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About me

MEMy name is Octavian Costache. I usually go by Vivi.

I was a googler for about 5 and a half years, it was an amazing ride where I learned a lot. I’ve decided to turn back to my hacker roots and now I am the co-founder of a startup.

As an ex-Googler:

  • I led the team that changed the Google Maps infrastructure to support Social Search (re-ranking of search results based on your friend’s ratings).
  • I launched the Starring feature on Google Maps – bookmark places and see them on your map.
  • I created, designed and implemented the Multiple Inboxes Gmail Lab feature, which inspired the creation of Priority Inbox.
  • For a long time I was one of the few Flash developers inside Google, so I helped set up support inside the company, co-wrote the style guide, set up automatic testing infrastructure and consulted for various projects.
  • I’ve built the Google Finance stock charts which at the time set a new standard in stock charting.
  • The same graphs are now used in Google Spreadsheets, Insights for Search, Google Transparency Report, and available to developers as part of the Google Visualization API.

In my life pre-google, while I was still in college I did a lot of freelancing and I also worked on a bunch of personal projects.

  • I’ve built an online multiplayer gaming site that grew to be 30th in terms of traffic in Romania at the time. I sold the company when I left the country.
  • Built a market-share analytics tool for online ad networks in Romania. It became a reference for the Romanian online advertising market.
  • Consistently won national awards at Computer Science olympiads throughout highscool.

I’ve also built the first centralized map of Romanian Politicians that for the first time ever continuously monitored senator’s presence in the Parliament and clustered information from multiple sources about each politician.

Another dear hack of mine is a playlist from all the songs that your friends share on facebook and I still love both and work on them sometimes.

You can check out my resume if you care about what other cool stuff I’ve built.

I tend to build stuff when I feel that it needs to be built. :-)


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  1. StefanZ / Oct 9 2011

    Hi Vivi. Great idea to put all things made being co-founder in a place. I hope in time you’ll post a lot of advices and also you’ll let us know how your project is going. By the way, i think is better if you modify the RSS button from header. I really needed some minutes to find it out.

  2. admin / Oct 9 2011

    Thanks! Why did you need to find that RSS button?

    In all the RSS readers I know of it’s enough to just paste the address of the blog and they automatically find the RSS feed, don’t they?

  3. A / Oct 9 2011

    Or …just sayin

  4. Mihai Bucica / Oct 9 2011

    Let me know how I can invest in your startup :)

  5. StefanZ / Oct 11 2011

    @Vivi : Yes, you’re right but think this : You aren’t in a best mood and right then you’re reading a new blog about something which catch your attention, but, as i said, the weather makes you angry and bored. Well, I don’t think that you’ll go to make 1234827315859123 clicks to follow that link. Am I right? Anyway, I’m glad that i can follow you in reading in a new field; i hope the expectations will be same as romainian blog.

    • Vivi / Oct 21 2011

      No pressure! :-)

  6. Darius / Jun 15 2012

    You no longer work at Google? :)

  7. Claudiu / Aug 24 2015

    Is that fb playlist tool available?

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