Mozilla exists to build portions of the Internet where individual human benefit, social benefit, and civic benefit are the most important things. We build Firefox explicitly to advance this goal. Mozilla is uniquely suited to doing this. As a non-profit organization we are organized — legally and logistically — to do this, and only this. We build Firefox as a first, critical step in this goal. But Firefox isn’t the end goal. The end goal is to create an Internet where all of us can participate, where all of us have the ability to build, where all of us can earn authority, responsibility and decision-making ability.
Each one of us will live in a world where our online identity and experience is massive and growing. Each one of us should be able to participate in creating and defining that experience. And to participate in the ways we think are important, not just in the ways someone else offers us. Mozilla recognized long ago that an independent browser dedicated only to the public good is a necessary piece for building a healthy Internet. Many people thought this was silly — the browser was generally treated as simply a part of the Windows desktop and not important in its own right. These days we know that’s not true.
Almost 200 million people have spoken by adopting Firefox; demonstrating how much the browser does matter. Yesterday Google announced that it will release its own browser, validating once again the central idea that this tool we call the browser is fundamentally important. Our first great battle — that of relevance and acceptance — has been won.
We build Firefox with an open development process. At Mozilla people earn respect, authority and decision-making ability by demonstrating their abilities. This allows individual people to become full, equal participants, with both authority and responsibility for building a better Internet. The development process for Firefox demonstrates the type of Internet we want to build. (Not perfectly, of course.)
Firefox is our first step in building this Internet. It’s the demonstration of how to make these goals tangible in a product hundreds of millions of people can enjoy. Firefox is a terrific product and it needs to be. Clearly we need to continue to build great products, and to lead in a competitive environment. Mozilla created this competitive environment through the success of Firefox, and I’m as confident as John is about Mozilla’s future. We’ve already got great things ready for our upcoming 3.1 release, and there’s much more to come. Performance, stability, security, ease of use, features — it’s a great time in Firefox and browser development in general.
We’ll continue to compete in the browser world, and we’ll continue to do well. We’ll continue to produce a product that people choose, and trust and understand is theirs. We’ll continue to do this as part of our overall mission — building an Internet where individual, civic and social value are paramount.
Competition is seldom comfortable, but it forces us to do our best. Firefox 3 is a terrific product and there’s much more to come. We’re just beginning to touch the surface of what Mozilla can accomplish. The best is yet to come.
(Note: I’m flying back to California today after a few days of vacation and so unfortunately will be out of touch for parts of the day.)