John Lilly keynote

John Lilly keynoting

As I'm struggling to recover from the the lag, my colleague John Lilly has published a great post about last week's all hands meeting in California. John has included his slides from his keynote. I'll quote him directly about the content:

I wanted to talk about some of the context that we find ourselves in now and how we can think about becoming a longer term organization, now that Mozilla’s first 11 years are behind us. I focused on the tension between what I’ve come to call Poetry & Pragmatics. The pragmatics of an organization are how you do things; the poetry of an organization is why you do them.

There's a big difference; they're both important, and sometimes they amplify each other, sometimes they conflict. Getting the balance right, from day to day, from year to year — that’s the thing that great organizations do over time, and it’s what we need to always think about how to do better.

I often call myself a "pragmatic idealist", which is a tongue-in-cheek way to explain that I understand the importance of finding alignment and balance between the vision of Mozilla and what we deliver product-wise. I have been blogging quite a bit over the years about this in French, but refrained to do it because blogging the same in English is riskier for several reasons:

  • If my message is not well understood, the damage happens on a bigger scale
  • English is not my native tongue, so it takes more time to blog and increases the risk of not being well understood
  • The context is different between France and the rest of the World. When addressing a larger crowd, it's harder to find the right analogies, the common references to explain things in a meaningful way. Something that is well accepted here in France may actually be problematic or at least controversial in other parts of the world. This also increases the risk of not being well understood.

However, thanks to John's talk, I'm now willing to take a risk and blog more about Mozilla's vision, what it represents to me and what it means for the Mozilla community members that I meet in Europe. Now that I am officially in the poetry business, wish me luck! I hope I won't disappoint you, my dear reader.