James Truchard, CEO of National Instruments

Truchard co-founded National Instruments in 1976. The $1.2 billion company employs 7,400 worldwide.

Posted March 10th, 2016

Story highlights
  • This Austin-based CEO was raised on a farm with no electricity.

What's something about you that most people don't know?

"I grew up on a farm in Cat Spring, Texas.  We really raised cattle, we did what you could call truck farming. We had lots of different fruits and vegetables and we would sell it in town, and sell them to grocery stores. 

There was seven of us, four brothers and two sisters. I was one of the little kids. I had the more menial chores, like cleaning up the dog dishes and things like that. I didn’t get to milk the cows. 

I went to a one-teacher school. There were 15 students in eight grades.

And we didn't have electricity growing up. But we wanted to listen to the radio. So we made a crystal radio. We had a tin roof on our house. I could flip a wire to it and we could listen to radio stations from Houston with it. So we did that - and listened to music and stuff on the radio. That was kind of my first interest in electronics."