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:
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
March 9, 2018 § Leave a comment
For anyone wondering what Mozilla has been like over the years, this video explains a ton. Very similar companies. Very similar cultures.
For anyone inside of Mozilla, this video will resonate strongly.
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.
February 4, 2014 § Leave a comment
Mozilla’s office design embodies our approach to software – open source and collaborative, with a large portion of the office dedicated to serving our larger Mozilla community of volunteers. Snacks and comfortable seating are abundant and our flexible spaces lend themselves to a variety of activities including hackathons, design labs, brownbags, and industry talks each integral to our world class leadership in software development.
One shining example of Mozilla’s open source approach is our newly installed Mozilla Sign (Monument) at the corner of the Embarcadero and Harrison street. More than a sign, it represents our world community in both symbol and structure with its combination of glass (transparency) and steel (strength). Looking closer, you’ll find the etchings of nearly 5,000 contributor names (Mozillians) who help make us…well, “Mozilla”. Ultimately, we hope it serves as a beacon not just for the city of San Francisco but for the current and future participation of our worldwide open source community.
Inside the office, the company recognizes the evolving flexible working environment required by today’s knowledge workers. Collaboration zones are designed to connect flexible teams and their projects. All desks are actually push-button, height-adjustable surfaces, allowing people to work at their own “height number”. There are no executive offices. In their place, there are dozens of conference rooms each outfitted with whiteboards, presentation, and video conferencing capability. Our goal with these spaces is to connect our global Mozillian workforce whether they work from their homes or in one of the dozen Mozilla spaces located across four different continents. Amidst all this collaboration space, we maintain a focus of ensuring privacy (when desired) and noise reduction while maintaining the open office plan. Whether it’s our Buzzi-felt sound absorbing walls and ceilings or private phone booths, we aim to respect each individual’s preferences.
Perhaps the most stunning feature of our famed San Francisco office is our 7th floor roof deck nestled directly underneath the historic Hills Brothers sign with its famous nightly red neon glow. With sweeping views of the Ferry Building, the Oakland bay bridge, Alcatraz, and the Embarcadero walking paths, you’ll often find Mozillian’s camped out on the decks outdoor couches Wi-Fi’ing away in classic California outdoor working style. On other days and weekends, this deck provides the perfect hot spot for Blue Angels, Fireworks, or events like the Americas Cup. Mozilla’s offices are definitely on the short list of San Francisco’s must-visit office spaces.
The Making Of….
<iframe src=”https://air.mozilla.org/monument/video/” width=”640″ height=”380″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen>
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
March 8, 2013 § 1 Comment
Listen carefully to this video – It’s Easy! Addition/Subtraction – You don’t have to be a genius.
How old is your child? Are they learning coding? When will you start learning?
- Bill Gates – 13 years old when he started
- Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook) was 12 yrs old (6th grad)
- Jack Dorsey (Square) – 8 yrs old
1st Programs They Wrote? – Very easy ones…..
- Tic-Tac-Toe (Bill Gates first program)
- What’s your favorite color (Drew Houston – Dropbox)
- Simply making something fun for myself and my sisters (Mark Zuckerberg/Facebook )
“Coders change the world. They build new, amazing things faster than ever before. Anyone with imagination can learn to write code.“
“Programming is how we talk to the machines that are increasingly woven into our lives. If you aren’t a programmer, you’re like one of the unlettered people of the Middle Ages who were told what to think by the literate priesthood. We had a Renaissance when more people could read and write; we’ll have another one when everyone programs.“
“If you can program a computer, you can achieve your dreams. A computer doesn’t care about your family background, your gender, just that you know how to code. But we’re only teaching it in a small handful of schools, why?“
What’s Wrong With This Picture?
More Perspective and Perspective from Mozilla in this video. Coding, Scouting, and Camping compared….a powerful idea.