Steal! Ben Darnell Leaves Google Reader Team, Joins FriendFeed

Ben Darnell, a key member of the Google Reader team, has left Mountain View to jump into startup life. Darnell bailed Google for FriendFeed, which was founded by ex-Googlers and notably in part by Kevin Fox, who used to work with him on the Google Reader team.

Darnell is FriendFeed’s first hire in over a year, and will get employee badge number 13. He starts today, and according to the blog post announcing the steal, he’ll be bringing his “ninja-fu data-storage and scalability skills” to the startup.

I was reading Darnell’s blog and I noticed something funny: back in May, he blogged about his experiences playing around with Google App Engine and coming up with FriendFork. The latter is a quick product mashed together to make it easier to consume, indeed, FriendFeed in Google Reader.

(Hat tip to @OurielOhayon)