Last February 25th -28th, Barcelona hosted the Mobile World Congress. This event is the world’s largest exhibition for mobile operators, device manufacturers, technology providers, mobile content and vendors for mobile devices around the world. Mozilla was part of this event with Firefox OS, and 5 Mozilla Reps were invited: Arturo Martinez , Ruben Martín, Guillermo López, Ricardo Pontes and me, but we had other Rep: Marcia! who is part of the Mozilla staff and did an amazing job. As Mozilla Reps, we were representing the Mozilla community and of course, all Mozilla Reps.
It was not easy. Dan, a Mozilla employee, trained us and oriented us about how to make a Demo. Mozilla staff provided us with some documentation and we complemented that with what we knew about the project. Each one built an outline to be sure he/she wouldn’t forget important topics. Personally, I practised a lot: At home, on the flight and in the hotel (I was very nervous).
Once at our beautiful and fun stand, we started our exhibition and my nervousness morphed into energy and confidence. I started my exhibition totally sure that we would do a good job. We shared the space and resources with Mozilla staff, working together in different roles. Our main role as Reps was in the demo team, but we also gave interviews and had press recording us showing Demos.
At first, the hardest part was the language. I started talking slowly, making pauses to be sure that people were understanding me, and to be sure about my pronunciation. Sometimes I had to switch from English to Spanish because there were a lot of Spanish speakers. There was a moment (I twetet it) when I was very comfortable speaking English, and when I had to switch to Spanish it felt very strange.
We had several visitors: business people, mobile operators, manufacturers, developers (my favourite ones), press, even the Korean ambassador. In fact, America Móvil (Claro in South America) became interested in this project and joined us, In the end, our mobile operators group grew to 18 (Etisalat, VimpelCom, Telecom Italia, China Unicom, SingTel, Deutsche Telekom, KDDI, Hutchison Three Group, KT, MegaFon, Qtel, Smart, Sprint, Telstra, TMN and Telenor). But the manufacturers were not far behind, Sony joined the group and announced they will releases experimental Firefox OS ROM for their Xperia E. Our hard job had very good results! But I have to remark that our visitors were not only interested and very curious about Firefox OS, WRTC, apps and Marketplace, but also for this hat (Arturo’s hat). It was the attraction in our stand and everywhere Arturo moved.
We (Mozilla Reps) were invited to Michelle’s talk. She shared the panel with Ubuntu CEO and Jolla CEO. They talked about the web, open source, their business model, HTML5, innovation and how hard it is to be innovative. Mozilla Reps were in the first row, and we had the opportunity to hear about Mozilla’s perspective about Firefox OS and the way that Mozilla wants to build an ecosystem with people, standards, tools, innovation and participation in order to guide the web as an additional path to human development. It was a very interesting talk.
What I liked most was that Mozilla showed their innovative ideas and the people who are the backbone of this project: Operators, staff and a big community. Mozilla showed that it is possible to have a successful idea based on the open source model and oriented to people. A lot of companies used models (girls and men) to show their projects and products but Mozilla used their skilful people, employees and community working together like all Mozilla projects.