Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Firefox Creative Lead Aza Raskin Leaves to Found Health Start-Up

Interface designer Aza Raskin announced today that at the end of the year he will leave Mozilla, where he is currently creative lead for Firefox, to found a new (and already funded) stealth personal health start-up called Massive Health.

The new company, as Raskin described it, will attempt to tighten feedback loops (so that users can more immediately know the effects of their efforts to be healthy), make data actionable and create better-designed personal health tools so users can take better care of themselves.

Massive Health’s CEO and co-founder is Sutha Kamal, who previously was managing director of mobile for TransGaming Technologies. A third co-founder hasn’t been named yet, nor have the “top investors in the world” who are backing the company, according to its Web site.

Raskin, who previously founded Songza and Humanized, the latter of which Mozilla bought in order to hire him, said in a blog post,

Each of us has a unique ability. I want to use mine—the knowledge to make products which are disruptively easier and more enjoyable to use—to change people’s lives. Life-changing not in the sense of a new social website or better email, but in making people’s lives materially better by helping them get and stay healthy. Anyone that’s been sick, overweight, or had to deal with a doctor knows that health is a field in dire need of humane design.

Mozilla has been going through some changes recently, most notably the growth of Google Chrome and the naming of new Mozilla CEO Gary Kovacs, who was previously at Sybase and Adobe. Kovacs joined the company after previous CEO John Lilly decided he wanted to become a VC at Greylock Partners.

Update: Raskin said in a phone interview that he felt his work as a designer on Firefox was coming to a close now that the user experiences he created, like the personal organization tool Panorama, are bring deployed. It’s now a matter of “final iterations of polish,” he said. As for Massive Health, he said to expect the company’s first mobile app to be out next year.


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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald