Blake Ross Biography
Blake Ross (Blake Aaron Ross) is an American software engineer best known for his work as the co-creator of Mozilla Firefox internet browser with Dave Hyatt. 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 the part of Rolling Stone magazine’s 2005 hot list. From 2007, he worked for Facebook as Director of Product until his resignation in 2013.
Blake Ross Age
Blake Ross was born on June 12, 1985 in Miami, Florida, U.S. He is 33 years old as of 2018.
Blake Ross Net worth
Blake Ross has an estimated net worth of $150 million.
Blake Ross Family
Blake Ross was born to Abby Ross, who is an psychologist, and his father is a lawyer. He has an older brother and sister.
Blake Ross Education
Blake Ross attended Gulliver Preparatory School which is a high school in Miami Florida where he gradauted in 2003 while he was still working for Mozilla, in California. In 2003, he enrolled at Stanford University. While interning at Netscape.
Blake Ross Mozilla and Firefox
Blake Ross created his first website via America Online at the age of 10. He had interest in Sim City which led him to piece together in a couple of rudimentary videogames. He is well known for co-founding the Mozilla Firefox project with Dave Hyatt. He discovered Netscape very soon after it open it source and began contributing, his mother’s frustrated user experience with Internet Explorer being the main driver. He worked as an intern at Netscape Communications Corporation at the age of 16. In 2003, he enrolled at Stanford University.
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 Hyatt envisioned a smaller, browser that could have mass appeal, and Firefox whichg 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 he was was 19, he quickly grabbed Firefox market share (primarily from Microsoft’s Internet Explorer), with 100 million downloads in less than a year.
He is the author of Firefox for Dummies (ISBN 0-471-74899-4; published January 11, 2006). Along with the acquisition of Parakey came Ross himself, who worked for Facebook as Director of Product. He worked for them until 2013, and in August he was hired by Uber to help them develop their product. Evident in Ross’s work is an ambition to stay at the forefront of development and technology. He started at age 15, jumped into a field he was interested and good at, found a product that was underdeveloped, worked on that until it gained attention, then switched to another big name in another sphere.
After tackling the challenge of social media under Facebook, he has now switched to innovating in transportation. He innovates by finding what is redefining the way Americans live. His biggest project, Firefox, was inspired by the struggles of his mother who had current web browsers. He also has the ambition to back up this relentless pursuit of advancement, as an evidence in his early age at which he started pursuing his career. He is smart enough to be part of the largest innovators in the twenty-first century, and he has enough motivation to work on three of them.
Blake Ross Parakey
Blake Ross founded a new startup with ex-Netscape employee, Joe Hewitt who is (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.
He revealed several technical details about the program and his new company when featured on the cover of IEEE Spectrum in November 2006. On July 20, 2007, the BBC reported that Facebook had purchased Parakey. In early 2013, he left Facebook to pursue other interests.
Blake Ross Firefox
Blake Ross grew up around computers in his hometown of Key Biscayne, Florida. By age 10, he was already making websites and video games, and by middle school, he was developing software programs. While he was in high school, Ross was an intern at Netscape. In 2003, he moved to California to attend Stanford University, where he continued his position at Netscape. While working, he met his business partner Dave Hyatt. The two imagined an open source Internet browser that was solely purposed for “product and users, all day every day.” The two introduced Mozilla Firefox to the market in 2004, whilst Ross was merely a sophomore at Stanford, and witnessed immediate success and notoriety. The clean and easy to navigate Internet browser instantly trumped Netscape, and to this day retains a large portion of the market share.
Awards and Accolades
Ross was nominated in the Wired magazine’s as the top Rave Award winner, and Renegade of the Year. He also made Rolling Stone magazine’s 2005 Hot List. He was listed in Forbes magazine as one of “30 Under 30” Technology Award winners.
Blake Ross & Joe Hewitt
After the success of Mozilla Firefox, Ross embarked on his next entrepreneurial pursuit. Ross and Joe Hewitt (interface developer and coder for Firefox) founded Parakey. The idea of Parakey was to simplify the process of uploading images, videos, and writing to the web. Parakey acted as its own interface, and dissolved the need for consumers to go through programs such as Flickr or Blogger in order to upload images and videos. Facebook purchased Parakey in 2007 for an undisclosed sum; it was also Facebook’s first acquisition.
Ross continued with Facebook as Director of Product until 2013. He still remains friendly with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. Ross’ most recent job title is Product Strategy Developer at Uber. Ross joined Uber part-time in August 2017 after being an “outspoken Uber-watcher on social media.” He has been working to turn around the company’s image, create a better workplace culture, and also quash the competition. Ross has been known to be highly competitive, outspoken, and vocal about his beliefs on social media.
Blake Ross Aphantasia & Illnesses
In 2016,when he was 30, he was diagnosed with a rare condition, aphantasia. It is the inability to visualize any kind of cerebral images. Ross describes the condition as not having a “canvas” in his mind. He understands concepts, such as water, sand, sun, and a lifeguard, but he cannot create a mental image of a beach in his mind. He has since been working on finding his “people,” others who also are diagnosed with this unusual condition.
Published Works: Firefox for Dummies
Ross authored two books: Firefox for dummies in 2006 and Prepper’s Vacation Guide: 35 Things to Do to Keep Your House Safe While You’re Away in 2017.
Ross also authored a Silicon Valleyspoof episode, which was written with humor, depth, and it’s also hilariously accurate.
Blake Ross Quotes
“The next big thing is the one that makes the last big thing usable.”
This quote captures the essence of Blake Ross. He is constantly thinking of ways to make things better, simpler, and he challenges himself to create products that will benefit all mankind. He has previously stated that he “wasn’t trying to strike it rich with Firefox. It’s open source and it’s free.”
Ross has a smart sense of humor, and because he spent most of his young adult life in Silicon Valley, he finds it very easy to poke fun at the environment. Upon exiting Facebook, Ross wrote, “I’m leaving because a Forbes writer asked his son’s best friend Todd if Facebook was still cool and the friend said no, and this journalism made me reconsider the long-term viability of the company.”
Blake Ross Twitter
Blake Ross Instagram
Blake Ross Interview
What are the biggest differences between Firefox and IE in your mind, and where do you see any advantages that IE has these days ?
Blake Ross : There are plenty of feature comparisons on the Web, so I’ll spare readers the marketing charts. The most important difference lies in the intent of each product.
Microsoft is here to win. That’s great if you’re a shareholder, but how many users appreciated that attitude when spyware and pop-ups filled their screens four years ago, and Microsoft, having crushed Netscape, abandoned the market ? The company is back now that competition has arisen, but where will it be in four more years ?
The Mozilla Foundation isn’t fighting a war on competition ; it’s fighting a war on complexity. Our users are our shareholders, and as long as the Internet is frustrating, we’ll be here.
I’ve had to update my copy of Firefox numerous times over the past year to handle security loopholes and exploits. How can you stay ahead of these issues in the future ?
Blake Ross :We have a number of safeguards in place. First, our Bug Bounty program pays security experts $500 for each exploit they uncover, provided they notify us early enough that we can protect our users. Second, our open nature allows us to test builds much more rigorously than our competitors. Hundreds of thousands of advanced users test each beta build for exploits before it reaches consumers. And finally, as strange as it sounds, the fact that you’re receiving those updates means the Firefox security team is doing its job. All browsers have security exploits ; it’s just a reality of networked software. The real question is how long it takes the vendor to offer a patch, and Firefox excels here.
You talk about making the web easier to use. Given the growing complexity of browsers with plug ins, security settings, helper apps, etc. is there hope of having an easier to use experience ?
Blake Ross :Complex software is produced by lazy developers who aren’t willing to face the complexity themselves and instead shovel it onto the user. I can’t tell you how many hours some of our engineers have spent going above and beyond the plugin specs so Mom could watch her dancing Flash M&M’s without being bothered. Every additional hour you spend at the office is another hour you’re saving her down the road.
How do you manage your source code with a global development team ?
Blake Ross :We use CVS for source control, LXR for code cross-referencing, and blogs, mailing lists and newsgroups for team coordination.
What percent of the code in Firefox do you personally touch and work with on a regular basis ?
Blake Ross :Firefox is enormous, so like most of our developers, I work with a small fraction. Most of my development time now is spent on a software company I recently cofounded with another Firefox engineer. We’re always looking for talented developers.
What is the main development machine and OS that you use on a daily basis ? Have you ever overclocked or water cooled any of your gear ?
Blake Ross :I mainly use a 19″ Compaq laptop, P4 3.4 GHz with 2 GB of RAM. It’s a “laptop” in the sense that Manhattan is a suburb.
When I was at Stanford many years ago, CroMem was the nerd dorm (I was in the engineering grad school). Is it still that way, or have nerds taken over campus ?
Blake Ross :Stanford has plenty of nerds, but they’re cool nerds. You can change the topic to music and they won’t start singing a MIDI version of Super Mario Brothers. I wasn’t in CroMem, so I guess that means they’re everywhere now.
I persevere and use Firefox as my main browser, even though we run an Intranet here that uses Sharepoint and works better in IE. What can you do to be more IE-compatible in the future ?
Blake Ross :We used to have a full evangelism team that worked with IE-only companies to support Web standards. Fortunately, we’ve reached the tipping point in terms of market share where companies are now forced to open up or risk losing 10% of their clientele. So while we still make evangelism efforts, these kinds of problems are beginning to disappear naturally.
We also have a special rendering mode called “Quirks” that we use to support some IE-only programming features. Because we prefer to stick to the standards, however, this is a last resort.
Are there any non-open source products that you use on a regular basis ?
Blake Ross :Sure. Development model doesn’t factor into my choice of software. I use Microsoft Word, Trillian, Visual Studio, iTunes. There aren’t too many consumer-friendly open-source products, unfortunately.
What are some lessons learned from developing Firefox that you can share with my readers who are working on their own projects ?
Blake Ross :The things you never think about are the ones driving users nuts. For example, a developer making an e-mail client might spend 6 hours designing the compose window, and 5 minutes hooking up the “Attach” button to the Windows Browse dialog. But it’s that Browse dialog that’ll give people gray hair over time.
The fact that the dialog is a standard part of the OS is no excuse. In fact, software is often weakest where its developer settled for something prepackaged. Consistency is important, of course, and should always be a factor. But it’s your responsibility to make the best software you can, and if you’re delegating to the OS without question, your competitors already have a leg up on you. In Firefox, we threw out the Find mechanism applications have used for decades because, frankly, it sucked.