old school

In 1998, a documentary team followed the adventure of releasing the first Mozilla source code. The resulting blockbuster was called “Code Rush”, and features Stuart Parmenter in his breakout role. A pretty fun little movie, and it does a decent job of capturing the energy and challenges of “Project 3/31″.

Or so I’ve been told. Though I was of course devoting myself utterly to the project at the time, and appear on screen in at least one key scene, I’ve never actually seen Code Rush. I mean, I know how it ends, right?

So today, eight-plus years later, I’m with Chris Beard at the Harvard Business School, for the inaugural presentation of a case study about the launch of Firefox 1.0 and subsequent creation of the Mozilla Corporation. As part of the presentation, the professor (Siobhan O’Mahony, whose class I quite enjoyed observing, I should say) played a clip of Code Rush showing the actual source-code push and announcement by Jim Barksdale.

I have to say that I was pretty affected by it. Might even have been a tear welling, though some of that could have been my headache. I looked so young, and had such bad hair, but it truly was an amazing opportunity, and I was so ridiculously lucky to have been able to be a part of it. Still am, really.

This session, part of an Executive Education programme, was extremely interesting in a number of ways, and I might write more about them later, if things line up correctly. I was very grateful for the opportunity to sit in a room with 80+ CIO/CTO/VP folk from all around the world and a wide range of industries, discussing their perspectives on open source and Firefox. Enterprise suitability is of course a very interesting topic to these folks, and was to me as well. By no means does such a conversation produce an all-triumphing Truth about what enterprises want or need, but I was certainly surprised by how nuanced many of the positions were. We often abstract “the enterprise” away into some prototypical administrator focused on group policy and deployment capabilities, but there are a lot of other strategic issues in play, many of which are related more to the long-term effects of our project than to specifics of the product itself. (I don’t mean to tease, I’m just not sure what the norm is for sharing the details of these sessions.)

It’s definitely flattering — personally and als on behalf of the project, if you will — to be invited to participate in such a presentation and exploration. Another opportunity for which to consider myself quite fortunate.

(I’d link to appropriate things here, but it’s hard to dig them up from my Blackberry, so I’ll have to go back and edit them in later.) [tags]mozilla, harvard, code rush, netscape, pavlov, enterprise[/tags]