Mozilla’s Crowdsourcing Mystique

“Saunders is among hundreds of people who donate time and skills
to Mozilla, the Mountain View (Calif.) company that releases
Firefox and other open-source software. Even as Mozilla’s internal
staff has grown to 250, from 15 in 2005, an army of volunteers
still contributes about 40% of the company’s work, which ranges
from tweaks to the programming code to designing the Firefox

“How Mozilla channels those efforts is a model for a growing
number of companies trying to tap into the collective talents of
large pools of software developers and other enthusiasts of a
product, brand, or idea. “There’s structure in it,” says Mike
Beltzner, who runs Firefox. “But at the same time you allow people
to innovate and to explore and [give them] the freedom to do what
they want along those edges—that’s where innovation tends to
happen in startling and unexpected ways.”

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