Kai Krause speaks: Not that mysterious (well, maybe a little)

After I posted a piece about Kai Krause -- the most mysterious man in the world -- Kai reached out to say that he's not a not a recluse hermit, as some have implied.
Written by Jason D. O'Grady, Contributor on

On Wednesday I posted a piece about Kai Krause, the most mysterious man in the world. Long time Mac users will remember the fantastically psychedelic interfaces that he designed for Kai's Power Tools (KPT) -- a set of powerful image tweaking filters for Adobe Photoshop.

Despite researching the post and hunting for his contact information I wasn't able to reach the mysterious interface guru since he appeared to be "hidden in a towering castle in Germany working on a mysterious project.” A wee bit of hyperbole? Probably.

Kai reached out after seeing a link to my post.

If I may say hello from afar... before this thread spirals towards unnecessary flame wars: this is a greeting from Kai, with hatliftinggestures to Jason.

Not all that mysterious, really - I am not a recluse hermit, (and no, don't really see myself as part of the "mega-rich" set. And certainly I am not retired, sitting by some pool with umbrella drinks is just not my thing ;)

The intro text you quoted, Jason, was written over ten years ago, not five - and at the time I simply wanted to say "we are not doing some quick startup web thing" but rather just quietly work and design and think and play and live.... It was meant as the opposite of Hype, really.

But I fully understand how it can seem odd from the outside - all I wanted to say is: there was a little more to the story, once you look closer.

I would probably read that today just like kwabinalar and get a bit cynical - but at the time it was nothing more than an honest wave "hey they are some people who are NOT in this for a quick buck, will not sell their soul just to be on Nasdaq, but really like to think about where this is all headed..."

When I found this old place above the river, the first visitor was Douglas Adams - we were on each others boards at the time. And lots of plans were made for projects - not just software (he had moved next to us in Santa Barbara to do the Hitchhiker script)...and when he died soon after, that was just one of many changes in focus and goals which led me to morph my initial idea of a small incubator and focus on longer time cycles and deeper issues.

In other words: I lost interest do do "one-more-software-thing" and I never looked back :)

I did write an essay about that very topic: the fleeting nature of software, on the Edge site you mentioned at first:

P.S. Thanks Astra for the suggestion on Google Translating my writings in German, but that is a little bit like reading Woody Allen autobotted into Mongolian - all the wit and fun will be mangled out of it...puns become nuns... : See, it starts when they take my name "Kai Krause" and it comes out transliterated as "Dock Ruffle"...lol ( Kai = quay = dock, krauses Haar = ruffled hair.. All true, but.... Such is the plight of technology in the early third millennium, eh ;)

Some more writings in English are here.

As it turns out, Kai is a lot like Thomas Panchon and rational and sane human being. And you can tell by his classic smirk that he doesn't take this "business" too seriously. He's got several projects brewing and I can't wait to see what he comes up with...

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