Here’s the business approach of the then-current CEO of a very well-known Internet company. (He’s gone now.)
- get eyeballs looking at my site
- find or create content that keeps them at my site as long as possible
- monetize them as much as possible while they’re there
There are times when each of us will be happy to be a pair of eyeballs with a wallet attached, to be a “monitizable unit.” In our physical lives this is a little like going to the mall. I may “window-shop” and I may enjoy a comfortable environment. But there’s no doubt in anyone’s mind that the point of the mall is to for people to purchase things.
There are times, however, when being a wallet attached to eyeballs is not enough. The possibilities available to us online should be broader, just as they are in the physical world. Sometimes we choose to skip the mall and go to the library, or the town square or the park or the museum or the playground or the school. Sometimes we choose activities that are not about consumption, but are about learning and creation and improving the environment around us.
We have public spaces for these activities in our physical lives. We have public assets, and the idea of building some part of our infrastructure for public benefit as a necessary complement to private economic activity.
Mozilla strives to bring this public aspect, this sense of compete human beings, the goal of enriching the full range of human activities to the Internet. We envision a world where the Internet is built to support these varied aspects of the human experience; a world where robust economic activity lives alongside vibrant social, civic and individual enrichment.
We’re building this world so that we can all live in it.