ten plates on his arms while circulating among the crowd.”

Mark Tyson
Freelance News Writer

Mark Tyson is a Freelance News Writer at Tom's Hardware US. He enjoys covering the full breadth of PC tech; from business and semiconductor design to products approaching the edge of reason.

  • colossusrage
    Look guys, he's just like us!
  • Giroro
    Jensen has such a bad publicist.
    I wonder if it's the same person/team who told Bobby Kotick to be in that movie moneyball.
  • ex_bubblehead
    All right, that's enough of the off topic bickering and name calling. Offending posts have been removed. Any more of it beyond this point will result in sanctions.
  • tamalero
    "to be humble" lmao jensen.. you ain't fooling anybody.
    Your latest laughable stunts shows how disconnected you are from normal ppl, and how corporate you are.