It occurs to me that “marketing” could start to be much better understood if it was called “applied psychology.”1 (With the relevant outcomes being measurable and ideally repeatable impacts on whatever the organization most values.)
1Microeconomics is the other field of study that I find useful in my work, but adding that to a rebrand would only make things less clear.

Going Live with Firefox 3.5

mozilla marketing

This morning Mozilla released Firefox 3.5.

It’s a terrific upgrade for the 300 million+ current Firefox users, and will radically improve the Web experience for everyone who migrates to Firefox in the months to come. Most of all, Firefox 3.5 is a compelling expression of the values that underlie Mozilla’s ongoing mission to improve the Web itself.

I’m extremely proud of the hard work everyone in the Mozilla marketing community put into making this a stellar product launch. Each launch I’ve been a part of has felt unique. This year, and with this release, we’ve crossed into operating within a new, more intense competitive environment. One that we’ve had a huge part in creating, for the benefit of everyone on the Web.

Much <3 to everyone in the Mozilla community on a fantastic release, and to upgrading the Web.

Marketing Updates on the Road to Firefox 3.5

Firefox_by_Ophyr_2Some of what’s been happening on the Mozilla marketing front to share with you, friends, as we trek down the final stretch to the release of Firefox 3.5.

Advertising Age’s Garrick Schmitt (also EVP at Razorfish and kind human) paid a visit to Mozilla last month. Garrick’s post on the work we’ve done in conjunction with our community to spread Firefox just came out and it’s a great read. Here’s a clip:

Mozilla competes against Microsoft, Apple and Google — arguably the biggest and most valuable brands in the world — and it succeeds with no traditional advertising (or big budgets) to speak of. It may have taken Barack Obama’s historic political campaign and election to alert the ad industry to the power of grass-roots marketing, but the ongoing success of Mozilla’s Firefox marketing efforts are more relevant for most.

Read Garrick’s full column at

Continue reading “Marketing Updates on the Road to Firefox 3.5”

becoming firefox

This is a video we took last summer when Mozilla sponsored a small booth at the 2008 Pitchfork Music Festival. The Firefox suit you see here has travelled around the world, and been featured more places than we ever expected. I’ve been meaning to share this for a while, and finally got around to it tonight. Sadly, dressing Firefox fans in the one suit we’ve been able to dig up doesn’t scale. Yet.

keep it human

Another mind workout from Clay Shirky, this time a riff on why imperfection invites participation; and why the belief in marketing circles that we only have one shot to capture attention induces a reliance on very expensive photo shoots on Corfu. (Not that there’s anything wrong with Corfu, per se.)

Some of the choicer quotes as they relate to the marketing corpus:

Brands don’t interact. Brands are inert. People interact.

Over and over again what we see in interactive environments: if something looks too good, people won’t touch it.

The messiness, the openness, these kinds of human characteristics tell people it’s ok to interact.

1. More Shirky on the blogs of Messrs. Blizzard and Kanai.
2. This video originally sourced at Influx Insights.
3. Since you asked, the summer was aces. My blog holiday was mostly spent on a whirlwind tour of Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr, and Managr.

Joining the Band

Since I last wrote about the folks on the Mozilla marketing and PR team, we’ve been lucky enough to have some great new people join us.

Meet them here now, and then live at the Firefox Summit next week.

  • Dave Bottoms. Dave brings extensive software and web marketing experience with him to Mozilla, and just blogged his first post to Planet.
  • Nicole Loux. Nicole joins Melissa Shapiro on our PR team after working for several years on the agency side.
  • Laura Mesa. Laura is our first new grad marketing team member, joining us after finishing college this past June.
  • William Quiviger. William was previously introduced on Planet Mozilla by Jane Finette and will work on community marketing out of the Mozilla Europe offices in Paris. William’s blog is at
  • Tara Shahian. Tara’s been with us for several months, working closely with John Slater on numerous design projects, including the Firefox 3 T-Shirt Contest. Her blog: MusingT.

We’ve also benefited from the contributions of four rock star summer marketing interns, who’ve been working on market research, metrics, events and affiliate programs: Juliana Chea, Natnaree Chummanon, Blake Cutler, and Ulili Onovakpuri.

Welcome aboard the Mozilla project to each one of you! It’s terrific to have you here.

Kicking off Firefox 3 Download Day with a Boom!

Download Day

It’s been an awesome morning and afternoon here at Mozilla headquarters. We launched Firefox 3 this morning and immediately felt the love from millions of people all over the world joining us to set a Guinness World Record for most software downloaded in 24 hours.

Our systems were quite busy earlier this morning so individual requests may not have gotten through – but they are all up now and serving a tremendous amount of traffic and downloads. We’re currently serving almost 9,000 downloads a minute, which puts us on track to achieve 5-7 million downloads our first day of general availability.

To put some more color behind what’s been happening on this historic day:

  • We exceeded the first day download mark for Firefox 2 of 1.6 million after just five hours of availability for Firefox 3.
  • Net Applications is already reporting a 300% positive change in Firefox 3 market share worldwide just today.
  • Over 500 articles about the launch were linked to from Google News
  • The Firefox 3 launch made the front pages of,,,, Digg, Slashdot, Techcrunch, and Yahoo! News
  • The completely redesigned launched in over 25 language versions
  • New community activity on has skyrocketed with dozens of new groups and hundreds of new postings
  • Over 700 community launch parties have been registered on

Download Day has already been an amazing demonstration of the power of the Mozilla community. Thank you to each and every one of you who’s contributed to a terrific launch of Firefox 3.

Onwards to a new World Record, together!

Thinking about Brands

businessworld branding case study image Last week, I wrote a branding analysis for Businessworld, India’s top general business magazine. Meera Seth, who edits an ongoing series of case studies for Businessworld, got in touch and asked me to give a technology industry perspective on a case about extending a successful consumer brand into an adjacent category.

Here’s an excerpt from the case, which features Firefox as a jumping off point for thinking about names and branding (The full case is online too, if you’re interested):

Karan Kashyap’s mind was buzzing with the debates over naming the new shampoo at G&TW India where he was the product manager. The marketing manager Sudhir Dhuni had mooted the idea that they launch a shampoo under the deo[dorant]’s brand name, Mali.

Karan sat half-lying on his chair, listening to the music streaming out of his computer. And then his eyes slowly took in what he had been unwittingly staring at, the flaming orange icon of his browser, startling him unusually. Firefox, said his mind; Mozilla, came the echo. Mozilla Firefox, muttered Karan. Why on earth is it called Firefox? For a web browser? What kind of name is that for a product? How do consumers relate to it? And why Mozilla Firefox? Why two names, or is that one name?

And here’s an excerpt from my response (Read the full analysis at

Traditional brand building strategies have been disrupted. Industrial era techniques — repetition, saturation and need generation — rely on two aspects of the media landscape that no longer hold sway: concentration of attention; and one-way message push. Pre-internet media relied on scarcity and control over content and channels of communication to aggregate consumer audiences. We were passive recipients of a set of mass market messages. The rise of the internet has introduced choice and nearly unlimited personalisation into the mix of how a consumer chooses to allocate the attention he or she has to give to media. Add contribution of nascent consumer expectations to have an ongoing dialogue with their peers and the world, and what you have is a changed landscape for brands.

It was great to do this, as it helped me get down in writing concepts around attention and brand co-creation that have heavily influenced the marketing we’ve done at Mozilla this past few years. I’m grateful to Meera for the opportunity to share my perspective with Businessworld’s readers in India and beyond.

P.S. Working with a great editor absolves the late night writer of many sins – thanks again Meera!

The Firefox 3 Launch Beat Goes on

The front page of today’s New York Times business section featured a story on Firefox 3.

firefox 3 in the new york times

Props are due to Melissa and the rest of our kickass PR team, and to John, Schrep and Mitchell for telling the story of Firefox 3 to the Times.

In this experience, as with all the other work we are doing to get the word out about Firefox 3 in advance of the launch, we view our role as helping to advance the broader cause of the Mozilla manifesto. And we know we wouldn’t have any story to tell without the amazing work, dedication and contributions of everyone in the Mozilla community this past three years on Firefox 3.

Onward to launch!

P.S. If you spy Schrep and Tristan in Munich and elsewhere in Europe this week, make sure to say hi. 🙂