(guest post by Jordan Barber)
What do you think of when you hear “Mozilla?” Let me guess, Firefox. I think that is comes to mind for most people, myself included.
When we got the chance to visit Mozilla Labs for our Industry IQ class, three-inch shag carpet on the ceiling was the last thing I expected to find.
Having come from a corporate background full of cubicles and white walls I had imagined that Mozilla would be the same, another cookie-cutter workplace of the business world. After all, they are a company that works on a global scale with Firefox alone bringing in over 450 million users.
When we arrived at Mozilla Labs David Ascher, VP of Product for the Mozilla Foundation, invited us into their conference room. With large windows, couches, stuffed animals (including a fox and red pandas), an oversized bean bag chair and of course the shag carpet on the ceiling accompanying the conference table it could be described as more of a lounge. Here we sat down to talk with David and learn exactly why Mozilla is so different.
Instead of conforming to the corporate business model Mozilla has turned it on its head. Unlike most companies that work on an international level, Mozilla is a non-profit. Founded from the ashes of Netscape, Mozilla focuses on keeping the web transparent, accessible, open and free. This creates an environment where the user is the primary stakeholder and user experience is the top priority.
To achieve this at such a large level Mozilla relies heavily on innovation, exploration and experimentation. They pull in the community by encouraging participation with volunteer positions and user research kits. How does that work within their business model?