writing the next chapter

How we got from zero to tens of millions of users for Firefox is through having a great product and telling a great story that had lots and lots of sub-plots. We took photographs, talked to people, had everyone pass on those stories, and let people become part of the story too. We didn't do any marketing — we just had good stories to share.

What stories do we want to tell about Firefox/Mozilla this year? How about:

  • How we will come together to build Firefox 2.0, our next generation browser
  • How we'll bring the world even closer with making Firefox available to more countries/languages, to even more people – in China, Japan, India, Brazil, Mexico, Israel, Iraq, etc.
  • How we'll continue to drive cool new Web 2.0 companies build next generation Web applications
  • How we collaborate on such a complex product. We're shipping software not just talking about it. And shipping software is hard.

The Firefox versus IE 7 is a bad story, we shouldn't be part of that story at all. Doing so will take us away from telling other stories…like the time we were wrapping up localization for Firefox 1.5 for the China release. We were scrambling to get something translated, trying to find our contact in China and he was no where to be found. At the last minute, he popped up, translated the text for us and explained that he was away because his was wife had just "borned" a baby. There's always difficulty in coordinating with China because of the time difference nevermind that the localization effort there is volunteer-based. There was such a time crunch, we were scrambling, and as soon as we heard what was going on, well clearly what our volunteer in China was doing was more important.

Anyway, there are more stories to tell. Perhaps a story on our localization team in China, what got them started, what their motivations are, and what the Internet climate is in China or in another part of the world where we have localization teams.

2 Replies to “writing the next chapter”

  1. This is a great post Rafael. The stories you mention are totally worth telling. I'll respectfully disagree that you didn't do any marketing in the past — taking photos, talking to people, and encouraging them to pass on their love of Firefox — this all was marketing as well. Your bigger point, that there are tons of interesting stories about how Firefox is made that deserve to be shared, is spot on.

  2. I guess the point is to focus on story telling versus marketing because we did do a lot of "marketing"– building out the right product is marketing, doing all the things we did. Making sure our stories are told sounds so much nicer than going out and marketing a product.  The stigmas that surround "marketing" kinda suck.  Though having a group of open source marketers at SpreadFirefox is a powerful statement/force.

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