Up to that point, the Boston native had already achieved great success in a completely different field. Here's the basic scoop (pun intended) on Rubin's path to ice cream:
— He helped pay for college working as a bartender for Club Med.
— He made his first website in the mid-'90s, teaching himself how to code from a magazine.
— He persuaded video game companies to send him new games, which he would review on his site, allgames.com.
— Eventually he helped launch the G4 network, where, among other things, he was an on-air host.
— Leaving G4, Rubin returned to producing online content, where he also made his biggest mistake, ignoring an idea that would become Twitch.tv, "which just sold to Amazon for $750 million, so that's a pretty big miss." (Twitch actually sold for close to $1 billion.)
But back to the nitrogen ice cream, Rubin first saw at Burning Man. He thought making it would be a fun hobby. "It was just an idea of, 'How can I give something to the people at Burning Man for free?'"
He soon discovered giving the ice cream away might not be worth it. Rubin found a mixer that could handle liquid nitrogen, but it cost $36,000. "I realized I was going to have to spend some serious money," he said. "Liquid nitrogen tanks, liquid nitrogen hoses, cryogenic mixers, nitrogen itself, everything started to build up in cost, and I said, 'OK, well, this has got to be more than a hobby.'"