Posts Tagged with “innovation”

Choice, Innovation and Participation

November 13th, 2006

We’ve long described the mission of the Mozilla Foundation as “promoting choice and innovation on the Internet.” I’ve been thinking about how to make this more concrete. How to answer questions like:

  • Is all choice equally useful? How do we figure out which choices we actively try to accomplish?
  • Is all innovation good? Or are some types of innovation more likely to promote the goals of an open Internet?

I’ve found these questions harder to answer than it might seem.

More and more I come back to the concept of participation. One of the things that makes the Internet so exciting is the ability for many people to participate in the development, use and direction of the Internet. People can participate in many ways, in many languages, on many machines, in many different activities. Also, people can participate in a highly decentralized way, making their own choices about if, when and how to participate. Some participate by creating content, some by creating software, some by building communities, some by creating websites. Those who participate help determine the direction in which the Internet develops.

So, what kinds of choice matters to the Mozilla project? What kinds of innovations should the Mozilla project focus on? My current thinking is that we should focus on:

  • Innovations which promote widespread, decentralized participation in online activities; and
  • Choices — in technologies, products, community projects — that make it easier for people to participate in building the online experience that works for them.

Does this resonate with you? Is this a helpful way to think about our goals? Please let me know.

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