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Mozilla

May 14, 2010 9 comments

In 2005 I was trapped in the world of IE. Running spyware programs and dealing with endless pop-ups. I knew no better. John Lilly invited me to come talk to this small 30 person startup in Mountain View and my life has never been the same. As a community, we truly transformed the world. We made a monopolistic technology company change its behavior and embrace the web. Which I might add is still an ongoing process. We’ve touched users in every country and made web experiences better for all netizens, regardless of their browser choice. We built a company based on the needs of the user, not profits. We shipped in 70+ languages, all by volunteers, and created an intimate relationship between people and their browser. We amassed 400,000,000+ users and built a vibrant and thriving community. It’s pretty awesome.

Today is my last day at Mozilla. It’s been the most amazing 5 years of my professional life and I can’t say enough about the group of people we’ve managed to bring together. Mozilla gave me the opportunity to grow, lead and influence. I will forever be grateful for the experience. It is truly an amazing place to work. There is no other technology company in the world that gives individuals as much freedom, autonomy and opportunity for impact. We’ve focused on building leaders and creating an environment where people are free to express their thoughts and concerns. As great as companies like Facebook, Google and Apple are, they can’t touch it. They can’t even come close. Culture has become a buzzword for most companies, you can really feel it at Mozilla.

I know this a bit grammy-ish there are few people that have made me experience especially special.

*carsten, aka tomcat, aka the Berlin wall, aka monster. I’ve never seen someone work so hard and shun repeated inbound requests from the Goog. You make me feel lazy.
*Johnathan, you have become an amazingly influential leader and deliverer of awesomeness.
*Morgamic, you are a surly SOB. But you’re one of the most caring people I’ve had the opportunity to work with and an amazing manager.
*Justin, you get shit done and you love shots, shots, shots, shots!
*Julie, you run an amazing intern program and I was just pretending when I didn’t understand what you were saying.
*Bret, you’ve become on of my best friends and one of the top recruiters in technology.
*Deb, you’ve been awesome to manage and I know you’ll keep Mozilla true to itself and to the people it supports.
*Mike Beltzner, you are the epitome of dedication and I’ll be crashing at your place when I’m in Toronto, thanks.
*Shaver, you’re a pain in the ass. But you’re great to work and an inspirational leader.
*Lucas, you made me love security.
*Christian, thank you for coming to Mozilla and broadening your horizons.
*Damon, you are the coolest guy in technology and your team f’ing loves you.
*Karen, you make this place work.
*Jim Cook, you’re an amazing friend, teacher and brilliant CFO. I’ll need advice as I try to do this on my own.
*Erica, is there anything you can’t do?
*Chris Lyon, you are a bad mother….

Most importantly John Lilly. Thank you for giving me this opportunity and for running with my crazy ideas. For letting me kill performance reviews. For teaching me what it truly means to lead. You have been the single most influential person in my career and I can’t thank you enough. It’s because of you that I believe people can change the world and that I have the courage to try. You’re great, even when you’re in one of your “moods.”

In a few days I’ll be starting at Rypple. I’ll be taking the things I’ve learned at Mozilla to help make work meaningful for everyone. We are creating software that makes people better, helps them invest in their own development and creates good patterns of behavior. We will revolutionize the way people approach work and their careers. Lot of work to follow, but I’m excited.

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