02
Nov 10

Goodbye, Mozilla

Almost two weeks ago, I had an emotional last day at Mozilla, the best place I’ve ever had the honor of calling “employer.”  The 22 months I’ve spent at Mozilla have been the most rewarding and challenging of my career.  I joined at a time of transition and had the great honor of working with some of the smartest people I’ve ever met, on a mission that has fundamentally changed the internet for everyone, regardless of the browser they happen to use.  Mozilla has a reach and influence that is the envy of many organizations in tech, and they will continue to grow and advance the state of the art in some obvious and surprising ways.

I’ve always told people that Mozilla was the last job I would ever have, and there was only one thing that would get me to leave- the opportunity to start something new that has the potential to change the world.  Of course, like many asterisks and related clauses, this one was fated to happen to me, and when Joshua Schachter asked me to start a company with him, I said no.  I couldn’t leave Mozilla, and I felt that my participation was vital to the company and the very future of the internet.

It took a while for me to realize that there would never be the perfect time for a person to leave an organization where they feel like they’re making a difference.  It took an even longer while to crank my ego down to the point where I realized that no one is irreplaceable, and in fact, learning how to delegate and give others the opportunity to grow is also an honorable way to make an exit.  Upon some reflection, I came to realize, perhaps self-servingly, that being indispensable is not always the reflection of a person’s true value- because it means that responsibility, vision, and leadership are not being shared in any meaningful way.  Fligtar, Myk, and Jorge all know their own jobs better than I do and are more than capable of writing the future of add-ons for Mozilla.

So, we know how this story ends.  I did an Ione Skye to Joshua’s John Cusack, and now I’m the VP of Product at a joint called Tasty Labs, with Joshua and Paul Rademacher, who invented Web 2.0 and will be inventing the next version of the web with us, which we plan on calling “Web 6.” Right now, my days are unpredictable and exciting, and I’ll try my best to talk more to you, all twelve of you, about my startup adventure.  TTFN!


26
Aug 09

don’t be so jaded

For those of us in the business of making technology for the People of the Internet, it’s easy to get jaded by the mainstreaming of technology which we once found new and exciting.  Americans in particular seem to be a little guilty of this, particularly if they live near a coast.  While Twitter, Facebook and Firefox move further into the homes of our friends and parents, it’s good to see this as an opportunity and not a sign that the end has come.

I’ve had the good fortune of meeting fellow nerds from all over the world, and I’ve noticed the ones who don’t come from Silicon Valley remain enchanted by technology and its promise to make the world better.  They’re the ones hacking away on Twitter and Firefox and really pushing the envelope on the future for those products.  Many of  top Firefox add-on developers come from Europe and Asia, and Brazil’s wholesale adoption of open source and social software is a phenomenon to behold.  Korea’s obsession with Starcraft shows no signs of waning eleven years after that game’s release.

While our short attention spans compel us to keep creating and trying new things, does our eagerness to invent prevent us from honing our craft?  Does great software evolve through people who lose their otaku sense of wonder?  Seesmic relocated to San Francisco in an attempt to secure respect in the startup world, but I wonder if Silicon Valley, with its populace of short-attention-span inhabitants, will continue to be the epicenter of technology moving forward.

I’m not terribly worried about America- I still see that twinkle in the eyes of my friends and colleagues from other parts of the country, but I do think that we should get over ourselves and try to remember that technology that makes the lives of people better is something that we want in the hands of as many folks as possible.


11
May 09

The future of Add-ons

For the company all-hands, I made this presentation about the future of Add-ons for Mozilla.
View more presentations from osunick.

This was an fun presentation to create and give because I’m incredibly excited about the future of add-ons.  To me, add-ons are the ultimate form of user-generated content, created by a group of users who are more passionate, intelligent, and principled than any user communitv I’ve seen.  It’s an honor to help give them exposure to the massive Mozilla user base.

Many thanks to the entire team (credited in the presentation, and I’m sure I missed some people), and also to Jeff Bonforte, my Keynote muse, who blogs lots of useful and actionable advice on making non-sucky presentations.


15
Dec 08

First day at the new gig

Today was my first day at Mozilla, where I start my dream job as the new lead for Add-ons.  I’m a huge fan of browser extensions and I’m honored to be one of many at Mozilla who help make the web a better place by promoting openness and innovation on the internet.

Highlights of my day- raiding the kitchen for different kinds of iced tea and riding a rickety electric tricycle at ludicrous speeds after sunset on slippery and cold corporate sidewalks.  Oh- and thinking about the future of Add-ons for my favorite browser, Mozilla Firefox!  I think I’m going to like the new job levitra in australia.

I’m also going to miss the folks at Raptr an awful lot.  I liked the product and loved the people there, and Thresh was a capable and demanding boss who pushed me to do my best in both product management and Starcraft.  He was gracious enough to invite me to the holiday party last week and I’ll always wear my Raptr hoodie with pride.  Most importantly, I know that I’m moving on to new things having left Raptr in better shape than it was in when I arrived there.


13
Dec 08

Life after the auto industry

In late 2005 I was a car enthusiast working for a car company.  What I hoped would be a dream job turned into a nightmare of sorrows as I found that my passion and enthusiasm for cars only served to make me aware of the abyss into which we were falling, without any power or ability to do anything about it.  Reading about all the issues in Detroit makes me sad for my friends and colleagues there, and I feel the need to write down a few thoughts, so I will.
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