June 17, 2008

June 30th, 2008

Late last week a colleague expressed dismay that we didn’t have either a recorded version or a text version of the brief comments I made from Seoul via Air Mozilla on the release day of Firefox 3. So I took my notes and put them together into something that is close — certainly in spirit — though not exact.


Every once in a while — for those people who are really lucky — we get to experience a moment where everything comes together. A period where dreams and hard work merge together with remarkable results.

This is such a time for Mozilla.

It’s based on hard work and execution of course. The number of people who have done something unexpected in the last few months, something that changes the outcome, is very high. But that’s only part of it. And there are plenty of times in life — most of life for most people, in fact — where people work hard and pour themselves into their effort but don’t experience the lift and buoyancy of sense of validation.

The periods that are so memorable often involve a team of people, and something that makes that group of people cohesive and satisfying. Sometimes these periods involve working on something that seems giant, hard to achieve and meaningful. Often then involve many things coming together in a way almost didn’t seem possible. And they involve a response from the world at large that demonstrates all the work and energy was worth it.

It’s incredibly fortunate to experience this at all. And it’s intensely gratifying to see these things come together for Mozilla.  It’s not just Firefox, it’s the entire Mozilla community. Firefox reflects the Mozilla community, giving us a chance to see how broad and deep the Mozilla world is, and how much can be accomplished. Eight million people — not only aware of a piece of software but acting on that awareness — in a day is astonishing.

The excitement isn’t all about a piece of software. The real activity is about the Internet. It’s about people not just using but also creating the Internet; creating an experience that is fun, safe, and productive. The Internet is a big deal. The ability to participate in creating it is a big deal. It’s rare that such a fundamental resource can be created by voluntary individual participation.

We can see that people sense the opportunity, want to participate, want to build and are more willing to share than might have been expected. We see this in the open source world, we see it in activities like Wikipedia, we see it in the growing range of activities using an “open source” model.

Mozilla has a role to play here. What a great place to be.

5 comments for “June 17, 2008”

  1. 1

    Michael Lefevre said on July 1st, 2008 at 5:44 am:

    Good that you put this up here. I thought it was a great little speech when I watched it at the time…

  2. 2

    Glenn said on July 4th, 2008 at 3:57 am:

    Man I hope this will be the version of Mozilla Firefox / T-bird that makes secure and (therefore anonymous to the rest of the world — not intended recipients!) private communications possible with very strong encryption and so easy that the browser handles all the hassles. Encrypted telephone and email and even webpages.

    And YES I have PUT THESE CONCERNS IN BUGZILLA(S) YEARS AGO!!! I just hope to see them sooner than later! EVEN if it takes doing it off planet to stop it from offending any governments that believe that they have the desire (unconstitutional in the USA) to prohibit truly private conversations.

    YES THIS IS A MAJOR SECURITY CONCERN! And for some it could have life and death or torture consequences!
    Missionaries come to mind!

    Please, have compassion for those less blessed than we in the USA and include strong enough encryption for normal communications to be unreadable even by very determined and well financed governments/dictators! and other malicious folk who could have truly Orwellian intentions!

    Thanks in advance for all the lives WE might save!!!!

  3. 3

    Ardi said on July 9th, 2008 at 12:50 pm:

    Yeaah this is mozilla’s time. who would have ever thought that such results would have come from volunteers. in a world dominated by the big, wealthy and powerful corporates such a software like would have been brought to life by a community of passionate people striving to improve daily, bit by bit, the result of a big challenge. for the contributors, i think that firefox represents what’s best inside every each of them. so we have at the end something pure, the outcome of a great commitment,dedication, and passion. i’m just a user, so thank you. i do belive in what you belive. long life to open source world!
    let’s celebrate…

  4. 4

    Lee Robinson said on July 11th, 2008 at 4:09 pm:

    I’m new to Firefox, and have struggled to use 1.5. So after reading some glowing reports on 3.0, decided to download it. BIG MISTAKE!!! It doesn’t work, generates many “error reports”, and keeps sending me to a COMCAST home page, which I do not use! I’m on bellsouth DSL. HELP!! Lee Robinson West Palm Beach, FL

  5. 5

    J King said on July 15th, 2008 at 12:26 am:

    Should be easy enough to reconfigure FF options to your preferred Home Page.

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