Mike

Beltzner’s moving on.

When someone leaves the Mozilla Corp, it’s tradition for them to send a note to our global alias saying so. Mike sent his late last week, and this was my reply.

Don’t you hate it when someone leaves and people start replying to all? Very spammy. Well listen here, folks: I’m the only other one here with “Director of Firefox” at the start of his business cards, I’m the other half of the travelling Canadian roadshow, and I’ve got something to say so I’ma say it, and you’re gonna read it and that’s just how that’s gonna go.

“Beltzner”. It’s a verb at Mozilla. If you’ve been here very long at all, you’ve heard it used. It means, roughly, to care when it’s not your job to. It means to persist in caring and worrying and trying to run every damned thing whether you should or not. That can be endearing or infuriating depending on where you sit, but that’s what it means.

What you may not realize is that this guy is actually *the* beltzner. He didn’t inherit that thing, he built it. It’s named after *him*. Crazy, right?

Look: We all build Firefox. Engineering, engagement, IT, legal – we are surrounded every day by rock stars, by an army of awesome, that make Mozilla and Firefox one of the most incredible forces for good on the internet. We are specialists in web development, in interface design, in community management, in finance; and not run of the mill specialists but top-tier, holy-crap magnificent wonders of nature. I know this, because right now we are running all of you specialists right to your limits to get Firefox 4 out the door, the biggest thing we’ve ever done on basically every axis. Mere mortals could not do what you all do every day.

And yet almost every one of us has learned something from beltzner. How is that even *possible*? At some point in your time at Mozilla, Mike has cared about your work more than he was supposed to, and brought his tireless energy to it and gotten really animated and spoken loudly or typed in all caps and at the end of it, you were better and your work was better even though *you’re* the expert and he’s just some guy who pronounces “house” wrong.

And now he’s leaving, and that kind of sucks but hands up if you believe, for a second, that he’ll disappear; that he’ll stop caring? Mike will do his next thing, and we’ll keep making the web a more awesome place. You best believe we are bringing some next-level awesome in 2011. But after the faster release cycle and the deeper community engagement and the bolder comms strategy and everything else we have on tap, the way we’ll really kick ass is by caring more than it is our job to care.

Now get back to work. Mike *hates* it when people get all distracted this close to a release.

Johnathan

2 comments

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by David Humphrey, J Nightingale. J Nightingale said: I blogged about @beltzner. http://t.co/L2wTDNd […]

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