eWeek on Firefox 1.5

Didn’t realize when I gave this interview that this eWeek article on Firefox and Mozilla was for their site (I’d assumed it was for their print edition), but there you go. On balance, I think it’s a helpful overview of some of the differing perspectives on Firefox’s momentum. There’ll be a lot more to chew on soon as the press start to report on 1.5.

Cranking

There’s nothing like an impending launch to kill your ability to blog.

In the meantime, please do pay a visit to the truly awesome developer contest at Extend Firefox. Or sign up for a community account over at Spread Firefox. Even better, help your friends and neighbors Get Firefox.

While you’re at it, we’ll be down here in the labs, doing our best to Launch Firefox. See you on the other side!

Goodbye, Haystack

Before I started working at Mozilla, I used to enjoy my Google-semi-anonymity.

One of the blessings of having a rather common name is that anyone trying to Google me would have to spend several hours sifting through the results.

Today I was looking at referrer stats for this blog and followed a referral link to a Google query for “Paul Kim.” Results below.

search results

This blog is #1 out of 31,800,000 results for “Paul Kim.”

What this says to me:

  • Mozilla bloggers have serious search mojo. (Ya feeling me, Asa, Tristan? 🙂
  • The other Paul Kim’s on page 1 of search results are gonna have to hustle to leapfrog me. Especially the guy with the Sitting on the Toilet blog. (I swear that’s not me.)
  • I should consider going the Rodney Allen Rippy route and add a third name to differentiate my brand.

Thank you Mozilla, for the juice.

Frameworks

It’s been two weeks of jumping into the deep end of the pool at Mozilla for me. I’m pretty well soaked. 🙂

Where we’re at with the spread of Firefox is amazing, and in many respects unprecedented. Mainly due to the incredible work of the Mozilla community. I hope to share with you soon some directions on a broader approach to growing Firefox adoption.

For now, I’d like to introduce some concepts that I’ve been exposed to.

One common framework for technology marketing planning builds on Everett Rogers’ seminal modeling of the diffusion of innovations.

Rogers segmented adopters of a new innovation along a bell curve, categorized as: innovators (2.5%), early adopters (13.5%), early majority (34%), late majority (34%) and laggards (16%). Percentages here are pulled from the Wikipedia entry cited above.

Rogers’ model has been most famously updated by Geoffrey Moore in Crossing the Chasm, which is also part of the lingua franca of Silicon Valley marketing.

These models for chunking target markets are widely used in tech enterprises because they’ve held up in practice. Where things get funky, and why I’m posting on this subject, is that both of the above frameworks for understanding customers presume a traditional business model — one where a company offers their product(s) for sale and segments their markets to maximize profitability.

Mozilla’s goal is to “promote the health of the World Wide Web itself by providing free, open source client software,” thereby helping to fulfill the mission of our parent foundation. I believe both Rogers and Moore’s adoption models are still valid to our planning, but there are interesting implications not addressed by either model with respect to the time horizon for adoption that Mozilla’s goal affords.

Mozilla doesn’t answer to VCs or Wall Street. Our timeframe for moving through an adoption model is not driven by the short-term considerations of a liquidity event or meeting analyst expectations. Yet the competition is to some degree influenced by both of these factors.

What the traditional tech adoption model drives is a sense of progression (seed with innovators, reap with the majority, close on laggards at the end of a product cycle) within a fixed, typically product lifecycle-based timeframe.

I’m trying here to map this model to a product that doesn’t live within the context of a short-term business objective, and to understand the implications for our planning.

Your thoughts, as always, are vital to this exploration.

Proposed Changes to Mozilla Web Sites

Following on from the Foundation/Corporation split and in preparation for the Firefox 1.5 release, we’d like to significantly reorganize our web content over the next few weeks. The big picture is that we want to move to separate sites for the end user (mozilla.com), Foundation (mozillafoundation.org) and developer (mozilla.org) audiences.

Much of this plan is a continuation of what we’ve been doing to better organize our web site presence and to focus our content for specific users.

Addons, SpreadFirefox, and Devmo are good examples of where we’ve made progress in the last year in better targeting our various audiences. mozilla.com and mozillafoundation.org are next in line.

What follows is the current plan; comments are welcomed.

mozilla.com
With the launch of Firefox 1.5, Firefox and Thunderbird product content currently on mozilla.org will migrate to mozilla.com. We’ll also be doing a minor refresh of the site’s look and feel. mozilla.com will become the primary end user site for Firefox, Thunderbird and the Mozilla Corporation.

mozillafoundation.org
Information about the Mozilla Foundation will move to mozillafoundation.org. This will be where members of the community can get involved with and keep up to date with what the Foundation is doing, as well as learn about the Foundation’s history, mission and people.

developer.mozilla.org
The Mozilla Developer Center will continue to ramp up as the primary destination for developers who are building for and on top of the Firefox platform to find reference content, code and other resources.

mozilla.org
While we establish the new sites, mozilla.org will continue to act as a landing page and will help redirect people to the most appropriate sites for specific audiences. After we launch Firefox 1.5, mozilla.org will continue to be home to tools and resources for the various projects making up the overall Mozilla project.

spreadfirefox.com
spreadfirefox.com will continue as the hub for our community marketing efforts supporting Firefox. The site will be overhauled with a look and feel refresh as well as new project tools.

addons.mozilla.org
The Mozilla Add-Ons site will continue to be a primarily end user facing site for people looking to extend their Mozilla software with extensions, plugins and themes. It will also continue to feature tools for developers to submit their add-ons to the site.

beginnings

numen (n(y)oo’-men) n. a spiritual force or influence often identified with a natural object, phenomenon or locality (pl. numina)

So this is the part of the blog where I tell you who I am.

I’m the father of a de-lovely two-and-a-half-year-old daughter, and the husband of a gifted artist. I live in Oakland, California, home to (in no particular order) Jack London, Angela Davis, Children’s Fairyland, Ishmael Reed, Lake Merritt, MC Hammer and Del tha Funkee Homosapien.

I’m the new director of product marketing for Mozilla Corporation, and I am damned happy to be here.

It’s a dream job for me, and it’s going to be an adventure spreading the word about who Mozilla is and why what we do matters.

I’ve worked in technology for most of my career. My first job after college was as an interactive scriptwriter and associate product manager at Spectrum HoloByte, where we made computer games based on Star Trek: The Next Generation.

I left Spectrum after several years to work for the Milarepa Fund. Milarepa was hosting the first Tibetan Freedom Concert in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco. I remember the guys from Sonicnet set up a live webcast from the shows, although how they managed to pull that off in 1996, in the middle of the park, still boggles me. It was a beautiful two days in every sense. Greets to the M. crew if you are reading this now in 2005.

After helping to start up a television advertising company, I worked for two years as an independent web producer. Then it was off to business school, and product marketing at Adobe Systems, where I launched PageMaker, InDesign CS PageMaker Edition and Creative Suite 2.

Which brings us to today.

My intent is to use this blog to promote Mozilla’s mission, and to demystify how we make our marketing decisions. I read a number of marketing blogs, and I’m struck by how much is presumed about the level of inside knowledge a reader already has about the practice of marketing. I’ll try as much as I’m able to share what I’ve learned over the past several years of school and work when I post about things we’re doing.

I’m glad to be here as part of the Mozilla community.