Doug Goldman is a software company founder, retired emergency physician, philanthropist and heir to the Levi Strauss fortune.
Among the guests at the Atherton fundraiser: Jan Brandt, vice chair emeritus of AOL; Dennis Troper, Google product management director; Tim Westergren, Pandora Media founder; and Susan Wojcicki, Google senior vice president.
President Obama and Doug Goldman made remarks in a large outdoor tent at around 8 p.m.
Mr. Goldman, who said the property has been in his family since 1906, noted that he and his wife decided to welcome the president with an Hawaiian decoration theme: floral arrangements, tablecloths, potted palms, hurricane lanterns, leis.
Mr. Goldman said the Recovery Act was a "brilliant" move, "saving more than one million jobs."
"It worked so well," he told the president, "some of your opponents are trying to take credit for it."
Mr. Goldman also credited President Obama for ending the Iraq war, killing Osama bin Laden, and voicing support for same-sex marriage. The last point drew the loudest cheers and applause from the audience.
President Obama said of the Goldmans: "They have had my back from the get-go, and at a time when not many people knew who I was."
He thanked David Crosby and Graham Nash, who performed at the event. "It's not every day you get Rock and Roll Hall of Famers strumming the guitar for you," he said.
And he thanked actor Don Cheadle for his presence and support, but promised not to talk about their recent basketball game. Mr. Cheadle responded: "Thank you."
President Obama said he's proud of his administration's educational reforms, and said the nation must continue to make scientific advancements in order to remain globally competitive.
The motorcade left the Goldman residence in Atherton around 9 p.m. and headed for the Fox Theatre in Redwood City, where the president gave another talk.
Pool reporting by Josh Richman.