Hacking Innovation: At WebFWD, Lean Startup Methodology Meets Open Source

WebFWD is Mozilla’s accelerator and incubator program for Open Innovation on the Web. It launched at the start of the summer, around the same time I joined Mozilla as a writer and wrangler of content, so I feel a personal stake in helping the program flourish and thrive.

In the lean and rapid style of development it advocates, WebFWD has been evolving and iterating since the moment it was announced: responding to feedback from Mozillians and the entrepreneurial community at large, and listening to the needs and dreams of interested participants. In the last couple months, WebFWD has grown to include a creative and influential network of technologists, mentors, friends, and partners, who share our vision and commitment to moving the Web forward.

Just last week, Pascal Finette, WebFWD’s Director, announced the first Fellows: CASH Music, a non-profit that’s building a free and open platform for musicians to promote, distribute,and sell their music, and the OpenPhoto Project, an open source photo hosting and sharing platform which gives users complete ownership and portability of their photos. He also announced three bonus projects that came in through a serendipitous partnership with Teens in Tech, via our “Friends of WebFWD” program.

Through Teens in Tech, we’ll be providing support to the young founders of Bubbls, a mobile app and website for young adults to share activities and plan events; Codulo.us, an online code editor that makes it easy to code on the go; and MySchoolHelp, a place where high school students can find and share notes from school.

Keep in mind that the big red Apply button is always open, you can be located anywhere in the world to participate, and admissions are rolling, so it’s always a good time to submit. Remember, we’re looking for ideas that use existing open standards and push for standards where they are missing, and products that are essentially “of the Web” – decentralized, interoperable, secure, privacy- and people-centric. Onward and FWD!