Sorry, Kin.

Forgive the foray into something incredibly off-topic for me, but there's nowhere else really to write it.

Today, Microsoft discontinued the Kin phone after 48 days on the market.  I have very mixed feelings about this.  

On the one hand, Microsoft really bungled that project.  I understand the schadenfreude that many fellow ex-Danger folks feel: Microsoft bought our company, screwed it up and abused the Palo Alto team to the point that many of us left, and then wound up with a product that failed in a truly spectacular way.  It's the ultimate "neener"; it's that awesome feeling you get when you see that jackhole on the freeway pulled over a half mile down the road.

But on the other hand, it seems to portend the final death of Danger.

I joined Danger as employee #17 on August 1, 2000.  I was 23 years old, I had a tiny studio apartment and a 1986 Honda Nighthawk that I was scared to ride around the block.  

Danger sent flowers to my mom after her surgeries in 2002.

Danger founders contributed significantly to the Alzheimers' Memory Walk that Peter and I did for my dad later in 2002.

When Peter and I were back in Wisconsin last year, cleaning out my mom's condo, we found a card that the Danger founders sent to my mom in 2005 after my dad died.

At least 10% of the guests at our wedding in 2007 were Danger employees and their families.

Our home is filled with Danger paraphernalia: T-shirts, glasses, mugs, little flashlight things that look like zippos, action figures, pens, notepads.

February 11, 2008 was a very confusing day for all of us, but we wanted to make it work.  

I wanted the Kin to succeed; I really did.  I don't give two shits for Microsoft, but there was Danger blood in that device — for better or for worse, that's where Danger wound up, and discontinuing the Kin and moving the team into the WinMo hive is more than yet another reorg.

So, I'm sorry, Kin.  At least we'll always have Danger.

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4 Responses to Sorry, Kin.

  1. Ian McKellar says:

    We’ll always have Danger. I loved turning up to interview there in 2001, basically my first job out of college. My interview mostly involved nerding out about ARM assembly language. Then I started at that tiny, overcrowded, overheated building filled with people who had brightly colored hair and listened to good music and went drinking and so on.
    I had a great four years working on a great product with great people. I arrived around the Navi 2.5 time so it was right as the Danger 1.0 product vision was taking shape but there was still a bunch of work to do to get it done. It was a great ride. I’m really proud of 1.0 and the first few releases after that.
    Eventually I left a bit frustrated with the lack of progress, but I still have so many great memories and I’m so proud to have been part of something so great.
    Just the other day, in Australia, I saw a teenager using a hiptop (as they’re called outside of the US) and I was proud.

  2. Bill Dwyer says:

    Sorry to hear 🙁

  3. Sandi says:

    Wow. I loved the ads for it, and am surprised (not knowing the behind-the-scenes story of it being a bungled device) that it has been pulled already.

  4. Vikram Adukia says:

    I still hold that Danger provided me the most interesting challenges and growth of my career.
    I wonder if we can get a happy hour organized for all this. I don’t think I’ve seen a lot of people in a while. Be nice to see the old faces.

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