Mozilla Project ready for rough economic times

The Mozilla Foundation has posted its 2007 financial statements and tax forms, and Mitchell Baker points out that Mozilla's revenue is up over 2006, and things look good for the future as well, even in a lousy financial market. But Mozilla's finances aren't the only part of Mozilla's picture that's healthy.

The Mozilla Foundation has posted its 2007 financial statements and tax forms, and Mitchell Baker points out that Mozilla's revenue is up over 2006, and things look good for the future as well, even in a lousy financial market. But Mozilla's finances aren't the only part of Mozilla's picture that's healthy.

Chris Blizzard notes that the project's other metrics are healthy as well. About 40% of Mozilla's code is contributed by non-employees. Firefox 2 supported 36 languages. Firefox 3.1 will support about 50. The number of estimated users has jumped from 27.9 million in 2006 to 48.9 million in 2007. Any company would be thrilled with that kind of growth -- that an open source project can manage it points to amazing leadership and a very compelling project.

But you want to know about the money, too, right? The Mozilla Foundation posted revenues of $75 million for 2007 (up from $67 million in 2006), and Baker says that the agreement between Google and Mozilla -- where most of Moz's cash comes from -- has been renewed until 2011. (No mention of Chrome and how it might affect the picture, long term.)

The Foundation spent $33 million in 2007, and about 80% of that money funds about 150 people full and part-time around the world. Even though the economy isn't doing so well, Baker says that the project is prepared for lean times:

We’ve been building in the ability to live with greatly reduced revenue for years. We have a significant amount of retained earnings. We don’t currently anticipate dipping into that fund in the immediate future. We believe our revenues for the near term future will be adequate to fund ongoing work. If the economic setting further worsens, we do have retained earnings to carry us through some difficult times.

By any measure, Mozilla has been a very successful project. Good to know that Firefox and the Mozilla project are going to be with us for a long while to come.