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Product I Love: Mozilla

Mathieu Gosbee

Mathieu Gosbee

May 2, 2019

Mozilla Product I Love

At Connected we are obsessed with great products. We often talk about the great products we worked on and the ones we wished we worked on. We even have a wall in our reception area dedicated to showing off our favourite ones. That’s why we decided to launch a series of products we love. We’d love to hear from people who are as obsessed with making great products as we are so if you’d like to share yours, send me a note at ltran@connected.io. You may just get featured on our blog. In the meantime hear why Connected Software Engineer Mathieu Gosbee loves Mozilla.

Everyone knows Mozilla. They came into prominence in the early days of widespread internet use back in 1998 with the release of the Netscape browser suite source code. When AOL acquired Netscape, they released the source code and created the Mozilla Foundation. Essentially, they became one of the first large open-source web browsers with the introduction of Phoenix (later renamed to Firefox). In fact, Firefox is my preferred browser. It’s faster and has less memory usage, I can leave it open without worrying about it using up all of my memory.

What I love about Mozilla is that they’re a non-profit organization with a mission to push for the Internet to be open and accessible to all regardless of demographics and experience. They also believe that users’ security and privacy on the internet should be fundamental. In fact, they’re providing major funds to two Mozilla employees to run the Let’s Encrypt service, an automated and open certificate authority (CA), free of charge. This is incredible for users because other web browsers monetize this service of securing a website.

A Different Kind of Tech Company

What makes them stand out from the other tech leaders is that Mozilla has no reason to want my information since they’re a non-profit. They don’t get money from harvesting my data – they’re completely open-source whereas Chrome and Safari aren’t on the same level. Mozilla also doesn’t overwhelm me with asks for money as other non-profits do. They’re doing what they’re doing for the betterment of the Internet. Privacy is very important to me and knowing that they don’t collect my data whenever I use their browser is a plus. From what I can tell, they don’t have ulterior motives.

A Secure Solution

I had a start-up called Groupnotes that was used to share websites with people and included a chat-system built into the service. We didn’t want to have to manage passwords, so thankfully Mozilla offered a product that allowed us to have a more secure product for our own users through email authentication. Everyone trusts Mozilla with passwords and other information, and it’s hard to carry that same weight as a tiny startup based out of Waterloo. Thankfully, Mozilla had open communication lines with us so we could ask them for help or request new features. They would also communicate with us to see how they could do better and understand why we’re using their service. Since what they were offering was new, they had a few bugs. Eventually, it crashed and my team and I sent an email to Mozilla to let them know about them. They mailed us some stickers and t-shirts to thank us for our efforts which resulted in a fun, albeit embarrassing, picture of us repping their swag. The swag was a completely unprovoked good gesture.

The Groupnotes team wearing the t-shirts that Mozilla sent us.

Innovative From The Start

Mozilla is huge on collaborating with the public as a global Mozilla Community. It’s thanks to Mozilla founder Brendan Eich that encouraged users to unite for a better Internet. A large part of my career has been created off of Eich’s invention, Javascript, a programming language that was originally created for the Netscape web browser. It took Eich 10 days to create it since he was up against Microsoft’s release of Windows 95 and Internet Explorer. The added pressure was what pushed Eich to become a change-maker in programming. What he created helped me learn how computers work, how the internet works and helped me make a career out of it. Ever since it was created, we’ve been living with the ramifications of Javascript.

Mozilla is continually innovating and challenging other tech companies. I’m excited to see what the future holds for this internet pioneer. 

If you want to hear about other products Connectors love, check out why EVP of Growth & Client Experience, Tammy Chiasson loves Peloton.

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