Where I Am

March 2nd, 2006

My experience with the Mozilla project in 2005 was about a few things:

1. Growing our organization into the stature the rapid adoption of Firefox brought us. We started the year with about 15 people, and an unexpectedly large set of users. Organizationally we needed to get more people involved full time to take care of things, to build our physical infrastructure (with special thanks to the Oregon State University Open Source Lab), to take care of our user base, and to start to add more coordination among our contributors. Coordination means management of resources so we added a few managers to the employee base. Management in an open source project like ours is not as well understood or developed as code development in an open source project, and I hope to describe our thinking more clearly here and to generate discussion before long.

2. We adjusted our organization a bit, forming the Mozilla Corporation as an adjunct to the Mozilla Foundation. Personally, this was a lot of work. It needs more work, in particular to work explain, refine and further develop the roles of the Foundation and Corporation to help guide the Mozilla project.

3. We shipped Firefox and Thunderbird 1.5. This was important to get updated technology to our users and to provide a way to help protect users through automatic update, particularly for improvements related to security and privacy. It was also important to show that Firefox 1.0 wasn’t a one-shot wonder; that we understand how to ship software on a regular basis. We also broadened our search relationships, with Yahoo becoming the default in the Japanese, Chinese and Korean languages.

We did a lot of other things, but these are the chunks that occupied me for long periods of time.

In 2006 I see a continued focus on products. This has always been the core of what we do and we will continue to ship great products. For me personally, another large focus is in articulating the overall nature and goals of our organization and the means by which we will seek to achieve them. What is the mission of the Mozilla project? How do we best achieve these? What should the Mozilla Foundation do to help people enjoy free, useful participation in what the Internet offers? How best can the Corporation develop products and technologies to promote this goal? How do we combine management with open source DNA? How can I help bring the open, collaborative and distributed decision-making principles of code development into management and leadership of the Mozilla Corporation?

I don’t think there’s a how-to guide about how to do this 🙂

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