Saturday, June 21, 2014

Code Rush Documentary - Netscape / Mozilla / Silicon Valley Ups and Downs

As my son worked on file I/O in Python, I decided to watch Code Rush, a documentary that covers the amazing story of Netscape and its path to open source their core product Navigator as Mozilla.

The Code Rush story is filled with millionaires, epic stories of how people changed the world, intense human bonding, and an amazing legacy.  There was also a high human cost, with strained marriages and emotional suffering. 

The film resonated with me.  I feel that it accurately portrayed the hectic culture of the time, the belief in the Internet to radically change society, and the hope that open source with its implied philosophy of freedom and sharing was about to improve our lives. 
The documentary covers the time period from March 1998 to April 1999, a formative time in my life.  While the team at Netscape was changing the future of the Internet, I was on my own adventure.  During that time, I sold my Internet company, an online community in Tokyo, to PSINet, moved to Silicon Valley to kickstart the US office for Turbolinux, helped the CEO raise a ton of money, and most importantly and magically, had a child.

I started this blog to chronicle my childrens' progress to learn to program and to understand the culture of their home, Silicon Valley.  Part of what I hope to teach them is to find their own balance in a town filled with extremes.  If they are lucky, they will each have at least 10 jobs in their lives, ranging from a baker, a designer, a landscaper, therapist, a commercial fisherman, or even a programmer.  Technology could be an enabler in their future.  Or, they could never use it.

As you watch Code Rush, I encourage you to think about your own strategy to define your goals and find balance.  It's a wonderful window into the past that could help you plan your future.