Rich Miner strolls the halls of Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, pausing every few minutes to check out the latest gadgets on display. As one of the co-founders of Android, he is walking through a world that has been all but conquered by the operating system he helped create. Now, as a general partner at Google Ventures, he’s tasked with finding and investing the search giant’s billions in the next big thing.

When most people think about Android and its origins, they think of Andy Rubin — but he didn't do it all on his own. Miner, a seasoned entrepreneur with a doctorate in computer science, was Rubin’s co-founder, and he played a crucial role in getting Android the traction it needed in the early days.

Miner stops by Nokia's booth to play with one of its new Android devices, the first smartphones from the humbled Finnish titan to use Google's operating system. “The biggest shift in the show has been to more of a focus on the consumer,” says Miner, who came to Barcelona for the first time in the late 1990s. Nowadays, it's all about “hitting the show floor and seeing what the latest gadgets are and then using that to sort of infer trends.” As he sits in a swing checking out the device, a costumed zombie wanders over. Miner doesn't miss a beat.