Lessons from Mozilla

NASA Open Source Summit March 30th, Ames Research Center

Seven Insights
Two Problems & Some Thoughts

Hello.

Caution: Your results may vary

Context

Some

Mozilla is…

FOX News thinks differently

Promote Choice and Innovation on the Internet

Seriously.

That’s it.

The Web is too important!

• • • • • • •

Mozilla project started in 1998 within Netscape Mozilla Foundation started in 2003 approximately 350 paid staff in 20 countries 40% of code contributed by volunteers Testing community of 60,000+ More than 400 million users Global browser market share ~30%

Factoids

Open Source

Wishful thinking

Reality

Hone your MacGyver-Skills

Seven Insights

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Superior Products
Matter

Without excellent experience & utility, the rest is meaningless

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Push (most) Decision Making to the Edges

Build Dee Hock’s Chaords

1. Distributed Decision-Making 2. Nodal Authority 3. Ways to Route Around

1. high agreement on core values 2. decision-making rests with module owners 3. groups have distinct ways of working 4. many decision-makers outside the “official” org 5. communication is central

Mozilla is a Chaord

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Communication will happen in every possible way

* so make sure it’s reusable

People will communicate in every useful way possible

Wikis

Twitter

Our main channels: Bugzilla, IRC & newsgroups

More: Video, Audio, Chat (and Robots)

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Make it easy for your Community to do the Important Things

Firefox ships in 80 languages; 79 of them localized by volunteers Making it easy is a huge priority

Our focus now (increasingly) is on making it easier to help others do more

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Surprise is overrated

Surprise is the
of

Engagement

ETISOPPO

Grow the Circle of Participation

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Communities are not Markets: Members are Citizens

Citizens are more than consumers, are more than bystanders, are more than stakeholders

THEY ARE US – WE ARE THEM – THEY ARE US – WE ARE THEM THEY ARE US – WE ARE THEM – THEY ARE US – WE ARE THEM THEY ARE US – WE ARE THEM – THEY ARE US – WE ARE THEM THEY ARE US – WE ARE THEM – THEY ARE US – WE ARE THEM THEY ARE US – WE ARE THEM – THEY ARE US – WE ARE THEM THEY ARE US – WE ARE THEM – THEY ARE US – WE ARE THEM THEY ARE US – WE ARE THEM – THEY ARE US – WE ARE THEM THEY ARE US – WE ARE THEM – THEY ARE US – WE ARE THEM THEY ARE US – WE ARE THEM – THEY ARE US – WE ARE THEM THEY ARE US – WE ARE THEM – THEY ARE US – WE ARE THEM THEY ARE US – WE ARE THEM – THEY ARE US – WE ARE THEM THEY ARE US – WE ARE THEM – THEY ARE US – WE ARE THEM THEY ARE US – WE ARE THEM – THEY ARE US – WE ARE THEM THEY ARE US – WE ARE THEM – THEY ARE US – WE ARE THEM THEY ARE US – WE ARE THEM – THEY ARE US – WE ARE THEM

The best citizens challenge the status quo, propose improvements and make the conversation richer

They don’t just make products better. They make them what they are.

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The key is the art of figuring out whether & how to apply each of these ideas

1. Superior Products Matter 2. Push (most) decision-making to the edges 3. Communication will happen - make it reusable 4. Make it easy to do the important things 5. Surprise is overrated 6. Communities are not Markets 7. Figure out whether & how to apply these ideas

Two Problems

Engaged citizens are

noisy
#1

“The URL bar should be removed.”

“Fitts’ says bigger buttons are better.”

“What’s with the dirty house?” “Add support for BitTorrent.” “That’s great!”

“My mom doesn’t understand tabs.” “Everyone uses tags, not bookmarks.”

“There should be a preference setting.” “OpenID is the future!”

“Nobody uses the ‘Go’ button.”

“I love tabs!”

“The profile manager should be redesigned.”

“Add support for Ogg Vorbis.”

“That’s awful” “Closebuttons are better at the end of the tabstrip.”

Demanding

Contradictory

They help products, technology & organizations make hard decisions in the right way.

There are

NO
maps… #2

Actually…

there are maps.

They just aren’t yours.

Dragons

Key is to define what you care about, how to measure it and how to communicate a litmus tests.

…and some

Thoughts

Community

build

alongside your tool-chain

Planning
wiki.mozilla.org

Project Mgmt
bugzilla.mozilla.org

Dev & Build
Tinderbox , etc

QA
quality.mozilla.org

Crash Stats
crash-stats.mozilla.org

Automation
Nightly / Testing

Feedback
input.mozilla.org

Tools

matter

10x

pfinette@ – @pfinette