Poetry is important
Some very good blog posts have been published recently, and I wanted to signal them to my readers. I'll start with a very general statement about the importance of Free, Libre and Open Source Software. It's Atul Varma's Business Card, who quotes an 9 years old and fundamental article by Larry Lessig, Code is law (with the book Code and other laws of Cyberspace).
Mitchell has published not one but two articles related to Mozilla's vision:
- I Am Not A Number. "What’s the most interesting thing about the Internet today? To me, it’s not an application, it’s not a technology, it’s not a characteristic like “social.” The most interesting thing about the Internet is me. My experiences. And you. And your experiences."
- Eyeballs with Wallets. Excerpt: "There are times, however, when being a wallet attached to eyeballs is not enough. The possibilities available to us online should be broader, just as they are in the physical world. Sometimes we choose to skip the mall and go to the library, or the town square or the park or the museum or the playground or the school. Sometimes we choose activities that are not about consumption, but are about learning and creation and improving the environment around us."
I like the fact that we're not ''just' "eyeballs with wallets". Of course, we're "Website visitors" (aka "Eyeballs"), and we're also customers of e-commerce sites (aka "Wallets"), but we're much more than this.
I'll conclude with a link to a pretty good New York Times article about Mozilla that quotes Mitchell (emphasis mine):
We succeeded because more people got engaged, helped us build a better product and helped us get the product into the hands of people. We succeeded because of the mission.
Exactly. Mitchell sums it up in less than 140 characters on Twitter :
we build Firefox to advance a mission. Now we need to show that Firefox is the first step, not everything.
The product (Firefox) and the mission are intertwined. The mission helps mobilizing forces and energies to build the product. And the product is here to advance the mission. Now our users do see the product (even if sometimes they confuse it with a search engine or an ISP), and sometimes "sense" the mission. We need to keep pushing on the mission part too (aka "poetry"): without it, Firefox is going to be challenged more than with it.