What’s Mozilla about, really?


Mitchell Baker, Mozilla’s CEO, said at the latest all hands in Hawaii that Mozilla has been searching for its “north star” for a while, and it’s finally coming into view.

Here’s the link:
(start watching from 3:40, her talk is about 20 minutes)

In a fascinating talk, she discussed the central tenets that occupy Mozilla today — diversity, decentralization and security.

More importantly she mentioned that when people normally refer to the word Firefox, they miss a lot of the underlying assets of Mozilla.

So this got me thinking, and I suddenly realized — Firefox is indeed just a detail in Mozilla history. The story of 1998 was that there was a threat to the web as an open, decentralized and secure place. The threat was not at the server side, but rather at the client that consumed the web — Microsoft was becoming a monopoly and a point of centralization as a browser vendor.
And a group of enthusiastic and skilled people joined together to take on this threat. And they succeeded.

Today, it’s becoming clear that there are other threats. We seem to be losing the fight for privacy. Large corporations hold our data and decide what to share, and more often what not to share with us.

This sheds some light on why Mozilla is not simply a browser company. It’s an organization of communities. It’s a gathering of enthusiastic and skilled people, united in the quest to build an open web for everyone. A web that empowers individuals, communities of good will and freedom.

This made me feel good about being a mozillian and involved in something that only now I understand its deeper meaning.

Originally published at blog.amitzur.com.

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