January 31, 2020 § 1 Comment
A great friend, Tim Winders, has started a great podcast called “Seek Go Create”. Our conversation can be found at the link below. He begins with asking me about the new book “That Will Never Work” (Netflix founding story) and he masterfully helps me share my Silicon Valley experience over the last 30 years with a focus on topics such as “Risk Culture”, the Silicon Valley “underbelly”, my time at Mozilla, and ending with some of my thoughts on Leadership, Teams, Integrity and Trust.
Maybe a good “listen” on your next commute? or simply save it in your podcast library and come back to it.
June 30, 2018 § 1 Comment
As I depart Mozilla in 2018, I arrive at yet another inflection point in Mozilla’s history.
Mozilla is an incredible success story. From $0 in revenue and cash 15 years ago to $500M in both revenue and assets in the latest published annual report(s). From Mitchell’s Vision and Manifesto in the early 2000’s to the launch of Firefox 1.0 in November, 2004, Firefox and everything Mozilla stands for has made an impact on the world.
We “Took Back the Web” in 2005 with only a few thousand square feet of space and now have multiple international Mozilla offices with over 1,100 employed Mozillians and thousands of additional open source contributors.
It’s been a privilege to have played a part in scaling Mozilla from this 18 person startup to the multi-national, top brand organization we are today. We made an impact on the industry and we continue to be a powerful voice for the web, the technology industry, and operating as a developer community.
Mozilla is one of those rare special places where you simultaneously seek to change the world and, by doing so, Mozilla changes you.
Mozilla taught me the true meaning of “Open” and how to lead powerfully with both Trust and Transparency. I’ve done my very best to coach/teach other Mozillians these key learning’s and to continuously design these key principles into Mozilla’s “internal operating systems”.
There are too many friends and teammates and Mozillians worldwide to thank who won’t see me as often in the offices but who I’ll still be hanging out with on the web and social media sites.
In the end, the only thing that matters is we connected with each other, learned from each other, and we made a difference. We learned to trust each other by operating transparently and in turn we learned how a small army of awesome Mozillians could leverage and compete with tech giants.
There are so too many stories and so many memories with so many people. The best I can do to convey my experience is to offer a sampling of my “Best Of” in the form of what everyone loves these days “Videos on the Web”!
In no particular order and with 100% certainty I’ve missed some important “moments in time”, I offer you my take on “Mozilla’s Best of Vdieos” along with some historical and important blogposts from Mozilla leaders in an attempt to capture and share Mozilla’s amazing history over the last 10+ yrs.
MOZILLA’s BEST OF (Greatest Hits)
History of Mozilla
Chris Beard’s Mozilla Firefox Brand Manifesto: We Answer To No One But You!:
Quick Mozilla Firefox Videos:
I AM A MOZILLIAN!
ARE YOU A MOZILLIAN?
THE WEB WE WANT: An Open Letter
Seniors React to Firefox Data Privacy
FIREFOX FLICKS: (2012)
WHAT DOES THE FOX SAY?
Johnathan Nightingale on Firefox (2013)
BONUS CUT: Making Espresso at Mozilla:
Creating the Firefox Monument: 2014
New Firefox Quantum: (2017)
Mitchell Baker’s Blog:
Denelle Dixon: Online Privacy
Harvey Anderson: Health of the Web:
OTHER KEY LINKS
Annual Report – State of Mozilla 2016:https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/foundation/annualreport/2016/
IRL: Internet in Real Life Podcast:
May 1, 2018 § Leave a comment
“Our Vision Controls Our Perception. Our Perception Becomes Our Reality”
“There’s More Than One Right Answer”
“There’s Far More Right With the World Than What’s Wrong With It”
“Extraordinary Visions Release Passion”
“I Saw An Angel In The Stone and Carved To Set It Free” – MichelAngelo
Dewitt Jones is great. A great storyteller with a great message and great photos!
p.s. – Don’t forget to bring your “juice camera”!
April 22, 2018 § Leave a comment
When you are 92 and you have life experiences like Brother David Steindl-Rast, I always listen.
A simple and wonderful message on a Sunday.
* “It is not happiness that makes us grateful…….it’s gratefulness that makes you happy”
* Stop, Look, Listen, GO!
If you liked that 2007 video, he updated it in 2017.
Same message but worth watching again!
March 30, 2018 § Leave a comment
In this post, the focus is on Trust, Transparency, Leadership, Storytelling, and how all these concepts interlink:
Trust and Permission
“We seek out people who tell us stories that resonate, we listen to those stories, and we engage with those people or businesses that delight or reassure or surprise in a positive way. And all of those behaviors are the acts of people, not machines. We embrace the humanity in those around us, particularly as the rest of the world appears to become less human and more cold.“
“Management is almost diametrically opposed to leadership”
Leadership, though, is a whole other game. Leadership puts the leader on the line. No manual, no rule book, no überleader to point the finger at when things go wrong. If you ask someone for the rule book on how to lead, you’re secretly wishing to be a manager.
Leaders are vulnerable, not controlling, and they are racing to the top, taking us to a new place, not to the place of cheap, fast, compliant safety.”
“After trust is earned and your work is seen, only a fraction of it is magical enough to be worth spreading. Again, this magic is the work of the human artist, not the corporate machine. We’re no longer interested in average stuff for average people.”
“the people you seek to lead, the people who are helping to define the next thing and the interesting frontier, these people want your humanity..”
This was all taken from the following: I thought
April 4, 2014 § 2 Comments
A poem…begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness. It is a reaching-out toward expression; an effort to find fulfillment.
A complete poem is one where an emotion finds the thought and the thought finds the words. Robert Frost letter to Louis Untermeyer (1916).
A Ritual To Read To Each Other
by William Stafford
If you don’t know the kind of person I am
and I don’t know the kind of person you are
a pattern that others made may prevail in the world
and following the wrong god home we may miss our star.
For there is many a small betrayal in the mind,
a shrug that lets the fragile sequence break
sending with shouts the horrible errors of childhood
storming out to play through the broken dyke.
And as elephants parade holding each elephant’s tail,
but if one wanders the circus won’t find the park,
I call it cruel and maybe the root of all cruelty
to know what occurs but not recognize the fact.
And so I appeal to a voice, to something shadowy,
a remote important region in all who talk:
though we could fool each other, we should consider–
lest the parade of our mutual life get lost in the dark.
For it is important that awake people be awake,
or a breaking line may discourage them back to sleep;
the signals we give–yes or no, or maybe–
should be clear: the darkness around us is deep.
by Robert Frost
But the first thing next morning we reflected
If one by one we counted people out
For the least sin, it wouldn’t take us long
To get so we had no one left to live with.
For to be social is to be forgiving.
As we end this week, Mozilla arrives at yet another inflection point in our history. Many have already offered their views and insights on our leadership changes recently. Like Here: Mozilla Is Human
The best I can offer is to try to help everyone remember Mozilla’s roots and to remind everyone that a company builds its culture everyday. Mozilla has always built our culture the way we build our software – open source and transparently (view source).
to Deb Cohen’s Holding Space and Finding My Own
to Reid’s reminder today to “Let’s not waste a good crisis”.
Now is the time to double down on everything that’s great about Mozilla.
Now, more than ever, is the time to show the world WHO Mozilla is, WHY we exist, and HOW we operate. Now is the time to lean in hard.
As Churchill said,“If you are going through hell, keep going”. Or you may prefer Robert Frost version “the best way out is always through”.
I’ll end with more of a list from the top of my head. A running list of the values and behaviors that have created Mozilla’s culture over time: (you can add your own in the comments)
“It’s the People”: People create culture from a shared purpose, values and behaviors. Mozilla creates space for people’s “best of”. This environment in turn attracts more talent and the upward spiral of knowing more, doing more, and being better.
Operating Openly: Minimum Requirements
Leading with Respect
Having an Opinion
Listening for the Best Idea
Learning a lot
Teaching a little
“You’re Right” are 2 very powerful words
Let’s Fix It are 3 words that should follow
Personal Authenticity…it’s ok to be vulnerable. It’s ok to say you don’t know. It’s important to say “we’ll figure it out together”
Capacity and Willingness to Connect with Others Deeply.
Trust requires Transparency
Being an Empathetic Ambivert (as in ambidextrous to both extroverts and introverts)
Showing Up, Digging In, and Being Yourself.
LEADERSHIP is not a title and it’s not management it’s a BEHAVIOR….anyone can exhibit it.
We model courage or cowardice and leadership everyday.
Every time we show up and/or FAIL to show up.
Every time we use our voice.
I’m looking at the Culture when I’m looking at YOU (and your behaviors)
You Are the Culture (in the way you show up)
I am the Culture
We are the Culture
Please turn to the Mozillian next to you…and let’s begin again.
January 28, 2014 § 4 Comments
Listen to Laura Thomson @lxt, Sr Web Engineering Mgr, describe Mozilla’s “MVP” Minimum Viable Bureaucracy. We do this not only in Engineering but everywhere inside Mozilla (especially Finance and Operations).
Best of Quotes from this Minimum Viable Bureaucracy talk:
The basis of any self-organizing system = TRUST
Awesome communication processes require practice
Every project should have a URL
Let subject matter experts emerge (module owner or Benevolent Dictator For Life)
A 1 person = 2 day marathon Prototype + Momentum gets people motivated and makes the PATH clear
Iterate toward greatness
Ruthless murder scope creep “Not in This Iteration”. NO! ….. is a complete sentence.
There is no such thing as a structureless organization (there is somebody at the end of the day organizing “stuff”)
Knowing how to work hard is a skill some people have never learned (especially if they are incredibly smart and have intellectually cruised through life)
In this talk, you’ll hear Laura reference several other current and former thought leaders at Mozilla.
This talk appeared at OSCON 2013 and the slide deck has garnered some attention, but the talk was not recorded, so as per requests, Laura re-delivers it on Air Mozilla as a brownbag.
For more of Laura: http://lanyrd.com/profile/lxt/ < you’ll find all her slide decks here.
Other talks referenced by Laura: John O’Duinn’s “We Are All Remoties” > http://oduinn.com/blog/2012/04/04/we-are-all-remoties/
John Lilly’s Preso on Mozilla and Managing Chaos http://www.slideshare.net/johnolilly/stanford-presentation-on-mozilla-presentation?type=powerpoint
January 26, 2014 § Leave a comment
On this 30th Year anniversary of the Mac, the Computer History Museum released an Exclusive (Unseen since 1984) ; the original Steve Jobs Public unveiling of the Macintosh Computer. Interesting and fascinating on so many levels from the only seen once on public television classic Orwellian commercial to Steve’s still developing and now famous presentation skills.
For you computer history and tech buffs, the specs (minute 6)
- “LISA” Technology (mice, point, click, cut, paste, windows)
- 68,000 CPU running at 8 Mhz that “eats 8088’s for breakfast”
- 192K bytes of memory! 64K of these bytes are ROM and an amazing 128K bytes are RAM!
- Inside the 64K ROM is the entire OS! Entire graphics, entire Windows user interface – All in ROM!
- Introduction of breakthrough 3.5 inch floppy disk with 400K bytes!
- A super high definition, high resolution 9″ bitmapped black and white screen! (Twice the dots of an IBM PC or and Apple II)
- Took 2 years to make it.
Don’t miss minute 9 with the classic Chariots of Fire video debut!
Some interesting quotes”We want to make Macintosh the 2nd Desk Appliance” (1st = Telephone)
“The last thing the world needs is another Local Area Network” (Ethernet really never took off)
“Lotus has announced 123 for the Macintosh and it’s in their development labs now”
August 25, 2013 § 1 Comment
Wins and Losses – they are a dime a dozen
Nobody can judge effort
Effort is between YOU and YOU!
NOW…you have to show that you are a different creature than you were 5 minutes ago….
It means you are pissed off for greatness
Because if you aren’t pissed off for greatness
Then that means you are ok with being mediocre
SO, LET’S DO WHAT WE DO!
July 20, 2013 § Leave a comment
One of the biggest influences on my young scientific brain was the amazing thirteen part Cosmos series written by Carl Sagan and his wife Ann Druyan. It aired in 1980 when I was 13 years old and I still feel it’s impact and influence on my young mind. It was the most widely watched series in the history of public television and is still one of the most widely watched PBS series in the world. It’s been broadcast in more than 60 countries and watched by more than 500 million people. For it’s day, it was so well produced from the special effects to the soundtracks to the simple Storytelling. The series brilliant blending of science, history, poetry, music creates tremendous education for a young mind and at 13 I was a sponge.
In this series, the concepts include our universe, DNA, astronomy (Kepler, Copernicus, and Tycho Brahe), an entire episode devoted to Mars, Space-Time and Einstein, Voyager’s Golden Record and our collective intelligence. It’s all here.
One particular episode stood out for me above all others. The concepts described in the Flatland episode intrigues me to this day. The possibilities of “what’s out there?” and how it might look make me full of wonder. I still love the part how the 3D cube casts a shadow on the 2D Flatland and further, how we can imagine the fourth dimension by creating a “shadow” in our 3D world…even though we can never physically see this 4th dimensional “shape”.
Today I think of this concept as “Perspective” and I regular use this Flatland analogy when I feel perspective is needed.
I love how Carl simply poses great questions and teaches without lecturing.
“Cosmology brings us face-to-face with the deepest mysteries of questions that were once treated only in religion and myth”
“Who know for certain? Who shall here declare it? Whence was it born?…….these words are 3500 years old. They are taken from the Rig Veda, a collection of early Sanskrit hymns. The most sophisticated ancient cosmological ideas came from Asia and particularly from India. Here, there’s a tradition of skeptical questioning and un-selfconscious humility before the great cosmic mysteries..”
I marvel at the consistent blend of poetry, science, history, and cultural concepts and begin to understand how these ideas were planted in my young mind as they were in many other young minds.
As for the Googol and Googolplex, little did we know that 20 years later, these words would take on a whole new meaning. The concept of “the infinity of small” and the “infinity of large” still intrigues me to this day.
GOOGOL and a GOOGOLPLEX
I’ll end this mini-video series with one of Carl Sagan’s most persistent and timeless messages for humanity
“Those worlds in space are as countless as all the grains of sand on all the beaches of the Earth. Each of those worlds is as real as ours. In every one of them, there’s a succession of incidence, events, occurrences which influence its future. Countless worlds, numberless moments, an immensity of space and time. And our small planet, at this moment, here we face a critical branch-point in the history. What we do with our world, right now, will propagate down through the centuries and powerfully affect the destiny of our descendants. It is well within our power to destroy our civilization, and perhaps our species as well. If we capitulate to superstition, or greed, or stupidity, we can plunge our world into a darkness deeper than time between the collapse of classical civilization and the Italian Renaissance. But, we are also capable of using our compassion and our intelligence, our technology and our wealth, to make an abundant and meaningful life for every inhabitant of this planet. To enhance enormously our understanding of the Universe, and to carry us to the stars.”