Blake Ross in 2005
June 12, 1985 |
|Title||Director of Product|
Blake Aaron Ross (born June 12, 1985) is an American software developer who is known for his work on the Mozilla web browser; in particular, he started the Mozilla Firefox project with Dave Hyatt, as well as the Spread Firefox project with Asa Dotzler while working as a contractor at the Mozilla Foundation. In 2005, he was nominated for Wired magazine's top Rave Award, Renegade of the Year, opposite Larry Page, Sergey Brin and Jon Stewart. He was also a part of Rolling Stone magazine's 2005 hot list. He has most recently worked for Facebook as Director of Product. He resigned on February 22, 2013.
Early life and education
Born in Miami, Florida, Ross created his first website at the age of 10. He began programming while still in middle school and began contributing to Netscape very soon after it was open-sourced. He worked as an intern at Netscape Communications Corporation at the age of 14, while attending high school at Gulliver Preparatory School, from which he graduated in 2003. Later that year, he enrolled at Stanford University, where he is now on a leave of absence to focus on work. He currently resides in nearby Mountain View, California.
Ross is most well known for co-founding the Mozilla Firefox project with Hewitt. While interning at Netscape, Ross became disenchanted with the browser he was working on and the direction given to it by America Online, which had recently purchased Netscape. Ross and Hewitt envisioned a smaller, easy-to-use browser that could have mass appeal, and Firefox was born from that idea. The open source project gained momentum and popularity, and in 2003 all of Mozilla's resources were devoted to the Firefox and Thunderbird projects.
Released in November 2004, when Ross was 19, Firefox quickly grabbed market share (primarily from Microsoft's Internet Explorer), with 100 million downloads in less than a year.
Ross founded a new startup with another ex-Netscape employee, Joe Hewitt (the creator of Firebug who was also largely responsible for Firefox's interface and code). Ross and Hewitt worked on creating Parakey, a new user interface designed to bridge the gap between the desktop and the web. Ross revealed several technical details about the program and his new company when featured on the cover of IEEE Spectrum in November 2006.
- Lorge, Greta. "Mister Firefox". Stanford Magazine (Stanford Alumni Association) (May / June 2005). Retrieved 2008-02-25.
- "Social site Facebook buys Parakey". BBC. July 20, 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-20.
- The Firefox Explosion — Wired magazine article by Josh McHugh on Firefox development history (published February 2005)
- TIME magazine profile of Blake Ross
- Firefox ignites demand for alternative browser — interview with Byron Acohido for USA Today (published November 9, 2004)
- Interview with Firefox developer Blake Ross — interview with Michael Flaminio for Insanely Great Mac (published November 9, 2004)
- Full speed ahead: Mozilla Firefox browser blazes through globe — interview with Michelle Keller for Stanford Daily Article (published November 16, 2004)
- Firefox Architect Talks IE, Future Plans — interview with Nate Mook for BetaNews (published November 29, 2004)
- Video of November 26, 2004 ABC News interview
- The Young Turk of Firefox — interview with Keith Ward for Redmond Magazine (published December 2004)
- Q&A With Blake Ross — interview with Computer Power User magazine (published January 2005)
- Outfoxing Microsoft — interview with David Adams for St. Petersburg Time (published January 1, 2005)
- Is this internet prodigy about to knock Microsoft off its pedestal? — interview with David Adams for The Times (UK) (published January 4, 2005)
- Interview — Blake Ross — interview with Non-Tech City (published May 27, 2005)
- Builder of a better browser looks ahead — interview with Ellen Lee for Contra Costa Times (published July 31, 2005)
- Firefox Will Be Free Forever — interview with Xu Zhiqiang for OhmyNews (published August 7, 2005)
- Q&A with Blake Ross — interview with Blake Ross for Todd Bishop's Microsoft Blog (published July 2, 2006)
- The Firefox Kid — David Kushner's article on Ross and Parakey in IEEE Spectrum (published November 2, 2006)
- Livingston, Jessica, Founders at work: stories of startups' early days, 2007. Cf. Chapter 29, Blake Ross and Firefox.