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John Michael Bueno

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On Monday, April 18, 2011 1 comments

The gods and goddesses of Olympus have listened! I was so lucky to have been able to go to one of the most reputable management schools in the world the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) last April 15, 2011 let alone be in the presence of Mr. Gen Kanai the Director of Asia Business Development to talk about "Lessons from Mozilla" and how the global community created a popular free software for over 400 Million people worldwide!

Yes, take that out of your head now... I am in the presence of people from Mozilla; so I've got to listen since this is professionally in my niche. Management of people and communities is pretty hard and if the actual technological group that they have would involve millions of programmers, software engineers and computer enthusiasts; it would be information overload. We probably all use Mozilla and some add ons of it on our computers; and isn't it a great choice over the highly commercialized and overrated Internet Explorer? I personally love Beta 4.0 (the one I'm currently using) and they already have it tested and ready for release in a few months.

One of the key points that I liked is pushing "decision making procedures" to the edges.

Being Open source has a lot to do with Mozilla's success because the feedback and general work cut out for the browser and other software from the same company is made for and by people who joined the organization. This also includes bug reports, code releases and versions upon versions of the browser if a fix or two comes along. Managing these people would take a keen eye for those that can be accepted as fact and those which you just shrug off because it wouldn't work. Mr. Kanai showed us several people ranting off on issues regarding the famous browser and even if they (Mozilla) knew some of them (already) were just known issues they still listened to some of it since it made sense. The community they have plays an important role in where the project/software development was heading; and it is how these things converge without having conflict for all those who contributed in these projects. I can imagine if my inputs would just go to the bin if I felt that it would have made a difference and they just didn't take me seriously I'd probably be mad and call for a military junta. If they can do it with this management model they must have been doing something right. I'll try to employ it on the communities I manage and see if the outcome would turn out to be the same or relatively very different.

These are some of the things we got to touch on in very detailed examples throughout the talk with Mr. Gen Kanai.

While this talk was happening I had a few questions in mind. Good thing someone asked it for me... how do they finance operations in Mozilla? (which makes sense since they need to pay for CEO's, Directors and whatnot) he said it simply; that search engine Google played a big part of it since this defaults as their webpage every time the browser launches. The answer to the question every one asks though as to "What does Mozilla do?" is simple... they promote CHOICE and INNOVATION on the Internet. That does make them a better browser than anything I've seen; hence, I choose to stay with them too! =)

What make this organization unique is their standing Non-Profit status. If I owned a corporation this big I would have wanted to still earn something from it since in the real world (let's face it!) you need to get paid for what you work for. I'm very impressed though that they have kept it this way since the early time of browser wars and with nobody holding them down they are still doing great in spite of the joys and wonders of economic instability in the US and elsewhere in the world.

A realization: You can get a lot of ideas from the community and you should learn to listen to what they have to say no matter how small or preposterous it could be with other people.

Thank you so much to Asia Society Philippine Foundation Inc. and AIM for hosting the event.


About Asia Society "Asia Society is a non profit organization with a mission to promote understanding of Asia through education,lectures, films, exhibitions, conferences, seminars and travel- study tours." About Mr Gen Kanai "Mr. Gen Kanai is responsible for business development for Mozilla in Asia, community marketing and development. He was also part of the organization responsible for the launch of Technocrati Japan. He also worked for Sony Marketing of Japan, Sony Electronics, Inc., and Toyota Motor Sales, USA Inc.among others."

To get in touch with Asia Society and their projects simply call (+632)7524374 and (+632)8108938 or visit their website at



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