Interview w/ John Lilly and Mitchell Baker

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User:JohnF just posted notes from his interview with Mozilla Foundation's John Lilly and Mitchell Baker (board members). There are some items in there on financial sustainability; I'd encourage you to give it a read and comment here.

I sat in on a Bridgespan interview with Mark Surman (executive director) of the Mozilla Foundation a few weeks ago, and I suspect we'll find those notes here soon as well.

Mozilla Foundation is definitely one interesting point of comparison for us.

00:58, 10 December 2009

I created a page about the Mozilla Foundation's Financial position and its comparison with Wikimedia Foundation from the state of Mozilla to accompany the interview [1]. As always please feel free to edit and expand to it. I also expanded on the Mozilla Foundation page with information from the Mozilla Foundation's Wikipedia page and added some links.

05:30, 10 December 2009

I wanted to provide this TF with a quick summary of the points that seemed most relevant to this team's work:

  • Mitchell and John noted that business partnerships that Mozilla has entered into (e.g., Google) have been successful and acceptable to the community largely because they have chosen partners closely aligned with Mozilla’s mission.
  • John also noted that Mozilla's business deals do not impose a large number of obligations on the Foundation.
  • Both also noted that many of the business agreements that arose came out of community desires. (For example, the community asked for a Russian search engine, and now, that search engine is the default instead of Google in Russian language builds.)

Please take a look at the notes for additional details, and let me know if you have any questions.

21:13, 10 December 2009

I just noticed the way Mozilla foundation is structured, Mozilla corporation was founded as a wholly owned subsidiary in 2005. Mr. Lilly and Ms. Baker serve as the current and former CEO and Chairperson for the Corporation. It was created especially to handle revenue related operations, since the foundation as a Non-profit is limited in terms and amounts of revenues it can handle. The corporation however, as a taxable entity gave the foundation a high degree of freedom. they also made this public- Any profits made by the Mozilla Corporation will be invested back into the Mozilla project. There will be no shareholders, no stock options will be issued and no dividends will be paid. The Mozilla Corporation will not be floating on the stock market and it will be impossible for any company to take over or buy a stake in the subsidiary. The Mozilla Foundation will continue to own the Mozilla trademarks and other intellectual property and will license them to the Mozilla Corporation.

Can a similar structure for the Wikimedia Foundation be more flexible.

14:30, 11 December 2009