Dan Crevier finally started a blog. I met Dan when I was a sophomore in college on an e-mail list for Claris E-mailer. Dan was getting his Ph.D. in Biophysics from this little college called Harvard, and writing code in his spare time. Dan ended up doing some contract work for Claris where among other things he helped create a Japanese version of the product (Dan apparently picked up Japanese while he was in Japan for a few months). Anyway, Claris had no clue about the internet, and let a beautiful product die a slow death. Meanwhile, the creator of E-mailer, Jud Spencer, was hired away by the then growing Mac Internet Product Unit (MacIPU) where he seemingly disappeared to work on “something”. To us outsiders it was either Internet Explorer or Outlook Express. Unfortunately, OE 4.0 was a junky piece of software compared to e-mailer, but I had high hopes that would change with Jud and Dan (and later David Cortright) at Microsoft.
Somewhere around my senior year I started the now dead Unofficial Outlook Express page, my claim to fame I guess. Dan got hired by Microsoft after he got his Ph.D., as did many other Claris and former Apple employees (most who worked on OpenDoc or Cyberdog). Some months later I started an Internship as a tester working on Outlook Express. Back in those days Dan would come by my cubicle every day and show my some cool feature he did (we had a long list of features that we wanted to do, and we knocked almost all of them off over the next few years). It was a total blast. I was such an annoying and bothersome tester that they decided I’d probably make a good PM where I could annoy and bother developers to my hearts content 😉 (rather than the other PMs).
Anyway, Dan is simply a coding machine. For most of his 5+ tenure in MacBU he was the #1 bug fixer, often fixing twice as many bugs as the next developer. I had a theory about how Dan got all this work done… he has a small company in India with 2-3 employees that wrote code while he slept at night ;-). Anyway, Dan, myself, and a few others were responsible for shipping Outlook Express 5, and then we all transitioned to work on Entourage 2001 which was the super secret product I mentioned that Jud was working on all along. Outlook Express 5 was really a snapshot of the Entourage 2001 codebase minus a lot of features. We had a hard time deciding what to remove, and the problem we feared and ultimately realized was that OE was too good. Our customers loved it so much that we had a really hard time convincing them to use purchase Entourage 2001.
Dan quickly rose through the ranks of MacBU. He quickly became a Development Lead, then became a Development Manager and was responsible for all of the Mac Silicon Valley products (IE, OE, MSN, Entourage, PowerPoint, VPC). However, with all this new responsibility you could still convince Dan to fix your pet bug or tweak a feature (some of us even got our pet bugs fixed as wedding presents). Dan recently left our sunny state for Redmond where he is now an Architect on Longhorn as part of the ConnectUX team. I think this is great for Dan and for Microsoft. It’s easy to get upset when such valuable contributor leaves our business unit, however, I’m always encouraged that they will take some of the MacBU pixie dust and bring that to other parts of the company.
Some interesting tidbits about Dan are that he used to own the domain http://www.boingo.com for his Oingo Boingo website. However, he recently sold it to Boingo Wireless. Dan also wears shorts every day. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen him in pants. Anyway, I wish him the best of luck. However, if he doesn’t check any code into Windows by the end of the month I quit ;-).