The Truth about Mozilla

Financials be Damned

Posted in Mozilla by The Lizard on October 22, 2007

Remember when I first posted about Mitchell Baker’s desire to become the richest person in open source history? Of course not, that’s this post; until now I’ve only pointed out the places where Mitchell’s greed has clawed its way through Thunderbird to the surface.

The Lizard received feedback that posting about the greediness of Mitchell Baker isn’t particularly nice. To be sure, I fully understood what I was saying, and those of you who find my words offensive should stop reading this blog. Those statements were made intentionally to raise the profile of a few truths that are kept fairly quiet in the Mozilla community.

Mitchell Baker is the chairperson of the board of directors for the Mozilla Foundation. She’s also the chairperson of the board of directors for the Mozilla Corporation. She’s also the CEO of the Mozilla Corporation. See where I’m going with this? No? You’re a moron. You also failed U.S. history, apparently. You’re looking at Mozilla’s own version of an interlocking directorate, a form of corporate control commonly associated with the robber barons of the Gilded Age, particularly as they sought to get around the restrictions of early anti-trust legislation. Mitchell is, hands down, the most powerful person within Mozilla. Just as with the robber barons, disagree with her and you’re fucked. More importantly for the premise of this post, for each of those positions, she undoubtedly gets paid.

Let’s look closer. In 2005, Mitchell received compensation totaling $115,660 for sitting on the board of the Foundation and leading it (see PDF page 7). But 2005 was the year the Corporation split off from the Foundation. As a result, Mitchell made an additional $181,042 for being the head of that organization (see PDF page 27). Finally, Mitchell received $50,659 from the Foundation for providing back-office support (see PDF page 36). That means, if the Lizard can do math, Mitchell received a total of $347,361 in compensation for the year of 2005. Of course, that amount includes benefit contributions and is not entirely cash in her pocket.

It is now October 20, 2007, the 293rd day of 2007. The financials for 2006 have yet to be published. Of course, financials for 2005 were posted on January 2nd of this year, so we all might be waiting another 74 days to see what the Foundation doled out in 2006. Would anyone be surprised if Mitchell was making closer to $500,000 this year (2007). Five hundred thousand dollars. For $500,000 you can buy 500,000 cheeseburgers from McDonalds, 500,000 blank DVDs, or 1 Mitchell Baker.

The “market” has dictated that Mitchell is worth $500,000 a year. Since the Mozilla Foundation is accountable to the world at large (the Lizard ❤ non-profits) and I am a member of this world, I want to know what she does for that money. I’ve seen occasional appearances at events and posts to newsgroups and to her blog that outline new policies, but do we really think that’s worth $500,000 a year? Who sets that price? The board of directors, of course.

Now do you see where I’m going? The board of directors for the Mozilla Corporation (maybe Foundation) decide the salary of the CEO of the Corporation. The chairperson of that board is the CEO who’s getting paid.

The Mozilla Corporation generates $5 million a month. That’s $60 million a year. Half a million dollars go to Mitchell. It’s about goddamn time we find out what that money is getting us.

(Aside: The Lizard would be most thankful to anyone who provides the Foundation’s financials for 2006. Is there really any reason financials need to take 293 days? Maybe it’s time to read some non-profit law.)

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Exclusive: Internal Mozilla Goals for Summer 2008

Posted in Mozilla by The Lizard on October 19, 2007

The Lizard has been given an internal document that outlines the Mozilla Corporation’s goals for the summer of 2008. It’s an interesting read, so I’m publishing the document, as received, below.

With exclusives that should require validation, Mozilla’s press department is always emailed and asked for a statement. Those emails have been ignored. The Chris Blizzard exclusive has now been validated. It is the Lizard’s hope that Mozilla’s press department will start taking notice of this blog and providing proper responses just as they do for other press organizations. Moving right along…

The sweet Virgin Mary hopes that these goals weren’t written with the expectation of being hit.

1. Make the Mozilla project a centerpiece of the Internet

What a laugh. How does one create a metric for being a “centerpiece of the Internet”? A target of 30% marketshare could be seen as achieving this goal, which is probably why goal number two exists:

2. Increase Firefox usage to 30% of global browser usage

Does anyone at Mozilla believe there’s a chance in hell that 30% marketshare is achievable? How is Mozilla doing at that? September 2007 stats put Firefox at ~15% worldwide marketshare. That’s close… half way even! Will they hit those goals by this coming summer? Maybe in some dream world where pixies run free with rabbits and kneel to sacrificed virgins on altars of insanity. Mozilla has deluded itself into thinking it can do the impossible… but it might work.

3. Diversify browsing focus beyond Firefox

Goal 3 is another failed effort. The only extension pack that Mozilla has released is Firefox Campus Edition, which was an utter failure (see the full document for context). It’s our understanding that even the campus reps – whom Mozilla has brought on to promote Firefox on school campuses – hated the special edition.

Has anyone heard of “.moz”? Why would Mozilla want to enter the online services business? Partnering with experienced services providers makes far more sense (friends at Google, Yahoo, Amazon, and others would be glad to help).

Mozilla Labs has had two visible successes: Coop and Joey. Coop died off shortly after receiving press. Joey is a worthless experiment with only a few users. Apparently it was created to give the one internal mobile person something to do. Mozilla has never believed in mobile. (Editor’s note: Until a little over a week ago. A new post is coming on that subject.)

This document makes it ever-the-more clear that those inside Mozilla are deluded and have no idea what they’re doing. Setting unreasonable goals isn’t the way to run a company unless you want to run it into the ground. (more…)

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Clearing the Chaos

Posted in Mozilla by The Lizard on October 18, 2007

Well, it seems the Lizard has begun to stir the world, but not with the post I intended.[1]

Let me start by addressing some of the many, many points people have raised about this blog.

First, Daniel Glazman understandably hates on the anonymity of this blog. The Lizard is anonymous for a reason. Blogging about earth-shattering news in the Mozilla world, especially using tidbits from sources with Mozilla Corporation confidential information, is a Big Deal™. HUGE. Being anonymous allows me to gather information at a quick pace and also allows any Corporation employees who wish to submit anonymous insider information to do so and continue to remain anonymous. To make it simple: it takes anonymity to get fucking amazing leaks.

Second, I never once said or implied that I was either male or a single person and I take issue with Matt of AllPeers calling me a “he.” Such a sexist statement is what makes the Mozilla community a rude one. Let’s be a bit less discriminatory when you reply to me.[2]

Third, Matt, you missed the boat on your “front-company” complaint. It’s “front-company” in the style of “frontman,” not “front company” meaning “nefarious organization.” Please to be understanding English.

Finally, the troll argument. Why is it okay for Mozilla celebrities like Asa Dotzler and Mike Shaver to be utter asses in the Mozilla world but not for others? Who set that rule? Asa himself will admit to often being a troll in the technology world. Mike is far too arrogant to admit such a thing.[3] Any objective look would view both as trolls. How am I different? Oh, right, the anonymous thing, which is explained above. Are you all that ignorant? Are you completely unable to understand why this blog must remain anonymous? Before this blog post, maybe. Hopefully, not after.

(It’s also a commonly accepted belief that trolls don’t usually know they’re trolls and think they’re providing the world with a service. In this spirit, I know I am not a troll.)

Hopefully, this post clears up several of the issues the Mozillaverse has had with me and this blog. If not, fuck you. 😉

 

[1] Chris Blizzard joining the Mozilla Corporation is a much more important story—and thus a more shocking post from your friendly Fake Lizard—to the future of Mozilla than anything about branding. Three Corporation employees will now sit on its Board of Directors. As of this writing, however, that story’s finally starting to get attention, just not on Planet Mozilla.
[2] That’s sarcasm, folks.
[3] Apologies to Mike for making this statement while he’s off with his new child and unable to defend himself. Congratulations, Mike. (Really, congratulations on the latest addition to your family.)

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Make Mozilla Meaningful

Posted in Mozilla by The Lizard on October 17, 2007

The Lizard has noticed a small flurry of activity over the new “Powered by Mozilla” branding outlined by MoCo Creative Director John Slater. Mozpad front-company AllPeers gets in the fray here, but the real rumbling comes from Editor/Composer guru Daniel Glazman. Ever the contrarian, Glazman argued that MoCo’s got it all wrong, namely that the brand to emphasize is “Firefox,” not “Mozilla.”

Glazman’s got a point. Well, sort of. Right now, Firefox has the name recognition, but haven’t we all been down this (myopic) road before? Anyone remember something called Netscape? Or Navigator and Communicator? Remember how Netscape died about 2001 (Netscape 9 be damned)? Remember how long it took for the new darling du jour, a little thing called mozilla/browserPhoenixFirebirdfox, to get the name recognition that enabled it to get access to websites “designed for Netscape” and be accepted on the web? Oh, sorry, you all were in diapers for that? Fear not, for the Lizard was there, and the Lizard remembers. Have you noticed, even after all this time, that there are still a host of big sites—often corporate and financial—that want Netscape or *cough* IE *cough* and act like darling Firefox doesn’t even exist?

“All of this has happened before, all of this will happen again.”

The dark, dirty flip side of Glazman’s argument is that by emphasizing Firefox as the “platform” branding for Mozilla technology, other apps become accessories in forever relegating themselves to second- or third-class citizens in the Mozilla world. Instead of emphasizing the technology and the long-term viability of a platform or toolkit for developing powerful and cool apps, favoring the “darling of the moment” is short-sighted and ultimately helps constrict the app space back to just the darling app.

What happens when the flavor of the month is no longer Firefox? (Don’t think that’ll ever happen? You’re smoking some good shit there.) The Mozilla world is back to square zero. Mozilla’s still there (this crazy-cool toolkit has more lives than Schrödinger’s cat), but we gotta find a new champion, gotta get said champion embedded in everyone’s brains, and gotta promote the crap out of it. Then the new darling becomes a useful flag to wave over all the vassal apps out there in Mozillaland, as they try to gain notice (“Hey, I’m MozDarlingDuJour’s bitch; use me!”).

“All of this has happened before, all of this will happen again.”

Still not convinced Glazman’s barking up the wrong tree? Let’s take his suggestion to the logical end (well, maybe logical isn’t the best word, though it’s accurate. How about “absurd” instead?). Can you imagine other Mozilla/Gecko-based web browsers wanting to slap a “Powered by Firefox” banner across their site or product? The Lizard can see it now:

“SeaMonkey, powered by Firefox”

Ring! Who’s that? My good ol’ buddy KaiRo on the line? He’s sayin’ “Du hast den Arsch offen!” Yeah, that’s more like it.

The best thing for everyone would be for the darling du jour itself, Firefox (and its product pages on mozilla.com), to carry the “Powered by Mozilla” banner. That, in concert with the new banner appearing on other apps and their sites, would help build the Mozilla brand in a non-demeaning way. Everywhere people see the banner—all over this giant thing called the Web, because Mozilla is fucking everywhere—they could click on it and discover the vastness of the healthy Mozilla ecosystem (say, link the banner back to the proposed redesigned www.mozilla.org/projects or to some Mozilla evangelism website). Everyone gets the benefits from Firefox’s name recognition today, and we’re all spared having to slog through this morass again in the future when some other app is the darling of the Mozilla world.

For once, Mozilla Corp’s doing the right thing (well, aside from getting the wordmark color wrong).

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Exclusive: Chris Blizzard Joining Mozilla’s Team

Posted in Mozilla by The Lizard on October 17, 2007

This wasn’t the article I started writing, but sometimes you find juicier juice.

The infamous Chris Blizzard, who now sits on the board of directors for the Mozilla Corporation and formerly sat on the board for the Mozilla Foundation, will be joining the Mozilla Corporation’s team as a full-time employee.

Blizzard will be leaving Red Hat in the next month to join Mozilla and work on Firefox Linux integration as well as on their Evangelism team. This is a very public win for Mozilla, who take Blizzard away from the OLPC project he had been working on at Red Hat.

I have confirmed this story with three independent sources. Still awaiting official word from Mozilla and Red Hat PR, however.

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Call for Internal Mozilla Documents

Posted in Mozilla by The Lizard on October 16, 2007

The Lizard needs your help.

If you work for Mozilla, we know you have the juicy materials to keep this blog alive. Tell us about that dirty little secret Mike Shaver has been hiding; the “relationship” your coworker had with one of those marketing girls; or just internal documents that show the future of Mozilla.

For those who haven’t been brought into the fold yet, you might be wondering what internal document Mozilla has. Doesn’t the queen of web browsers operate in the open? In my next post, I’ll begin to prove otherwise with the first in a series of leaked documents.

You can email me at: thetruthaboutmozilla [at] gmail [dotted] com

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Picking Apart Mitchell Baker’s Thunderbird Post (Part 2)

Posted in Mozilla by The Lizard on October 16, 2007

And we continue with Part 2/2 of our “translating the Mitchell spin” articles in parallel with Mitchell’s blog.

As I noted in my last post, in late 2006 we started thinking very hard about creating a new organizational home for Thunderbird. A number of us came to the conclusion this was the best plan, including the Foundation Board and the key Thunderbird developers.

Translation: In case you missed the bullshit from earlier, I concluded by saying it was time to get rid of that shit that is Thunderbird. Even they wanted a way out!

In early to mid 2007 the Foundation board designated two members (in addition to the work I was doing) to meet with the key Thunderbird developers to work on developing a plan together. In a series of meetings it was determined that a new Thunderbird organization would need an organizational leader — the developers couldn’t both develop and lead an organization. And as I have mentioned, there was a very strong interest in seeing Thunderbird vision expand and that clearly required additional people. A set of questions were raised but few answers were developed.

Translation: Just in case things went sour, I appointed two more Foundation board members to help take the fall. Remember? I can do that. I’m in charge of those bitches. It would have been impossible for me to find someone who cared about Thunderbird and had any leadership talent. People of that caliber don’t just appear. That special person would also need to be willing to expand the Thunderbird vision in the way that’s right: my way.

These meetings were not public for a couple of reasons. There are some key personal and personnel issues. I wanted to make sure that everyone already involved had a good opportunity to express their thoughts quietly, in a safe setting first. Second, we didn’t yet know what we were likely to do. I didn’t want people to worry we were adrift. I know people worried about this when we did start the public discussion. So either I was wrong to not start the public discussion much earlier, OR I was right to do a lot of ground work first and have an outline of how we would proceed before opening the discussion. Or I was *both* right and wrong, and there is no perfect solution.

Translation: Either I was wrong or right or both, but it’s perfectly obvious to me and you, dear reader, that I was right just as I always am.

We then spent some time thinking about who might be a good organizational leader for Thunderbird. The Thunderbird developers and I also spent time trying to think through how to create a new organization. By June or so it was clear that it was time to begin a public discussion about our goals for Thunderbird and desire to create a new home for it. I started working on this. Around the same time the Thunderbird developers came up with the suggestion that they create an independent company and we move Thunderbird development to it. The company would be interested in promoting the Mozilla mission, but would be outside of the Mozilla umbrella of organizations; a private company owned and run by the developers. We spent some time thinking through the pros and cons of this possibility, how the developers and a new company like this would interact with the source code and with the Thunderbird product. This became the third option included in my post opening the Thunderbird discussion. This option had the advantage of exciting the developers.

Translation: I was ready to get rid of Thunderbird, but gosh darnit there were two people that seemed to want it: Scott MacGregor and David Bienvenu. Fuck if I know why, but I was more than glad to add this option as it was the best to get rid of Thunderbird. Make no doubt, this wasn’t a simple option, but it was and is the best.

When we considered the idea of Thunderbird moving to a private independent company, a number of significant disadvantages emerged. First, this would mean that Mozilla as an organization was leaving the mail/ communications space and hoping that space would be filled by another organization. We weren’t ready to do that. Second, it felt like this would be moving Thunderbird to a more private space. We’re eager to see Thunderbird become an even more public project, with more contributors with greater authority. This concern is not remotely a reflection on the motivations of Scott and David. They have been devoted Mozilla participants for many years. This is a *structural* concern. It reflects the desire that Thunderbird — the product as well as the code — remain dedicated to the public benefit through the Foundation.

Translation: When I blogged about those radical three options, people complained that I didn’t care about Thunderbird. To save face, I told the world that my intention, all along, was that being under the Foundation was the best bet. I didn’t mean it, but hell if I could figure another way out. Those excuses in that paragraph above? Bullshit. Both could be worked around. Utter bullshit. But it sounds damn good, doesn’t it?

As is the Mozilla way, the public discussion of Thunderbird allowed us to move forward. Through this process we realized that David Ascher, long a part of the Mozilla project, was an excellent candidate for a Thunderbird / mail organization. I talk to David periodically about many Mozilla topics, and I think perhaps I realized he might be interested in leading the new organization even before he did 🙂 After this, the first step was to have David come to Mountain View (he lives in Vancouver) and meet the Thunderbird developers, followed by a bunch of other folks. I became convinced that David could lead the organization, and had the personality and technical chops to work with the Thunderbird developers. In particular to navigate between their phenomenal commitment to continuing to serve existing Thunderbird users and the Foundation’s goal of broadening the product vision.

Translation: I’ve always said, The best way to discuss something is in blog comments. See above where I said how impossible it would be to find a leader who cared about Thunderbird? ‘Nuff said.

I outlined my view of the future to David and Scott, the Thunderbird developers — David Ascher joins Mozilla to lead the new organizaton [sic], David Bienvenu and Scott McGregor [sic] join the new organization, they continue to work on Thunderbird as they have been and participate in the efforts to broaden Thunderbird. David and Scott reiterated their interest in forming a private company but agreed that David seemed a good person to run an organization and a reasonable person to work with. We (meaning the Thunderbird developers and I) then spent time talking through how this arrangement could work.

Translation: My way or the highway.

These discusions [sic] involve nitty-gritty details like the status of the build system, ensuring that different versions of a product based on the Thunderbird code could be built. They also involve discussions of how modules owners like Scott and David would work within the new structure. Module ownership isn’t related to employment, it’s related to activity and the ability to lead and draw others to one’s work. So we expect the current developers to remain module owners for as long as they are active, interested, and leading a healthy community. We expect someone from Mozilla (eventually at MailCo) to make the final decision about when that code is ready to have the official Thunderbird name and be released as a product. There’s nothing new in this, but it’s always good to reiterate a shared understanding in a time of change.

Translation: Please visit our module owner page and go through the list of modules we care about (ones which affect Firefox and Thunderbird). If you look closely, 33 of the 44 modules the Mozilla Corporation cares about are led by Mozilla employees, including, for the moment, Scott and David. How long do you think they’ll last outside of Mozilla?

In September I announced Mozilla’s plans for a new Thunderbird / mail organization. David Ascher is already at work getting to know the community, find out who is interested and able to help, and working through the details of setting up an effective organization. Scott and David are working on their plans as well. One of the fundamental aspects of Mozilla is that participation is not dependent on employment. Mozilla has phenomenal contributors who have never been employed to work on Mozilla. We have people who change jobs and remain equally involved with Mozilla. We have people who change jobs and later change their involvement with Mozilla, based on their preferences and their ability to lead others. Both Scott and David have stated their plans to continue their involvement with Thunderbird. It’s an unusual setting, and extremely powerful.

Translation: If you’ll recall, I said in my previous post that the Thunderbird community was virtually non-existent. Turns out, a few minutes later I decided that there’s enough for us to get to know!

Translation 2: Bye bye Scott and David. We didn’t want you anyway.

In the coming months a large set of Mozilla folks with be working on getting the new Thunderbird / mail organization organized and running, as well as serving Thunderbird users. We are also very eager to see Thunderbird become a broader product vision and to see a community with greater distributed authority. More people with the expertise and ability to authority to work deeply in the code will lead to a better product faster, and will spur the development of new experiments to improve mail. If you are driven to see Internet communications improve and can assist, please get in touch with David.

Translation: All along I’ve been saying Thunderbird and mail are dead. I think it’s time for me to save some face and say the opposite. If you’d like to become part of the bullshit that I’ve created, contact David Ascher. He’s busy sorting out all my shit.

Picking Apart Mitchell Baker’s Thunderbird Post (Part 1)

Posted in Mozilla by The Lizard on October 9, 2007

Mitchell Baker’s latest two posts about Mozilla are extremely interesting. It’s time to cut out all the spin and translate them into something my mom can understand.

Thunderbird Process of Change Part 1

Translation: I’m covering my ass here so incredibly much, the bullshit doesn’t fit in one post.

In the coming months there will be a lot of discussion about how mail and Thunderbird will evolve. There will also be more detailed discussions about the new organizational home as we move from plans to concreteness. This seems a good time to describe how we got to where we are today.

Translation: Whoops! Forgot that everything doesn’t happen behind closed doors. I suppose there are others who care about Mozilla. I’m the one in charge though, so everyone else gets to know when I feel like telling them.

Thunderbird has been a part of the Mozilla Foundation since the Foundation was created in 2003. Initially the developers did all the work, including build, release and QA. After a while I arranged for the organization to provide the full range of resources to Thunderbird as well, meaning build, release, QA and marketing. We did not make separate groups to support Thunderbird (other than the actual application developers, where we had one Firefox developer and two Thunderbird developers).

Translation: See, we’ve always cared about Thunderbird. What? You don’t believe me? I supported them from the very beginning, God dammit! Oh wait, you know about the vendors who paid us to work on Thunderbird? Shit. I guess that might a good reason why there were two Thunderbird developers. Fuck.

That setting remained unchanged but started to grow uncomfortable as the web started exploding in 2005 and 2006. Not only did Firefox marketshare and mindshare explode, but the web (and the browser) as a delivery platform for new applications also came of age. Firefox was at the center of a new wave of activity and a giant ecosystem. Through this Mozilla acquired a stronger voice for openness, innovation and participation on the web.

Translation: Remember the Mozilla Suite? Shit, I sure loved that thing. But since it took me over a year to see the value of Firefox, I’ll be damned if anyone says that anything else is more or equally important. We gave Thunderbird a chance. Look at all the marketing and PR we put behind it! Thunderbird just isn’t as cool as Firefox. Sorry.

Thunderbird remained an important product with a significant and dedicated userbase. But Thunderbird diverged from our browser based efforts in a number of ways. One is the scope and vision of the product. Thunderbird is an email client. IT [sic] has some RSS and newsgroup capability, but it is primarily an email client. Increasingly other forms of web communications are developing. And Thunderbird the email client is not the complete answer to email needs. A complete solution might have other functionality (for example, calendar is a highly desired feature). A complete solution might include some server aspects, it might include a strategy for webmail, etc.

Translation: All these years I’ve said one thing: The only way Thunderbird can be viable is with calendar integration. If you can’t see how true that is, get some damn glasses! You see, I knew what Thunderbird should be all along. I told Scott and David what to do. Sucks for them for not caring. My way or the highway, bitch.

Second, email is a decreasing percentage of Internet communications. It’s still critically important to those of us who live in it of course. But even those who live in email often also use instant messaging, SMS, and other new ways of staying updated. Thunderbird is an excellent basis for thinking about these topics and improving Internet and web-based communications as a whole. But this wasn’t happening. And third, we weren’t seeing Thunderbird develop the kind of community or influence in the industry that Firefox has.

Translation: I axed the Mozilla Suite because email and HTML editors are dead. In 2005, when I found a way to make an assload of money by creating the Mozilla Corporation, I included Thunderbird. Contradictory? No way! Thunderbird was making money back then; money that looked good in my hands.

Don’t you read the Internet? Email is on its way out. SMS and IM is in! If the Thunderbird developers would integrate IM and SMS, I would love them so damn much.

Last but not least, Thunderbird would need a community. Haven’t you seen the stats? Community developers only contribute over 50% of patches that go into Thunderbird. That’s way less than the ~35% that community developers contribute to Firefox. Did I tell you I have a masters degree in mathematics?

Two things became clear. We had the team for developing a stand-alone desktop email application. But we didn’t have the complete set of people to address both that and the larger issues. Without some new impetus, Thunderbird would continue in a status quo pattern. The second thing that became clear was that we weren’t likely to build a mail / communications team we need inside the Mozilla Corporation.

Translation: Isn’t it incredibly clear by now that no one was thinking about the children? What about the damn children?? I mean future. Same difference. Of course, it is absolutely impossible for a team to be built inside the company we created to build teams. Never mind the loud noise we’re making as we create a specific mobile team, partnering with ARM and others.

If you need more reason, God knows that Thunderbird won’t generate near the amount of money that Firefox does. The Mozilla Corporation is making me filthy rich. It was time to cut out some slack and make more money.

Why not? Sometimes diversification can be a good strategy. Some companies do quite well with wildly different product lines, different operating groups responsible for them, all connected in one organization. But doing this well requires a certain type of management, and that is not the type we have at Mozilla. If an organization has different product lines and different development organizations, there must be a set of people in the organization who are thinking about all of them. At a minimum, that set includes whoever is making (or in our case guiding) strategy decisions, whoever is making decisions about how much money to spend where, whoever makes decisions about hiring and job responsibilities.

Translation: It was incredibly hard for me to write this paragraph in a way that proves that it was impossible for me to bring David Ascher into the Mozilla Corporation, but I quite certainly pulled it off. Creating a second company allows us to waste more of the Foundation’s money. They’re not using it anyway. And when I sit on the board of this new MailCo, I can get a cut of that money. Go me!

We could have a layer of decision-making that balances these two. But that involves more management, both in people and in process. Mozilla is about empowering as many people as possible to do, to make decisions and take action. We have managers and management in the Mozilla Foundation and Corporation, but generally we have as little as possible to get the job done.

Translation: Every month we work hard to grow our management staff. Hell, we’re working hard to create a full, honest-to-God HR department. See how devoted we are to keeping management small? And the managers we do hire are top shelf. (Editor’s note: More about that in a later post.)

So in late 2006 we started thinking very hard about creating a new organizational home for Thunderbird. A number of us came to the conclusion this was the best plan, including the Foundation Board and the key Thunderbird developers.

Translation: I finally decided, let’s get rid of this bullshit product however we can. We have to make it look good though, so we’ll bring in the Thunderbird developers and ignore everything they say.

In my next post I’ll describe how we went from this realization to our current plan.

Translation: Not enough bullshit for you? Just wait for my next post!