An interview with Mozilla Chairman Mitchell Baker.
McKinsey remains very topical with the work that is being done here. In this interview, Mitchell Baker reflects on the successful innovation she has experienced at Mozilla. A Lawyer by training she has been involved with Netscape / AOL / Mozilla for over 10 years.
The interview begins with the focus on Mozilla's participation model. With a staff of 120 and an army of volunteers, each group contributes to the code base, Ms. Baker credits both elements as critical and key to Mozilla's success.
McKinsey asks, "How do you motivate people to contribute to Mozilla, especially after ten years?" Ms. Baker notes the evolution of the browser, its dark side of pop-ups, spam and spyware and the greater conflict that Microsoft brought to the browser arena. And the elimination of gate-keepers in accessing the Internet. If not for Mozilla, Microsoft may have intimidated browser vendors to the point of extinction. These are the reasons that many have joined the Mozilla community and contributed. And;
Second, our product makes a giant difference in the lives of our volunteers, and they take ownership of it. I don't know if you could build this degree of motivation for something that really didn't change people's lives, something that they weren't emotionally committed to. But the number of people who feel that Firefox is partly theirs is very high.I know this emotional commitment exists within the oil and gas User community.
I want to highlight these comments of Ms. Baker's and draw a parallel to the community that is being built here. No one individual knows all there is about oil and gas. To build a comprehensive system as I have described here needs the diverse and robust community to define it and build the software. I can't think how that can be done without the Users of the software emotionally involved in the manner that Ms. Baker speaks about her volunteers. And as I have stated before, this community has to be financially supported by the oil and gas industry. Both developers and Users need to be, and will be, compensated for their time and efforts.
In answering the McKinsey question "What has been the biggest surprise in the time you've been working at Mozilla? "Ms. Baker states;
That we had exactly what was needed at exactly the right moment. You often see this in start-ups that burst onto the scene and grow dramatically. There's a lot of hard work and smarts, but also some piece of timing is right. Those things, you can't control; you need to be ready.I hope that I would not be considered presumptuous in stating that I think we are ready. Join me here.
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