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.