What should Mozilla do with all their money?

By Deane Barker on May 20, 2007

Firefox and the Anxiety of Growing Pains: What happens when you go from no money to lots of money? What do you owe the people that got you there?

Thanks to the Google agreement, the Mozilla Foundation went from revenue of nearly $6 million in 2004 to more than $52 million the next year. The foundation plans to increase its work force, and to add some engineering capability.

[…] Another complication for Mozilla, some critics say, is that it could be perceived as acting as an extension of Google. For example, they note that one of Google’s growth areas, Web-based software applications, would have a better chance of success with a browser not controlled by its biggest rival, Microsoft.

We mentioned last year that Mozilla was making millions.

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  1. Hey.

    Good question. We’re working on it. First, the money that Mozilla is making from its search relationships is being pumped back into the project and the community. Mozilla Corporation, the taxable subsidiary of the Mozilla Foundation, is wholly owned by the non-Profit Foundation, so there’s no IPO or founder cash-outs or anything like that in the future. Second, the money allows us to focus on making the best possible technologies and products rather than spending a ridiculous amount of time begging for donations.

    So where’s the money going? Lots of places, all core to the mission of the Mozilla Foundation. We’ve been growing the project resources including employment, from about 10 full time people when we started the Foundation almost four years ago, to about 100 today, to infrastructure, we’re serving up nearly 500,000 Firefox downloads per day and keeping 100 million Firefox installations on three platforms and 40 languages up to date with security and stability updates served every 6-8 weeks from a global infrastructure that gives users the best possible experience, to community support and empowerment where we’re working to make sure that everyone contributing to Mozilla has the resources to be as effective as they can/want to be.

    If you’re a Mozilla contributor and you’ve got ideas about other things we should be doing, there are newsgroups and other discussion forums where you can participate in the discussions.

    Thanks for the great question and if you’d like any more follow-up, email me at asa@mozilla.org

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