How do you read what I write?
Thursday, Feb 07, 2008
Hey everyone, please spend 10 seconds and let me know what tool you used to read this post. I'm trying to find out how people read the stuff I publish online. I'll post the results in a few days. Thanks!
Yahoo responsible for this week's Social Surge?
Friday, Jan 25, 2008
If you're like me (that is to say, a quasi-connected person in Silicon Valley) you may have noticed a surge in invitations to the professional social networks du jour (LinkedIn, Facebook*, Plaxo). It's well established that a slight surge in new user signups in these services can result in a quick 'bloom' of contact requests, as new users induce other new users to sign up and so forth.

My theory is that this week's rumor of impending Yahoo! layoffs has resulted in a smattering of Yahoos signing up or fleshing out their networks, cascading in to a general surge of activity.

What do you think?

1.1.3 update bricked my iPhone
Tuesday, Jan 15, 2008
Rachel and I went to Macworld Expo today. We saw the MacBook Air, saw friends and some other cool stuff, and came home. Eager to try out the new iPhone goodies I tried to update my iPhone to today's 1.1.3 release and it locked up midway. Now when I plug it in to my computer, iTunes tells me it sees an iPhone in 'recovery mode' and do I want to erase and restore the iPhone or cancel? Trying to eras and restore results in an 'unknown error (6)' on my desktop mac, and results in an 'unknown error (1611)' when I try from my MacBook.

I've seen twitters from others who experienced an initial crash, but whose iPhones recovered afterward. The kicker is that my original iPhone had some hardware audio issues that were sufficient for the Genius at the Apple Store to swap me for a new iPhone yesterday, so my one-day-old iPhone is now bricked and it looks like I'll be quickly catching up with Rachel, who is currently on her third iPhone.

About half the people I know with iPhones have had a hardware swap-out since they got their phones. It's no wonder Apple needs revenue-share contracts with the wireless carriers. I'm betting they're not making much on hardware that needs to be replaced so frequently.

Anyone else have a problem upgrading to 1.1.3?

Wednesday, Jan 09, 2008
This might sound weird, but I haven't carried a key with me for the last three years. My Prius has a keyless ignition system where the car will open for me and start if I have the wireless doohickey in my pocket. The car has HomeLink, so I can open my garage door and my home from the car, and my badge would get me into Google.

Now I've traded the badge for an office key and it feels vaguely odd to carry around security physically encoded into a small metal shim. Still, it's not half as odd as not wearing a badge at my waist anymore. Several times a day I find myself idly grabbing for it at my side and, coming up empty, checking if I clipped it to my other pocket.

It's Day Three and things at FriendFeed are terrific. The pipeline is so short between our brains and the hands of our users (okay, mixed metaphors make for really disturbing mental pictures). Okay, got to go to work now. Later!

Thank you, internets!
Monday, Jan 07, 2008
Boy howdy was I surprised by how widely my post about leaving Google was picked up. People post about leaving their jobs every day, and my departure wasn't even dramatic, so the whole amplification took me a bit by surprise.

My reactions:

  • Techmeme: Hey, never been Techdotted before. It just happened to overlap with Amit Pagarwal's time-lapse visualization of how Techmeme changes over 50 hours. I love that another big story in that time span was penned by Paul Buchheit, Gmail's inventor.
  • WebProNews: Saying I'm "Google's Senior User Experience Design Lead" makes it sound like I'm the only one. "Senior UX Lead" is a ladder title; Fear not, I'm no linchpin to the organization.
  • Google Blogoscoped: Thanks for the thoughtful write-up, and thanks even more for digging out and compositing a Warholesque montage of portraits from a six year old spoof video which, while prescient, I'd rather forget. :-)
  • TechCrunch: Your commenters are right, it must have been a pretty slow news day. :-)
  • VnuNet: You are brilliant and I love you. To wit:
    Referring to the move away from Google in his blog, Fox said, “Will it be awkward when I talk with friends [made at Google] about the web and they have to censor themselves to prevent discussing confidential products? Even more novel, how easily will I adapt to working in an environment where we're far more open about the projects we're working on, to the point of evangelizing them.”

    Fox did not reveal the name of the company he is joining.
    Ouch. Hypocrisy noted, and I'll mend it in the morning. :-)
  • San Jose Mercury News (web and print!): You're even more awesome than VnuNet. Thanks for not including anything like "(I've found someone else and I think we should see other people.)" You sold four more copies of your paper on Saturday.
  • The two reporters who contacted Google PR, prompting them in turn to call me early Friday morning: Designing a web app isn't the same as building a web app. The role of the user experience designer is just one of many, and I was privileged to be part of such an amazing team. I haven't worked on Gmail, Calendar, or Reader in months, and my departure won't have any impact on their continuing greatness. Their current designers are awesome and if they weren't I wouldn't have left.
Okay, now I'd better get to sleep. I've got to go to work tomorrow.
Monday, Jan 07, 2008
Today's my first day at FriendFeed! Paul wrote up a really nice intro.
Saturday, Jan 05, 2008
From an email sig I got today: "* I hate being rung by telephone particularly unarranged since it demands temporal synchrocity without even letting me know the reason for the call before I answer." Well said.
Today is My Last Day at Google
Friday, Jan 04, 2008
After a life-changing four and a half years of working with the most talented group of people I have ever met, I've decided to take the plunge and do it all over again, working for a very small start-up. Today is my last day at the Big G.

I can't say enough good things about the friends I've made and the talented people who have taught me so much. When I started here I never could have guessed that I'd be helping create a world-class user experience team and products that so many strangers love. The experience will always be a reminder to recognize every opportunity not only for what it is, but for what it can become.

Leaving Google is different than any other job I've left. Joining Google in 2003, it was the first time I took a job without knowing at the outset the reason I'd eventually leave the job (even if my employer didn't), and so it's strange to have found success there and yet feel a need for greater fulfillment sufficient to pull you away from what's generally recognized as the best workplace in America. It's even stranger that Google is the first place I've ever worked where I feel that I'm part of the company as opposed to working for the company.

This makes leaving even stranger because it's not just moving, it's excising a part of yourself, a strange cleaving of personal relationships that used to be about friendship and products, but is now just about friendship. Will it be awkward when I talk with friends about the web and they have to censor themselves to prevent discussing confidential products? Even more novel, how easily will I adapt to working in an environment where we're far more open about the projects we're working on, to the point of evangelizing them?

Time will tell, and I'm looking forward to sharing new and making shiny.

This is the first of many big changes in 2008 (there's that whole getting married thing as well) and I hope to share them with you. I've neglected the personal side of myself on the internet for too long, and at least to start off, I'm going to start blogging every day. Shared items and Tweets are great and all, but I do miss the blogging.

Comments are still disabled, but feel free to drop me a line anytime!

Google Charts!
Thursday, Dec 06, 2007
I've been waiting for this one to come out so I can use it for personal projects. The Google Chart API lets you easily create really slick chart graphics on the fly just by passing the right parameter string in your IMG tag. Check out the blog post and the Developers Guide.
Tuesday, Nov 27, 2007
Excerpt from an IM conversation today: "I have a bunch of twitter friends I don't know in real life and some are interesting but some are so irrelevant. I care that that person I met at SXSW in 2001 has an earache and it's snowing outside, but I don't really care that much, you know?"

Hi, I'm Kevin Fox.
I've been blogging at since 1998.
I can be reached at .

I also have a resume.


I'm co-founder in
a fantastic startup fulfilling the promise of the Internet of Things.

The Imp is a computer and wi-fi connection smaller and cheaper than a memory card.

Find out more.

We're also hiring.


I post most frequently on Twitter as @kfury and on Google Plus.


I've led design at Mozilla Labs, designed Gmail 1.0, Google Reader 2.0, FriendFeed, and a few special projects at Facebook.

©2012 Kevin Fox