O’Reilly’s 3rd pattern is entitled “Innovation in Assembly”, and what is meant by this is the web is no longer viewed as large blocks of information presented as a single (or multiple) web page(s). But rather as small streams of information that can be mixed together and reused to form alternate perspectives and even newer sources of information. The theory being

that if you publish the information from your website in small manageable streams, others can utilise these and apply them in newer and (ideally) more innovative ways.

Both Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox can be seen as the foundations of these platforms providing the functionality for platforms such as Amazon and EBay but are in fact themselves a platform. They both have an “Extensions” or “Addons” (respectively) concept which is a marketplace where third party developers have access to their APIs and have the (relative) freedom to create just about anything they want. Both are using multiple standard formats such as xml and RSS and both have made a sincere and sizeable effort to create a user community by providing support infrastructure complete with forums and gangloads of documentation. It’s not surprising either that their extensions/addons business models aren’t too dissimilar, are built on their core strengths and obviously utilise web 2.0 to support themselves.


Whilst both being at the frontier of web 2.0, and both having a very similar attitude towards 3rd party developers, the two organisations couldn’t be much further apart. Mozilla prides itself on being a non-profit organisation and Google is a 800USD+ per share multinational corporation that according to some need to do something about their “Horrible Public Image”.  It is therefore quite shocking to learn that Mozilla is fundamentally kept alive by Google.

So it is quite clear that both Chrome and Firefox are innovators in assembly and both provide a foundation for further development well into the future. What’s your current choice of browser and has this altered your perceptions of either?


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About andrewdcook

Project Manager/Animator/Beer Snob

4 responses to “Foundations”

  1. Janine Lardner says :

    Hi Andrew

    My choice of browser is Safari as it is the default browser for Apple and mobile devices…and I’m almost ashamed to say I like the convenience.
    If Mozilla prides itself on being a non-profit organisation and has the capability to provide value to it’s user community & (as you say) is competitive to Google Chrome – why are they giving up on the IOS and Mobile market? I recently read that they pulled their 3rd party browser from Apple’s AppStore late last year. The excuse seems to be one about integrity coupled with another excuse ‘we can’t’ develop what we want on the IOS platform. Do you think this ego-centrism will limit their ability to continue being recognised as an innovator in assembly in the future?

  2. PrapatW says :

    Hi Andrew

    Chrome and Firefox are both my favorite browsers and they come with lots of useful add-ons/extensions that are very useful. Chrome is also becoming an OS which is interesting because Chrome app store has provide us lots of things. Also together with Google drive and Gmail , there are enough tools for us to use. I think will will have a lot more add-ons/extensions to play with in the future since API allow people to contribute their creativity.

    Prapat W.

  3. bronwynsc says :

    Hey Andrew, loved your post about “Foundations”. It was interesting that you finished by saying Mozilla is fundamentally kept alive by Google – talk about Foundations and who relies on whom! I think this is a core issue of ‘innovation in assembly’ > “who you rely on”….because it fundamentally impacts your business model. Do you think this is the case for Mozilla?

    • andrewdcook says :

      Hi Bronwynn,
      That’s some wonderful insight that i wish i could say had been my original intention, but yes, now that you point it out that’s exactly what i think the case is for Mozilla. Without the Google as the default search engine i can’t help but think that Mozilla’s adoption rate would have struggled greatly. And i’m hardly a Google’s greatest fan boy 🙂

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