2003-2013, what an amazing decade!



It’s the end of the year, so it’s a moment where things are a bit more quiet in our lives, which is an opportunity to reflect on what has taken place over the past 12 months. Interestingly, 10 years ago this week I registered Mozilla Europe with the French authorities. Since then, its activities have been transferred to a Mozilla Foundation subsidiary, but this is nevertheless an opportunity to reflect on what has happened over the past 10 years.

In 2003, I realized that the Mozilla project was really important for the future of the Web. Back then, AOL/Netscape had just withdrawn from Mozilla and everybody’s help was needed to make it through these difficult times. I decided then to invest my time and energy to develop Mozilla in Europe without having a clear idea on how we (peterv and the folks who joined us like Pascalc) could make the organization sustainable nor if it could pay the bills. Luckily, with a lot of effort we managed to ship Firefox 1.0 a year later, and partnership with search engines have made Mozilla sustainable.

10 years have passed since then, and Mozilla has grown a lot, and its impact has grown too.

The recently published Mozilla 2013 infographic gives us some impressive numbers: 500 million users for Firefox, 50 million downloads of Firefox for Android (with 4.5 stars in the Google Play Store!). The Mozilla Developer Network has received 18 million visits and 70 million page views. From a technology standpoint, a lot of progress has been made. What has impressed me in 2013 — even if most people don’t seem to understand yet what it implies — is that we can now run C++ code (compiled into JavaScript) in Firefox without any plug-in, which makes commercial games based on Unreal Engine 3 possible today.

The biggest effort this year for Mozilla was certainly the launch of Firefox OS with 4 operators, in 14 countries (6 in Europe) and 3 devices, less than 2 years after the project started. I’m sure that 2014 will also be an amazing year for Firefox OS, getting us closer to our goals of making the Web the mobile platform of choice for everyone.

With regards to Mozilla in France, 2013 was the year we have left our old boring and small offices in favor of a much bigger place where most importantly we can host community events that are related to Mozilla (the Francophone meet-up, the opening party) or to Open-Source and the Web at large (with events such as the DotClear and Opquast community days). The Paris team and I are going to make sure this is just the beginning!

From a personal standpoint, 2013 has also seen several changes. I switched team, moving from the Tech Evangelism team (who interact mostly with developers) to the Communications team. I also have been appointed as a member of the French Digital Council, which got me involved with Internet policy, including Net neutrality. I also went through an amazing (and intense) training called LEAD (Leadership Exploration And Development). This training is offered to Director-level employees and some volunteers, addressing many things, including personal development. Some people have described this as “life-changing”. It certainly was for me. I loved it, especially as it was a good complement on my personal work on positive psychology.

After I graduated from LEAD, I was told about another training called TRIBE (“Taking Responsibility In Being Excellent”), a modular and more scalable version of LEAD. I immediately became very excited by the perspective of deploying something similar to LEAD at a larger scale for all Mozillians who want to be part of it, including of course non-paid staff. I offered to become a facilitator for TRIBE, and I’m now being trained for this. One of my goals for 2014 is to graduate as a TRIBE facilitator. Two things make me particularly excited and proud about TRIBE. The first is that I can’t wait to have a significant number of Mozillians becoming better versions of themselves: it’s going to be good for them (I love seeing this happen!) and good for Mozilla. Second, TRIBE participation is not limited to paid staff. It sounds obvious for anyone who knows Mozilla, where being a Mozillian is not linked to employment status, but it deserved to be mentioned because is once again shows that Mozilla is a really special organization.

So that’s it for 2013 and the 2003-2013 decade. I hope that the upcoming one will be just as exciting as the one that’s now ending! In the meantime, I wish all my readers happy holidays. Onwards to 2014!