As if the C|Net reverse acquimerger posts were not goading us enough, how we have posts arguing in favor of a Mozilla-Firefox IPO on Silicon Alley Insider. Forgetting the valuation question (because an ethical/moral argument should trump a financial one, anyway), Blodget dismisses the idea of a "public trust"
Yes, it's nice to have a free, high-quality tool that isn't plastered with ads or hooks into other products, but the idea that this is a "public trust" in the same vein as a National Park or Social Security is silly.
It's not silly. For a generation of hackers, nerds, techies, and wunderkind, profit motive, combined with the public financial market, has not necessarily been the organizing principle of choice. In fact, the mozilla position is in the spirit of the IETF and the original internet RFCs, UseNet, IANA, or today's Wikipedia.
Blodget scores when he says Mozilla has been "investing in user happiness" but if it happens to take a for-profit entity owned by a not-for-profit in order to make it all work, whose fault is that? Could it possibly be the mess created by the megacorporations of the world?
Maybe I'm being a little idealistic this morning because Obama won the Iowa caucuses, but I support Mozilla's position.