From a completely outside, know-nothing perspective, having 300 full-time people work on this sounds like it may have been way too much. It sounds like the project built up a lot of animosity inside Mozilla because the cost of it was preventing other things being done, which eventually manifested in that really hard purge of all BtG related code at the end. Maybe a smaller wage bill could have given them more runway before Mozilla had to pull the plug?
I get that implementing a modern phone OS with all the tickbox features to match Android or iOS is going to take several person-centuries of effort… but that’s precisely why smartphone OSes are viewed as a market with a high barrier to entry! It’s probably best to refrain from boiling oceans unless you’re already Microsoft or Google.
Maybe having a small team instead of a big one could’ve provided more focus and in particular a politically viable excuse to say “no” to a lot of feature tickboxing too? Where Ben Francis shows us a photo of the team that worked on the Haida prototype it’s less than ten people. That’s more like a team size where you can actually have a shared vision of something different enough to be interesting.
The part about Li Gong breaking off to try to make Acadine Technologies feels familiar enough to be an archetypical tale. To me it sounded like a relatively good startup idea. The funding didn’t actually work out in the end, but that may well have just been bad luck.
Quite a lot of tech industry stories share the punchline, “be wary of going in on business ventures with millionaires: they have WAY higher risk tolerance than you.”
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The devices sold where outdated, insecure—dangerous, really—right after delivery
To be fair, isn’t this true for most Android devices on the market too? :(
If you’re not using a Nexus, you’re probably not getting timely firmware updates. :(