David is building ‘fitopen,’ an open source endurance sports platform integrating the charity sector, outdoor spaces, self-employed fitness professionals, and endurance sportspeople. A highly active member of the UK tech community, he’s focused on amplifying positivity, learning collaboratively, openly communicating, and investigating new ways of inspiring action
I’m wondering if you can tell me your name and start telling me a bit about your work.
I’ve been a volunteer at MozFest for three years now.
My reason for getting involved in MozFest was because it is a group that protects people’s civil and human rights, and is really concerned about privacy for whistleblowers and investigative journalists. They use education to empower people in the developing world and are involved with so many important issues. That’s why I got involved.
What about your work outside of volunteering for MozFest?
I’ve been trying to build a startup. This is my first experience of that. They’re hard. They’re really hard to do.
Again, my reason to connect was to actually really learn a lot more about technology because it’s my first business, and I’m not a skilled person. I’ve been doing a lot of moocs online, going through MDN and the documentation.
I started helping with that by doing editing, for example, to learn more about code through getting hands-on experience with it. Essentially, I’m building a startup with fitness, outdoors, and trying to do a match-making service that would be individualized for the end user.
Wherever they end up going it will change dependent on their location. They would actually run into a different person, a different set of experiences, and maybe a whole swathe of different people, and respond to injuries and all that kind of stuff. It’s quite complex, that’s why it’s taking quite a bit to get it organized.
One of the things I have is actually a major fear of public speaking. I used to perform on stage at school, and learned loads of instruments, and solos in the school play, playing the lead.
When I was about 25, working in a major retailer here in London. The senior manager put me in a position where I was thrown in front of a film crew to talk about a subject that I had no idea about, and to try to fill a half an hour of time. Talking about the architecture of the building.
It was like, “You’re passing the buck,” I said. I ended up having a situation of cold sweats where I’d panic. I could immediately tap into that every time someone said, “Can you speak on this?” It’s like, “No. I can’t do that.”
Through Mozilla, again, we tried to do this TechSpeakers here in London. I was doing some workshops with that. I did it twice.
I found the structure of what Mozilla was doing in showing frameworks, the open way of working, actually seeing how people are nervous talking, and seeing the basic checklist that you can go through of how to do it, by diving deeper and doing loads more searching, I found a lot of resources that have been really helpful for me.
Just this week, I assisted Stacy Martin to do a Privacy Lab in the London office. I hosted a panel and it was recorded last minute. I had no idea they were trying to stream it straight on Air Mozilla. Due to my previous confrontation, I’d have never knowingly said yes to it, if asked. In the end I went along with it. Weirdly, I felt totally Zen. It was this epiphany moment of breaking through something that held me back for 20 years. That was only this week.
In the last three years since I’ve been involved in Mozfest, giving back so much of my time, running up and down these stairs, and that kind of thing. I’ve also been making sure I get stuff that comes out of it to enable me. I just discovered, that this week something’s shifted in me. It’s been amazing.
Yeah, that’s huge. Thinking about your work, this could either be with the startup, or it could be volunteering at MozFest, is there a time where you felt — it might be the example you just brought up — a real sense of success, an anecdote?
I’m a hugely positive thinker, as well, so it can be really small things, like successes in your own communities. I’ve recognized, here in London, that things are a little bit siloed. People are not necessarily fully aware of the presence of Mozilla so much, so it’s educating it on a new level for people.
Also, because there actually is a London office, people, on the community level, expect the office to do it. In a lot of other countries, for example, I’ve seen that there’s a lot of engagement that just happens across at a roots level. They just pick up the slack.
I’m trying to do that here, as well. I was, because of the amount of extra work I had been doing, I was put forward by Sarah, in the London office to be part of this open leadership project, which is to enable people to develop their local communities on whatever projects they were potentially working on.
I didn’t have a project. I was trying to build one on the fly, I got really stressed out by it, because I didn’t actually have anybody, and it was just a concept. I recently went to a community leadership summit, which was before OSCON.
Was that in Berlin?
No, this was here in London. They have had it in Berlin, they’ve even had one in Italy and throughout the US, as well. There’s all these people that are working in that area, engaging community from the big tech companies and felt it, I felt I truly had knowledge. I felt I had deep engagement, I had something to give, but I had so much to learn from them.
Everything was fitting together, the pieces or you were in the right place.
Took a member of the London staff to put me forward on this thing. It was, “We’re going to do it in two weeks’ time.” Going to the community leadership summit, as well, it made me feel like, it’s not something like privacy and law, just endless talks of stuff I never really seem educated in: but I’m fascinated by it, because of the human rights issue.
Something like Mozfest, it’s stuff I’m really good at. I’m great with connecting with, on a customer level, and service provision, and quality control, and being able to communicate well with people. Also, just being — I hope — a great person that spots things, and you can pick up the slack and get people to talk to each other. Being quite empathic.
Yeah. I’m really, wholly, empathic. So I can be in the middle of doing something, and have to stop everything for somebody, over some telling issue. You have to try and, somehow, not be too affected but something can really throw you off. Somehow, I can jump right back.
I don’t necessarily come across like that, but that’s why those customer-facing things have often been quite great for me. Switch immediately onto people. But I’m very much a systematic person, the way that it works is a weird mix.
Now flipping the question, how about an example of a challenge that you’ve faced?
A challenge? I’ve had quite a lot of challenges with, the thing I will grasp on, probably is that I lost my partner back in 2011, I think it was. When I lost him, I spent basically 10 years carrying him and it was a really traumatic closure.
I trained as a personal trainer, after that. I found that that kind of industry is quite broken, it’s very much a numbers game. They want as many people to go into the gyms as possible. Same with the personal trainers and gym staff, they’re all just numbers.
They want you to pay your subscription. Paying members, only 20 percent of them actually go. I thought, something’s got to happen with that. I trained as a personal trainer and put a lot of time and effort into that. I found after that that it’s a really difficult career to really make something solid off it, no matter how passionate you are about it.
I think that kind of struggle looking at where industries are, it’s disempowering, that kind of process. I felt like I was going to turn a new leaf in my life, still really excited and buzzy about it, and suddenly it was like, “Well, what do I do now?”
I thought how can I change that? Can I go out there now in the streets, talk to people about things? That’s where tech came into it, the ability to actually empower myself to build something that is going to, at least, solve the issues that I had. I found it difficult to get work, basically, I was unemployable. I had 10 years of working caring for somebody. A big gap on paper.
I thought, I’ll take the power into my own hands, so start learning more tech and build a website. I did a shop and all these things, and built this thing, that I hadn’t put any research into. Made traction, made sales. At the moment, I’m still unwaged, effectively. Tiny amount of money that I’m getting.
Even in that business, I more recently had a potential co-founder that I met at a, what was that talk? It was about, not racial attacks, but people being attacked on Twitter and social media.
Right. Like, trolling?
Yeah. It was an all-day seminar, and they had people from Facebook, Twitter and Google, trade unions and police, crime commission. Trying to remember what they’re called. I met someone there that was quite disruptive in the audience and I thought, “Wow, she’s really fabulous.”
We had a chat afterwards and it seemed that we connected quite well. We went through an entry and application process for funding. We spent about seven weeks on that. This is somebody that was highly skilled. Nice tidy career, freelancer for some big name tech companies.
Quite a perfectionist, obviously, because you would have to be, to be able to win those kind of contracts. Ultimately felt like it was not appropriate to put that funding application through, she decided last minute to pull the plug.
The next day, I was like, “I’m really sorry, that’s not going to work out. This is a cash flow thing, may not have been much for you, but it’s a big thing for me.” These successive, negative things happened, I felt so close. This was right at the start of this Open Leadership Project.
That was all going on, and she said, “I really don’t think you should do the mentorship, because it’s going to really distract you from it.” I’m so glad I did, because that’s been there for me. Was like a resilience piece. This thing I could focus on. I haven’t been able to do much time with it, so really I’ve had another personal fail because of the derailment of that process.
That stuff’s there, if I can put a bit more time and I can actually then encourage other people to use that, because that framework’s there. I can work with other opensource projects, for example, startups, friends I know. Some are presenting here.
I can say, “Hey, I can step forward and do that.” I’m getting more facial exposure, I’m getting more social media exposure, I’m pushing myself. I’m quite transparent about that, as well.
What I’m trying to learn through that process, I can see that it is building, at least connecting people around me that understand what I’m trying to do, or trying to provide a means of potential roles. A community leadership role, community manager.
You’ve already started to talk about some of the ways you’re addressing this challenge. I’m wondering, what are some of the other approaches you’re using to address this? I think of someone doing a startup and so much of it is just grit, and persistence.
Yeah. Self-motivation, and no one teaches you how to do that. Get up in the morning and just get back at it. It’s really hard.
So many times with entrepreneurs, you hear these stories of successive failures and they kept pushing through, and finally comes together.
Yeah. On average it’s eight years before you even get anywhere with it. You’re just going to failure, failure, failure.
This is the challenge you’ve raised, as far as I’m understanding it. What strategies are you using to keep pushing through?
I like jazz hands. If I do something that I’ve been putting off, I’ll self-motivate and reward myself. Even if it’s a 15 minute thing.
Acknowledging small successes?
Yeah. Get up and dance or turn the speakers up and have a big old sing song, dance tune, where I’m screaming at the top of my head. Go for a walk, I live centrally in London, so I can go through the parks or by the river. I love getting out in nature.
Even going to the Tate, just experiencing art. I love being stimulated on loads of different levels. Connecting with people. I walk a lot.
Over a 100 miles a week. Yeah, self-care stuff — coping strategies. Just trying to eat as well as I can on that budget. Essentially loads of talks, as well. Try and connect with other people, networking. Trying to understand that pretty much everybody, that’s genuinely serious about it, actually goes through the same thing.
We all do things wrong. Even yesterday, we’re pairing all the televisions with the science fair. I’m doing the flat packs and doing the brackets on the back. Every single one of us managed to put them upside-down, and back-to-front and all this kind of stuff.
We were all nearly turning into panic. It was only that half-way through moment, when someone went, “Oh yeah, I’ve done that at least once, as well.” There’s that, as an entrepreneur. Making sure you keep it real. You actually do try and seek out those people that are all like that and offer you the ability of leveraging. You try and find the right source of people.
What I’m mostly hearing you say though, is that you’re understanding that it’s just part of the process. That everyone goes through it, so you’re not connecting too much with any one failure or challenge. That’s normal.
What I did at the start of the year, I did this thing called, A Complaint Free World. Where you try to go 21 successive days of not complaining. This was my third attempt, in about four years. It takes on average six months. Every time you do complain, you have to go back to day one. I finally completed it at the start of this year.
There was this moment of, “I’m not even going to say or write anything that’s a moan.” It’s part of the process, to just let it go. Unless it’s something that you can actually change on the spot. So saying to somebody, “God, isn’t the weather bad?” — things that nobody can do anything about, when you complain about somebody else, when you just do that. None of that. I found process has totally changed me.
In what ways?
When my partner passed away, well it felt so important. I felt like the time was ripe. I thought, if I find the right people, they were going to have the same type of passion of life. You get really frustrated when, time and again, it doesn’t work out the way you expect. Friends go by wayside.
It’s just life. We have to stop expecting too much from people. We elevate them onto this glorious pedestal, where all they could do is crash down, because they think they’re so fabulous. If we are real about what we want, and honest with each other about how we can help each other, and where our weaknesses and strengths are. I know it all sounds a bit of a cliché, where people say those kinds of things.
Genuinely though, seriously, not many people do it. Here I am trying to be a guy that walks the walk, and talks the talk. I’m quite transparent about everything. Then you can potentially find the right people that can help, or they may be more passionate about what you’re trying to do, because of that ‘unique story’ that comes attached to that. It works two ways.
Turning now to a broadest issue in the Mozilla universe, keeping the web open and free. What for you is the open internet?
For me, the open internet covers so many different areas, that’s what excites me about Mozilla being in this arena with so many different initiatives. For example, I was recognizing the Firefox OS phone, that Mozilla is not about huge product success, it’s more about changing industry.
That project was a great exercise in my understanding. The way that the organization worked and how, strategically, there’s a lot going on that sometimes it may not be obvious to the outside world. I can see that there’s a bigger plan and actually trying to make sure they’re right in the middle of those negotiations. Then you empower people through education and awesome organic engagement across the community.
For me the open web is about ensuring the human centre to the way everything is designed. If that little voice isn’t there at those little meetings, through bigger EU negotiations, stuff in the US, or other countries, which may even need assistance even in those local community levels.
Open web is more about the individual use of it. It’s the bottom up use of the web, rather than it being controlled by a multi-national entity that is all about ka-ching, all about money. That way’s not necessarily about things like improving lives and actually solving real world problems.
Ultimately it’s rather fluid. It takes on many factors and representations that could be deemed as the open web. I’m quite excited by the decentralized stuff that’s going on at the moment. Web technologies from watching MaidSafe and Ethereum and the technologies that are soon coming out of those kind of things.
Where we have potentially the ability to encrypt end to end, to actually put things on the internet that are going to stay there forever and nobody can take it down, even if you wanted to.
Being able to share things with each other. There being no middleman, that only those two people that knew the hash that was attached to that. A lot of transparent things surrounding, particularly, science: is a huge thing for me.
The ownership through copyright and publishing. I see decentralized technologies being able to bring in this new paradigm, which again sounds a bit cheesy. Transparency through publication, control over that publication.
You’re talking now about open access — open access journals and publishing with open licenses.
Yeah. Potentially reducing the 80 percent of science that’s done time and time again and no one ever knows about. There is that ability as a species, for us to have this collective mind. If we are quite transparent about it, even the stuff that is failures, to be vocal about that.
Even the Firefox OS, which I never saw as a failure anyway. If you are transparent through that entire process, even if it is a failure, then people can learn by what the smaller successes were. Why did it work up until that point?
I see so many industries really getting a lot of value out of that kind of thing. Some really genuine work about that. I know, for example, the construction industry doesn’t do that at all. They’re not about diversity. They’re not about openness in contracts and that process. I’m volunteering for housing association to try and doing some volunteer work surrounding communications.
I wanted to jump back into something that you mentioned, you said that you don’t consider the Firefox OS, the phone to be a failure, why is that?
I think some people were like, “Why are they even doing a phone?” It made a lot of sense to me. I didn’t see it as a failure, because there was so many component parts in making that actually work on an open sense.
It was innovation on so many different levels. Those are then broken up into other projects, for example, connected devices and collab here in London.
They can build on the pieces, the components that made up the thing.
It’s not like their knowledge evaporates, these people that are actually creating these things. Again, with that openness, if that process stays there, as an archive of that moment in life. When this set of people did ‘this’, and however many thousands of people across the globe got into it, and it’s spread into ‘that’ technology.
Coming from a startup perspective, if I looked at the amount of traction that effort had, that would be pretty huge for a small business. Certainly on the scale of the teams involved it was a big deal. If people are looking at it from a global, multi-national, about capturing an international market – well then maybe it wasn’t so much. It depends on which way you’re looking at it. You’ve got to shift the lens.
Yeah. Getting more specific about Mozilla, how did you get involved with them and if you want to add anything about what that’s been like for you, because you’ve already talked a little bit about that.
My first use of Mozilla was back from the Netscape, where I absolutely hated internet Explorer and then when Firefox released — I remember just saying to people, “Hey look, this is open source.”
Even educating ourselves as to what that meant, and how important that was for other people to understand. Then the flexibility in what that meant, what the add-ons that you can do, and it can change with those things, and how you can have all your tiles, all these different things you can do with it.
I just switch so many people onto it, then it became more a thing about speed, for example. The numbers in Firefox dropped because Chrome took over a bit. Something’s going to potentially change on a huge level. That was my understanding, back then, just was a consumer all the way through, until I started to build my startup.
I just thought, I need to learn. Who’s openly teaching? It was either lectures and online courses, or I can look into an organization. A running organization that does everything open, so I can get in there and see those bits that resonate with me. It takes time, because it’s a bit of a mess, interacting with it the first time.
It’s a bit chaotic.
Yeah, for a new person to come in, it’s difficult to find your path. It’s like going to a festival, in a way. It’s improving. There’s this circular interactive graphic where they show the web technologies. All the different underlying technologies, where you’re using it for education, in the 21st century.
Are you talking about the skills map, or no?
It might be. Actually, yeah.
It’s the skills map with the interactive circle where you can click on each thing.
It’s amazing, seriously amazing. I think if a lot of other component parts of what you’re doing were interconnected with that or displayed in a similar way, that would be a useful guide point, where people see how those different parts interact.
That was a little bit difficult for me to initially understand. How things pieced together. It was magical that you can, if you put in more effort above and beyond the standard, you will find those things where it pieces together. You will make those mental connections. You will find that resource. It requires hammering home to some people, that this content even exists.
There’s so much of this stuff. A lot of people involved, helping explain to other people. It might be something that was done as a small project, or maybe not a celebratory part of it. There’s been situations in my public speaking journey too making those leaps where it suddenly connects. The more you dig in to explore, the more you unearth this stuff.
In science, or the teaching angle, of course there’s similar things. Of course even things where people don’t even care about this particular issue of openness. There’s other parts of the delivery process that some divisions of Mozilla have already been working on.
For example, Connected Devices did a report where it’s basically a research document. I found a physical copy in the office, but there was a greatly expanded version on the PDF. Using that I’ve been able to say to people, “You’re doing this project, and you’re looking at trying to connect with your local community.”
They’ve done this study across the globe. This is great data, great storytelling throughout the whole process. That was amazing, I’ve never seen anything like that ever before. When I’ve mentioned it to people in passing to other projects, like Humanitarian OpenStreetMap, Red Cross, and all these kind of people, they’re like, “This is amazing.”
They’re really excited, that it was actual data from people that are using it, and how best the messaging works for them. What are the wins for them when they contribute? What’s the pain points? And what could be improved?
Just seeing that laid out, how it was done, the rawness of it, the good and the bad. So many lessons in that, it’s phenomenal. Sorry I get excited, I’ve rambled.
Do you have any feedback that you would give?
I’m really trying to engage the community and get our networks connected to the staff. The staff then have to run and go do loads of different things. Everything’s open, you see the forums, that loads of people have loads of issues, for some reason. I just saw those focus on the negatives, when I first started, I saw that.
Here in London, for example, I’m seeing there is a gap. I think there’s been a separation of participation. That’s been an issue here in London. It’s recognized across the board. I’m not sure why that is, I never had to deal with them.
There is this, what organization says should be done, what people in the community would like, so there’s this bridge thing going on. It’s a pain point at the moment.
What you’re saying to me, is that the goals of the people involved in the community are different from the goals of the Mozilla foundations?
All things happen with very little notice. Rather than a potential date of something, for example, or a rough idea of what is required. Sometimes it’s slapped together in the same week. When something is on, you might need to put your name down to volunteer, and you need to try and get your network of volunteers to do the same.
That doesn’t always happen. I’ve see this happen a lot, even in my experience with even the OpenProject lead. Everyone to volunteer this weekend at Mozfest, I think that only went out on Tuesday. I already volunteered for rest of the spaces. Already put in 20 hours, basically the whole thing. People are busy, of course there’s no disrespect intended.
Yeah, but this is constructive, don’t worry.
They are genuinely busy. People don’t dislike them. They all recognize that there is something missing in the process. Something meaty that connects us all up. There has been various attempts at doing that. For example, Discourse. https://discourse.mozilla.org/
Discourse is like a forum, essentially a bulletin board. When there was a heated issue that came up in some thread, there was an effort for the conversation to be moved to another area. It wasn’t my direct concern, but I immediately recognized it as somebody that’s quite hot in customer service, that’s not what you do. Move a heated thing while it’s still hot.
You get the resources to where the pain is. And then you sort that thing out. Because you can capture a lot of data and you don’t want to cause that person a lot of kerfuffle. They basically said, “This is not the space, because we don’t feel like we’re talking about this issue.”
I said, “Actually, we are.” The flow of the conversation is about ‘this particular event’. They attempted to split it into three different messages that needed three different teams to handle those complaints and people just gave up following it.
I just went through, I was the only one out of this thread of about five people complaining, and said, “You can’t do that. You just did a summary of what, supposedly, the conversation was and made it sound like everyone was disrespecting staff.”
That’s not what it was about at all. It was about there being a distinct lack of notice time for them to be able engage in their communities and get them mobilised, rather than actually saying, “You’re not doing your job.” That’s what it was condensed to after being split three ways. There is a feeling like there’s been a complete misunderstanding by the staff involved. Right down to a supposed inability of the community to trust those staff to ultimately solve the issue and move it all forward.
Which I thought wasn’t at all what was said in the original conversation. I thought it was just really simple, clear points. For them to try to split it apart into this silo and then mess with the original clarity. I spent some time, “I really don’t think you’re getting the point. The point is that there’s so much data out there about this chasm, like about the Connected Devices stuff, for example, the research that came out of that.”
I said, “The stuff that they’re talking about in these threads, is merely the same as the pain points described in in that document. Go to page such and such of this document. That actually is in the official thing from Mozilla.” I said, “This is stuff that came out in February, and here we are in August, and nothing has changed, and you still don’t get it.”
I said, “Please don’t feel like these community people are attacking you, as a staff member. This is actually them being frustrated by the fact that you’re still not listening.”
Let me make sure I’m understanding correctly. An issue was flagged, and instead of creating a space where that issue could be discussed, both by staff and volunteers together, and problem solve together, instead it got defensive.
Quite quickly, yeah. I don’t know if it’s a language thing, potentially — or a defensive thing. Someone was even told to not be angry. They weren’t being angry at all, but that person was perceiving it as though it was the default. You can tell the barriers had gone up and all that kind of thing. It is quite hard.
I think there can be a challenge, at least from my time at Mozilla, and maybe you can tell me whether you think this is at play also, is that for some people, Mozilla is a community and an identity group, and it’s what we do with our free time.
It’s an act of love and there’s a passion there for other people, staff, it’s their job. Certainly. They may have lots of values and they might love their job, but it’s their job.
I think of the example of what happened with Brendan Eich, when he was made head of Mozilla Corporation, that diversity of viewpoints in a workplace, because it was framed, initially as a diversity issue, makes a lot of sense.
At a certain point in an identity or in an affinity group, if there’s too much diversity, particularly around LGBT rights, you start to think, “Well, I’m not part of that group. I don’t want to be, if you’re there.” There can be this clash between the more formal organized parts, and the identity. Do you think that some of that factors at play?
That’s what happened. It was definitely very organized with what was going on, but was an attempt to move that communication of that thing to the appropriate team. If you were in a 10-story building, you’d have been passed from person to person, until you eventually got to the right person.
The right person to deal with it.
Yeah. Whereas this person, I’m now thinking from the communities point of view, might have seen it all before. Was at that point, or *is* the point of the contact. I don’t think people necessarily can separate themselves from the ‘thing’.
So it’s like, “Here’s this problem that I’m handing to you,” let’s look, “What is it? What am I looking at? Who’s it need to go to? I’ve got it, can I solve it and can I break it apart and understand it? Am I right in understanding that ‘this’ is what you mean? That ‘this’ is what this is?”
Trying to get to the same page and understanding the issue together.
Yeah. This is what the “thing” is, and then that person has that interpretation — I think things might be that simple.
Seek to understand first.
Yeah. I don’t know whether or not they thought about being able to explain that to them before. That, potentially, is what that was. It’s really simple, because I can recognize that community going to be running on so many different levels. It’s not necessarily the similar way in what the staff understand the ‘thing’.
Right. It’s a different framework.
It’s also encouraging, in my eyes, about the way that Mozilla works, is that the perception from ‘somebody in the community’, is that it’s like a ‘one of us’ thought. There is that, as well, which confuses it potentially from the other side, I can see.
Frankly, it’s a really hard thing to do, and I don’t think any organizations do that, it’s very innovative.
Of course. Even running a meet-up. Another positive thing that I’ve been doing is a Linux meet-up here in London, we’re 500 members now. We’ve been doing it since May. That’s helped with my public speaking, trying to run around with people. I’ve had some absolutely terrible moments though.
Facilitating is hard.
Yeah. I’ve had a total meltdown when someone put in slides and wanted me to present it, and just threw the thing at me. It pushed me, because I still had that camera fear I mentioned early. When we first did it, we had plenty of people ready to complain but we were still really into it.
It was quite difficult once it actually goes public. It’s a free event and trying to promote open source software. People have got their own perception of what that means. Ethics and what is appropriate when pitching a product. Whether or not you end up with sponsorship to be able to get drinks and pizza, and most of the time we haven’t.
Because of ethical concerns, or?
No. Just being open source projects that don’t necessarily have the funds for sponsoring. They’re not here to feed the 40,000. That’s what we’re trying to communicate to them as well.
Even though we’re all on the same page, we’re here about this particular product, this Linux operating system. Everyone’s got so many take homes from it, and the more successful a project is, the more you’re going to run into those problems, because it’s really fantastic stories that can often clash with each other.
Super interesting. We’re collecting all these stories from across the Mozilla network, how might these stories be useful to you, if at all?
Ha, they would while the time away, as well. If they write as people who do similar things. I find it really inspiring when you look at some of the third world [sic] countries, what they’re doing, or areas that may have not got as empowering legislation, to see what people are doing in those areas.
I find that you can never get enough of these stories. Whatever form that takes, whether it be a minute long video, or blog entry, or just a little bit of positive experience of what they went through — even the negative. The struggles that they’ve had, the realness of the whole thing, instead of it being about a marketing thing.
It’s actually the experience of this individual through that process, as I’ve already mentioned, the open source stuff, there isn’t this ‘magical mix’, a cacophony of noise, and stuff that goes on, and somehow, in the middle of it all, there’s this thing. This rusty, beautiful thing. We had no idea it was going to look like that, but it’s actually pretty good.
You mean the thing that you make together?
Yeah, and how it comes across inside the story, and the feelings it gives you, quite intangible things to even write down. The more voices that we have from those different angles, the more you understand what is this *thing* that we have?
I’d be excited to hear those different voices that maybe are opposing to my own views. To help challenge me and help me grow. Also, for me to be able to encourage other people, or to be encouraged by them or just by, “This person’s great, I need to be able to connect with them.”
The last question I have is, is there anything more you want to ask me, or anything more you want to tell me?
I haven’t had the time to see what you’ve been doing.