Firefox Goals

By Matthew Hicks  |  Posted 2004-11-09 Print this article Print

What are your goals for where you want to see Firefox go? Do you have a specific goal of how much user share you can get out of it, and where would you project it going now that [Firefox] is in the full launch? Our next goal is to reach in the United States a 10 percent market share, but our data is that in Europe Firefox use is much higher than in the United States. In the United States, to get to that marker in 2005 as a marker of growth. Thats a large number of people and a large enough number of people that if youre running a Web site you dont want to be turning away that number of people, which drives the standards-based Web.
As a project weve been quite successful, even with small market-share numbers, in keeping the real vision of an open Web, where content is standard-based, alive. And as we gain market share, then its much more natural for more and more Web sites and content developers to do that as part of their daily activities.
Are you planning to achieve the 10 percent market share with the same grassroots marketing, word-of-mouth marketing, thats been going on, or are you planning something larger to penetrate what you could term the more mainstream market? Weve been doing a couple of things, and there are a couple different mainstream markets. Yes, we do rely very heavily on grassroots marketing. … Its often a cliché to say that word-of-mouth marketing and personal recommendations by users to their friends and family is about as valuable as you can get. Sometimes, I think, when people think grassroots marketing they think its sort of the last thing you can get. But in reality, its very precious. The fact that many of our users actively go out and say to other people, "You should change, and let me show you how," is really valuable and more valuable than the phrase "grassroots" might suggest. Secondly, weve been working on building a really active, focused community marketing effort through the Spread Firefox site, so the people who want to do that and help their acquaintances will have better tools for doing that. Its been extremely effective to date. Its a new kind of program, so well be working on how to make it more effective. Firefox in the New York Times ad pages? Click here to read more. Another mainstream market is institutions or companies or governments, and we have increasing inquiries, contacts and interactions with institutions that are adopting both Firefox and Thunderbird [Mozillas e-mail application]. … We, of course, do not have a classic sort of corporate marketing function, and were not planning on trying to develop one. Next Page: Will Firefox be bundled?

Matthew Hicks As an online reporter for, Matt Hicks covers the fast-changing developments in Internet technologies. His coverage includes the growing field of Web conferencing software and services. With eight years as a business and technology journalist, Matt has gained insight into the market strategies of IT vendors as well as the needs of enterprise IT managers. He joined Ziff Davis in 1999 as a staff writer for the former Strategies section of eWEEK, where he wrote in-depth features about corporate strategies for e-business and enterprise software. In 2002, he moved to the News department at the magazine as a senior writer specializing in coverage of database software and enterprise networking. Later that year Matt started a yearlong fellowship in Washington, DC, after being awarded an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellowship for Journalist. As a fellow, he spent nine months working on policy issues, including technology policy, in for a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He rejoined Ziff Davis in August 2003 as a reporter dedicated to online coverage for Along with Web conferencing, he follows search engines, Web browsers, speech technology and the Internet domain-naming system.

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