#016 - How Microsoft Felt Threatened by a Small Innovative Browser Company /w Jón S. von Tetzchner

Show Notes

Episode Contents

In this episode, I talk to industry legend Jon von Tetzchner about what it takes to compete in crowded markets. And we also explore how Microsoft felt threatened in its market dominance by his browser company and ultimately resorted to unethical business practices.

Here are some of the topics we cover in this interview:

  • Why Microsoft became afraid of a small Norwegian browser startup that challenged its market dominance and resorted to unethical business practices,
  • How Opera mobile was able to capture almost 80% market share,
  • What made the Opera and now the Vivaldi browser so unique,
  • The way Opera experimented with new business models,
  • How a company can continue to add innovative features to its product without killing the usability or turning it into a product that nobody wants to use,
  • How to create and foster high-performing teams,
  • Why almost all browsers can be traced back to a single origin,
  • How, despite the seemingly endless browsers out there today, there‘s actually very little choice and competition for end-users,
  • Why browsers are some of the most complex pieces of software out there.

 

Links & Resources Mentioned

 

Links Mentioned

 

Articles Mentioned

 

Companies Mentioned

 

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David C. Luna:  LinkedIn | XING |

Jon S. von Tetzchner: Wikipedia | LinkedIn | Twitter | Company Website |

Episode Transcript - Click to Expand

Note: This transcript of the episode was machine-generated and has not been edited for correctness. It’s provided for your convenience when searching. Please excuse any errors.

 

Guest (Jón von Tetzchner) 00:00:00 I mean, basically, yes, Microsoft was concerned about us. They even mentioned us in their SEC filings in the US, obviously they're used to small companies taking off and they looked at our technology and they could see we had some really good technology and they utilized their position to try to hold us back. I mean, I mentioned what was happening on the mobile side, which was absurd. But we had a number of different other cases where we were working with companies and suddenly everything fell apart because of threats from Microsoft to their businesses. I mean, that was something that happened multiple times.

Host (David C. Luna) 00:01:10 Welcome back to another episode of the Innovational Correctness podcast and today's episode. I talked to industry legend Jon von Shatner about what it takes to compete in crowded markets where the big players such as Microsoft will resort to unethical business practices in order to win. Jon is the co-founder and CEO of Vivaldi Technologies, and before starting Vivaldi and its Web browser, he was also the co-founder and former CEO of Opera Software. Here are some of the things that we'll cover in this interview. Why Microsoft became afraid of a small Norwegian browser startup that challenged its market dominance and resorted to unethical business practices. How Opera Mobile was able to capture almost 80 percent market share. What made opera and now Vivaldi browser so unique and different from the other browsers are on the market the way opera experimented with new business models. How a company can continue to add innovative features to its product without killing the usability or turning it into a Frankenstein product that nobody wants to use. How to create and foster high performing teams. Why almost all browsers can be traced back to a single origin. How, despite the seemingly endless browsers out there, there's actually very little choice and competition for end users. And finally, why browsers are some of the most complex pieces of software out there today. Without further ado, let's call me John. So welcome to the podcast, John. Thank you. Do you want to briefly introduce yourself to your listeners and explain who you are and what you do?

Guest (Jón von Tetzchner) 00:02:52 Yeah, my name is Jon Tetzchner. I build browsers. I've been doing that as far back as 1994, first with opera and now with the Waldy.

Host (David C. Luna) 00:03:02 Wow. That's a long time for being involved in Browsr development. So if we go back, say, 20 years, there were already a few browsers that were very dominant. We had Internet Explorer, of course, and Firefox was just on the rise. So how did this idea come to be to build a browser or why did you think there was room for another browser? Can you kind of briefly elaborate on that?

Guest (Jón von Tetzchner) 00:03:28 Well, I mean, if we go all the way back, we can go back to 1992.

Guest (Jón von Tetzchner) 00:03:33 It's 1992. We're a research group at the Norwegian Telecommunication Company. And we are looking at interesting technologies and we come across the World Wide Web. This is very early. So we set up the first Norwegian server, which is one of the first 100 in the world, and we start playing with various technologies. We were doing kind of we are building an intranet. Before the term existed, we were building some such technology is we were able to get content from different sources and displayed in different ways. I actually spent a fair amount of time building tools to to convert documents from tools like frame to HTML framework, a being a widely used at the time wordprocessor in research laboratories and the like. And then we were thinking, OK, let's build a browser. And I mean, there were big companies building browsers at the time, like IBM, Oracle, Symantec, Apple and the like. But our thinking was, hey, we can do this. And just before building the browser, we had actually built a word processor. So it's not like that. I mean, we had OK, we had the knowledge to do this and and we decided, OK, we'll build a browser, we'll build it from scratch. And we believe we could make something that would be differentiating.

Host (David C. Luna) 00:04:48 Oh, wow. So we really started in the early ages of the Internet, so to speak.

Guest (Jón von Tetzchner) 00:04:53 Yeah, very early. I mean, at this time, I mean, Microsoft wasn't there. There was the big player with Mosaic. And actually, interestingly, in our research group, the group was divided whether we could compete with music because music was the kind of the leading browser player. And eventually we came to the conclusion that we would yes, we could have. We decided to build a browser as a research project. And I mean, later on, you would see Microsoft entering the market. And obviously Netscape I mean, it was starting probably about the same time as we were. But the difference being Netscape came, went public and disappeared before we as a small company had our first fundraising.

Host (David C. Luna) 00:05:33 So that begs the question, what made you guys survive for Netscape disappear and music to become the dominant player or one of the dominant players?

Guest (Jón von Tetzchner) 00:05:43 Well, I mean, most I kind of got replaced by Netscape and Internet Explorer and a lot of others have the most like team. Some of the leading players that went on to found Netscape. And then Motsyk was licensed to companies like Microsoft. So most all browsers can be traced back to to these browsers, right. To to Netscape, to Mussi and then to another one, which kind of it's called HTML. So there's not really all that many browsers that have been built from scratch, but we did that and that was unique and and I mean, obviously some significant competition. Now, I think the difference between us and Netscape is Netscape built a huge business and then Microsoft kilton, while in our case we were still kind of small players, there was a few of us. We didn't really have any money. So we were basically just building on our own. So from that perspective, you were able to continue growing as a company through a period where kind of you would see Netscape kind of come and go in a very short period of time.

Host (David C. Luna) 00:06:46 So would it be correct to assume that a few companies back in the day like yourselves, paved and pioneered the way and then large companies from other industries like Microsoft then came in and reap the benefits by, say, buying out these smaller companies?

Guest (Jón von Tetzchner) 00:07:03 I mean, in some ways you can say that. I mean, clearly, I think the big thing that happened in the rather early phases is, I mean, first there was music and then there was Netscape and then Microsoft entered the market. And I think that basically made most of the big companies and small companies give up. It was very difficult to compete. Microsoft basically stopped all distribution potential and and obviously they took away the potential to make money from the browser by licensing. They included it with Windows. They they stopped you from being able to get any kind of distribution deals. And I mean, there was a massive. Later, with Netscape suing and Microsoft paying a pretty significant amount of money to Netscape then being part of American online, so so I mean, clearly it was a very difficult space to compete. And alas, most most everyone gave up.

Host (David C. Luna) 00:07:58 And why do you think Opera and now the valde is still around and others just disappeared? Why do you think that is?

Guest (Jón von Tetzchner) 00:08:06 Well, I think I mean, the others I think they just looked, hey, there is Microsoft there. They include the browser with the operating system. There's no way to to to make money here. And they basically gave up. Now, in our case, we were just a few people and we had done things differently. I mean, most everyone else built on the same source code using the original Mausi code. We didn't do that. We built it from scratch. And our code was really good. I mean, we built a quality piece of code that could run on almost anything. And I think particularly when it comes to new markets like mobiles, and they're like we had a unique position that we could actually take our code and we could have it run on just about anything. And yeah.

Host (David C. Luna) 00:08:51 Yeah. And if my memory serves me correctly, then Opera Mobile had a huge market share and was installed on every Nokia and other flip phone. Now obviously we have a different ecosystem today, but maybe you can explain to the listeners who've never encountered opera mobile what made it so unique and different from the other browsers.

Guest (Jón von Tetzchner) 00:09:11 I mean, there's a number of things. And I think in a way, it started with our philosophy and our philosophy was to adapt to the needs of the users. And we would adopt in kind of based on the requirements of individuals, but also on the platforms they were running and the like. And I mean, we decided to make the code from scratch and fairly quickly there was requirements. OK, can you have it run on very limited hardware? And so we made it run on older computers, which was a benefit also to again, if people had older computers and they would be able to run opera. And then when we started working on mobile phones, we actually made the code so that it actually was memory safe so you could run it on phones with almost no memory and all the kinds of devices. I mean, Opera was a leading vendor on mobile in the world. We were actually leading in all the spaces as well, televisions, game consoles. We were on game consoles like the Nintendo DS and the Nintendo Wii. As an example. We we were included with the various set top boxes, kind of I mean, the point was at the time, typically the mostly the mobile browsers that were being distributed there were very limited. They they were made particularly for mobile. They would show mobile content like VoIP, which most people, I guess, lucky you don't have to remember, while we were actually providing a full browser and I mean, gradually we we made a different solution called Opera Mini, which was made to run on the smallest of the phones in particular, but was very popular also even on smartphones. The point being that we dealt with the issue that some of the phones couldn't handle huge pagers. And also you were maybe on slow networks. So we basically ran opera on the server side and we would then compress, send the compressed version of the pages over to the mobile phones, which meant that you could browse the web on very slow network, on very limited phones, and you would actually have a pretty decent browser browsing experience. So this was something that make this really unique. And I think I mean, in certain markets, we totally dominated. We had like 80 percent market share in places like Africa, India. But we also had, I mean, significant parts of Europe. We had very significant market share. So this is kind of the mobile became very, very unique. But even on the back side, we prided ourselves in having more functionality, prided ourselves in adapting to the user needs, whatever those might be. And instead of saying kind of which is typical now, which is kind of my way or the highway, I make great design. You like it? I guess our feeling is, OK, we all have different opinions on what is great design and how we'd like to have things work. And we are adaptable to those needs. And I think that's kind of what's unique with opera and what's been unique with Vivaldi as well.

Host (David C. Luna) 00:12:06 Interesting. So that would lead me to my next question then. So if the mobile operating system market was so huge and you guys had such a huge market share, why didn't Microsoft enter that market or did they and they were just fast asleep at the wheel, or was it not their focus at that time? Because that would have been a huge asset. Nowadays, if you have that many users and could then potentially up sell them with other services, or why didn't Microsoft enter the market or did they and they just didn't succeed.

Guest (Jón von Tetzchner) 00:12:38 I mean, more the latter because I mean. They were trying in particular, they were trying to make their own mobile operating systems and they were not really succeeding that well with them. I mean, we actually delivered opera on quite a lot of mobile phones running the Microsoft Windows operating system. But I mean, these phones really didn't take that much off. And and Microsoft, I mean, they were fighting with us. It's an absurd situation because we delivered our browser, which was recognized as being great. They had a terrible browser. They would still try to stop vendors from distributing our browser and distribute theirs instead. Now, most of them, they would go with us anyway. But it's an absurd situation where they would be competing with a player like us. I mean, the browser just wasn't very good. I mean, it is really that simple. The browser wasn't good. And I guess their focus was on selling the operating system and their solution wasn't that great either.

Host (David C. Luna) 00:13:33 Yeah, I believe in 2004, an inernational software company even settled a lawsuit with an international corporation paying over 12 million U.S. dollars to operate. And back then, it was actually speculated that this international corporation named in that statement announcing the settlement was Microsoft, which actually, you know, previously blocked these opera users from directly or correctly viewing the Amazon.com website. Can you comment at all on this and this lawsuit? And in particular, I would want to know if Microsoft actually felt threatened by this much smaller company called Opera and what made them sink so low and if they really felt threatened by a small company that just produced a much better product?

Guest (Jón von Tetzchner) 00:14:22 I mean, I can't comment on on the payout. I mean, obviously, there was a payout and I can't comment where we got that money from. But I can comment that I mean, basically, yes, Microsoft was concerned about us. They even mentioned this in their SEC filings. I mean, I think there is in the U.S., obviously, they're used to small companies taking off and they looked at our technology and they could see we had some really good technology and they utilized their position to try to hold us back. I mean, I mentioned what was happening on the mobile side, which was absurd. But we had a number of different other cases where we were working with companies and suddenly everything fell apart because of threats from Microsoft to their businesses. I mean, that was something that happened multiple times. Yeah, I mean, that's that's the world that we we were living in then. And in some ways that we are living in today with Uvalda, we are competing with big companies and and these big companies, they have positions and they have power and they utilize the power of their power, whether it's unethical or kind of even legal at times. That's kind of how it works.

Host (David C. Luna) 00:15:29 Well, that's definitely an interesting story. And I would believe that most people would root for the underdog and that case opera against the Goliath. Microsoft, if I go back, say, 20 years, when I was in university, I believe I first encountered opera through a computer magazine that I picked up and it said Opera five, I believe it was at the time. It was like 2000, 2001, something like that, and said the fastest browser in the world, try it out. I'm like, OK, that's a bold claim. And I installed it, tried it out and I got this pretty snappy, but never replaced my main browser, which was Internet Explorer. And yes, I'm kind of ashamed to admit it. But then a few years passed and I started my first job at a software and consulting company and then never really liked Firefox four for whatever reason, and then installed uprighted. Ever since I've used up right now, I switched a few years back to Vivaldi. So here's my question. So back in the days you offered the opera browser with an ad sponsored version with an additional paid option. So back then we called it elsewhere where why did you choose that business model where as other browser companies were going different ways of providing their browser for free?

Guest (Jón von Tetzchner) 00:16:46 Well, I mean, we went through multiple steps, to be frank. And I mean, when we started, you have to remember when we started with opera, then actually here was a concept. So we started with that. So we started with providing the browser so you could try it out for like 30 days. And then if you wanted to continue using it, you would pay like thirty dollars. So that's that's our initial point. And then we we had to deal with Veasley, everyone else gradually being free and that model kind of going away. But we didn't really have another working model. So we tried basically this ad model put in a little banner in the browser and we tried that for a little while. Actually, that works fairly well for us because now we had a free version. So people download the free version and then they would buy the ads. Never really made us any money, to be frank, but it meant that instead. Of sayings here where it said free and then we decided to to to go all the way and remove the ads and just be free and went for another business model. So we've gone through the motions. Now, this is on the PC side, on the on the mobile side, we also went through the motions of different business models with licensing, with service, with Opera Mini, which was a client server solution that was kind of a service that we got paid monthly fees by the operators. And then in a way, we went for the free model in the end, where we basically make money from mostly through search partnerships, but also through some partnerships with like where we put in a bookmark that you might find useful. And if you use that, we get the revenue share. So we've gone through the different models. I mean, we had to make money one way or another and we didn't have an operating system behind us or or other things to pay pay the bills. So again, we gradually change the business models. Once we found new ones to work, that would work. And I really like the model where we can give everything away for free and we can still make enough money without doing anything silly or bad.

Host (David C. Luna) 00:18:52 Do you think anything on the model has changed today, that maybe you're able to charge something for a browser looking at maybe a different app stores on various platforms? Do you think a paid model would work better today?

Guest (Jón von Tetzchner) 00:19:07 I kind of like the free model because if you did the paid model, then you would typically have a free version and then you would have a kind of a paid version that would cost more. The fact is, we can provide everything for free. We can do that in a way that if we get enough users and it's fine. So I don't really see any reason to complicate things one way or another. We don't make a lot of money per user, but as long as we are making enough, then it's fine.

Host (David C. Luna) 00:19:32 There are also other ways to monetize free software. I remember where you would install a certain piece of software and then it would come preselect during the installation phase with a few options. Do you want to install the search bar, these bookmarks or whatever, and would be selected by default and then you would install it and then once you would open your browser, it would be a horrendous experience and it was almost like spyware or malware to try to get off that that software that was preinstalled. So why didn't you choose that route?

Guest (Jón von Tetzchner) 00:20:04 Well, I mean, it's a question of doing I mean, in some ways we've always been thinking about doing the right thing. Right. So obviously, as a browser maker, I mean, we were the first one to include search in the browser. Right. That's a feature for the end user. So I think that's that's a good thing. And that's what users have liked. And I think that's why every other browser has done the same thing. They've they've provided ways to search easily. And that's our business model for all the different browsers. But the concept of installing other applications during the install or changing your systems, I mean, that's unethical.

Host (David C. Luna) 00:20:44 Okay, so so you're not just looking at profit. You're looking to do the right thing and make profit, but in an ethical way.

Guest (Jón von Tetzchner) 00:20:50 Yes, we did this at Opera and I think I mean involved even even more, if anything, because we don't have any investors. We don't have anyone pushing us in any any direction. And I would say I mean, during my time at Opera, we we also we never did anything that we couldn't look in the mirror and say, that's OK. What we're doing here is OK. And I think that's that's how we like to keep it.

Guest (Jón von Tetzchner) 00:21:15 I mean, I think it's important that you have companies that have values that focus on doing the right for the users. And that's what we did at operand. And that's what we are doing. It really we've driven at both companies by providing software that adapts to the needs of end users. And that's kind of the goal. And I mean, at Vivaldi, we have this motto of I mean, we are building a browser for our friends. And that kind of fits with, OK, you you don't want to do bad things to your friends, right? You don't spy on your friends. You you you don't kind of trick them. You just provide the best possible software you can.

Host (David C. Luna) 00:21:54 Now, I'm sure there's a few listeners out there that might think, well, you can only do this if you're not a public company or you're a small company. But as soon as you get large, have investors or something along the lines of that, that it's only possible if you're if you're small and not public, what would you tell these people?

Guest (Jón von Tetzchner) 00:22:11 Well, what I can say is that operatively during my time there, we followed the straight and narrow ride. That's even after we went public. So I think it's possible. I think there's a it's sad that the assumption is that every company that grows big needs to become unethical. I don't think that's an automatic. And and I think I mean, that's kind of the principles that we as the company followed during my time at opera. And what we followed that.

Guest (Jón von Tetzchner) 00:22:39 Vivaldi, which is to do the right thing now, that being said, we don't have any investors in Vivaldi, and the point of that is to avoid a situation where the company can be swayed to go in a different direction, because as soon as you get investors in, there is always the risk that you get bad investors. And at Vivaldi, given that kind of the only funding to the company comes from me, we have control. I mean, all the all the employees are investors, but the only external funding is coming from me. And by doing it that way, we can we can keep the company, keep the company good.

Host (David C. Luna) 00:23:13 Yeah, I believe that's the right approach and philosophy to take. I always tell young startups that they should keep investors out as long as they can and try to bootstrap their startup, because as soon as you get investors and equity in place, then you'll also have potentially interests that might not align with your vision and you'll have to have or do compromises. So in the mid 2000s, you were very successful and you even went a step further. And I believe I read an article which I'll link in the show notes, is that on April 2005, you stated in a meeting at Opera Software that if the new version eight at the time reached one million downloads within the next four days, you would swim across the Atlantic Ocean from Norway all the way to the United States. And fortunately or unfortunately for you, two days later, the downloads reached over one million and you had to follow through with your challenge, but then quickly failed. Can you briefly tell the listeners what made you made that bold claim and make that challenge in the first place?

Guest (Jón von Tetzchner) 00:24:22 Initially, this was kind of an internal thing. And then there was one of the PR guys that decided to go out with it. And then I was stuck. I had to go swimming. And by the way, the PR guy, he had to go with me. It's all his fault. So he joined me in a little raft and he was going to basically ensure that we would go in the right direction. So I started swimming there in April, quite cold in the water in Oslo. I can tell you about that. Tell you that. But I mean, I started swimming and then there was a technical problem with the with a boat. There was a hole and my guide couldn't swim. So I had to kind of abort the mission to save his life. So it was really tough, but it was really hard to let go and start again. So I'm sorry about that.

Host (David C. Luna) 00:25:04 But but it was it was a fun, fun adventure. So for the greater good, you saved someone's life.

Host (David C. Luna) 00:25:11 So to kind of switch gears, you grew up from a startup to a global company with over 900 employees at the peak in 13 countries. Do you want to share some of the learnings and mistakes you made along the way with listeners?

Guest (Jón von Tetzchner) 00:25:26 Well, I think I mean, for me, it was learning on the job every day. I mean, you have to remember, I mean, I'm I'm a geek. I'm a computer scientist. And I mean, the two of us had founded the company was my senior, but he didn't want to run the company. So I ended up doing it. So I was learning every day and building a company with really talented people. And I think I was really lucky, starting with Dave, to have really talented people with me. And then once we grew, we we added more talented people to the group. And and I think I mean, I always believed had to think better than I had. I mean, the philosophy of a kind of I mean, again, on the product side, we adapt to the needs of the users. On the company side, we we have a structure which is flat and kind of where voices are heard. And as you grow the company, the point of focus is to how do you make sure that everyone's voice is heard and how do you make sure that everyone can contribute in the best possible way. And I think we managed to do that. And obviously we built to to the needs. We got a lot of users. We got a lot of deals as a company. I mean, opera at its peak, 350 million users a month, active users. And that kind of what we were counting, not the distribution because distribution was much higher than that. And obviously we are doing deals with companies like Nokia and Motorola and Ericsson and Nintendo and Sony and Samsung and LG and kind of a long list of companies that we were working with. And I mean, the operators, Deutsche Telekom and AT&T and T-Mobile and basically we adopted there was always it's interesting because I guess in the company, people would say, hey, we can't handle this kind of complexity as it grows. But because we managed we were doing with a fairly small team, we were doing 100 pallot parallel deliveries at any one time, and we were able to do that. And with one code base, which tells you we had a really good code base and a really good team of people. So we would take the same code and we would run it on mobile phones and and PCs and and I mean, we would be in airplanes and gaming consoles and refrigerators and whatever else, I mean. We were able to do that because of a team that worked together at solving the problems and they would come up with solutions whenever they would say, OK, this is not going to scale, they would fix it. The team would come up with solutions. It wouldn't be this individual. I mean, obviously, there would always be individuals coming up with solutions when it comes down to it. But it wasn't kind of centrally managed from the perspective of kind of individuals were coming up with, OK, this is not going to scale. We need to come up with a solution. Then a few of them would work together and find solutions to make it work. And I think in a way, that's how we manage to do it. A lot of complexity. And obviously, I mean, you can always look at should we have done this or that differently? There's always questions about that. But overall, I think what we managed to do was quite a lot with a fairly small organization.

Host (David C. Luna) 00:28:24 And what do you think are the success factors or things that we have to have in place in order to create such high performing teams or create such an environment and culture? Maybe there are some CEOs out there that are listening and say, OK, I want the same high performing teams like John has. How do I create such an environment?

Guest (Jón von Tetzchner) 00:28:46 Well, I think a lot of what we are focusing on and what we focus on is how do we make the team I mean, the work as well together as possible. And that's by lifting and letting everyone kind of reach their potential. I think if you're treating your company like a factory, which sadly a lot of people are doing there may be saying, OK, I can outsource this and that, they will typically want to outsource, for example, devlopment. That's quite typical. Well, in our case and I think that's something that you find out when you're doing development, there's a lot of difference, B, between how effective you can be. There's a difference between how effective the programs are, but there's also then how effective the organizational structure is. And I think in our case, we had a very effective organizational structure and people would be kind of working together closely. And instead of kind of just someone saying, you should do this, you should do that, everyone is thinking about how do we do it? Right. And that allows you to work much more efficiently.

Host (David C. Luna) 00:29:45 So you essentially have a team that is able to experiment and make mistakes but also gets hurt. Did I summed it up correctly?

Guest (Jón von Tetzchner) 00:29:55 Yeah, I think there's yes. But I also think I mean, I've seen so many I've talked to so many companies where they have OK, they have a management and the management tells, let's say, the developers what to do. And I mean, that only takes you that far. You want everyone to be working together. And what you mentioned there of allowing mistakes, I think that's important as well. I think basically experimenting, trying new things. Obviously, sometimes you'll make mistakes then, but that's fine. I think quite a lot in organizations, you take away the ability to experiment you.

Guest (Jón von Tetzchner) 00:30:28 You make people afraid of making mistakes and then you don't try out anything. And then obviously you may not fail, but you fail by not doing more than what you're doing. And in our case, there's this principle of how to think better than I had. And you can have people come with ideas and they have the flexibility to come up with those ideas. And and I mean, we have a principle that when in doubt make it an option, which means, OK, you can make things that you think this is the right way. Well, I don't think it's the right way, but let's make it an option anyway. So those kind of decisions where there isn't a correct answer, there's just opinions.

Host (David C. Luna) 00:31:07 Yeah. That just reminded me of Jeff Bezos principle of multiple paths to. Yes. So essentially what he where he says is that if an employee comes to him and says, I have this great idea, ABC, indeed, what do you think? And he might not agree that that's a good idea, but then the employee can go to another senior executive and ask for a sponsorship. And if one of these executives says yes, then he's able to pursue his ideas with sponsorships. So there's multiple paths to yes. I think essentially it comes down to if you have a positive view of humans and your employees or not. Now, every employee is not going to set out and say, hey, I want to make mistakes, but humans in general will do more right than wrong. But in no case should we as leaders intervene as long as there is no great threat at play. So we should allow these employees to experiment and come up with crazy ideas. Or as the old quote from Nelson Mandela goes, either we win or we learn.

Guest (Jón von Tetzchner) 00:32:13 And I think also I mean, another unique thing that we have at we all had at opera is the community. And we worked really closely with the community. We we have volunteers that help us test to help us translate. They give us feedback.

Guest (Jón von Tetzchner) 00:32:30 Some of those they get very, very early versions of our software. And the benefit of that is that we are getting continuous feedback. What we're doing, so instead of just you're you're sitting in the corner, you're coming up with an idea, you're implementing it, then you're launching it, our normal way of work is we're constantly getting feedback both internally and from from these volunteers. That's unique. And I mean, a number of these volunteers, I mean, they help. It's really, really a lot there. Some of them spent quite a lot of time helping us. And again, these are people with this very with a wealth of knowledge which bring very useful feedback for us. And they help us provide much better software. So we'll test things out. I mean, typically when we are doing releases, will these volunteers, they will be the first to test it. Then we'll send it out like snapshots and then we'll get feedback from those. And then gradually it will improve until everyone is happy. And I think it's a unique way of working. I think, again, the big companies, they'll be the way they'll get feedback is collecting usage statistics. So they're monitoring what their users are doing, which personally, I'm not a fan of collecting that kind of information. I would rather just get it from the users and they tell us what they want instead of monitoring. Again, it's a different way of of working with your user base. And I think what we're doing there is is it's the right way and it's the way that we prefer to do things.

Host (David C. Luna) 00:34:06 It's funny that you just mentioned being very user centric or close to the user or a customer. I remember when when Google first started and they were becoming a large search engine. That's one of the big proponents. Marissa Mayer. She was the former CEO of Yahoo! That's when when she left Google, that she would be very, very KPI driven. So anything that would be potentially changed on the start page of Google would have to be backed up by KPIs and statistics before anything would actually be changed. Yeah, and I see, unfortunately, too many companies that have a multi-stage supply chain. So basically, if you're producing a certain good and have multiple subsidiaries and those subsidiaries, again, have multiple vendors and retailers and things like that, that will ultimately lead a lot of these companies to be out of touch with the actual end user of your product. So oftentimes these companies will not really know how those products are actually used and why they're used in a certain way. So they essentially lose touch of the actual jobs to be done. And that's so critical nowadays because you miss a lot of these opportunities. And the fact that you were using this philosophy, for lack of a better word very early on, just speaks volumes to how good your company was managed. And the other issue is, you know, a lot of companies use vanity metrics. You know, the the king among them is revenue. You can make three billion dollars in revenue, but that means nothing because it doesn't tell you if you made a loss or not.

Guest (Jón von Tetzchner) 00:35:53 There's also I mean, when you're looking at these statistics, you end up with kind of a lowest common denominator, kind of you try to optimize for a group of people that doesn't exist because you're looking at statistics. But we're talking about individuals and individuals have different opinions. So there isn't one correct way to do software. There is a correct way for me. There's a correct way for you with a correct way for any person. That's kind of what we've been finding is that people have different opinions on how their software should look, how it should function.

Guest (Jón von Tetzchner) 00:36:24 Some people prefer to use keyboard shortcuts. Other people like to use mouse gestures. Some people like to have their tops on the left or right side instead of at the top, or they like to hide the Tabbaa. So there's all these different opinions on how things should be done. And we do not believe that it's our decision on how all of this should work.

Guest (Jón von Tetzchner) 00:36:45 It's it's we provide the flexibility to the users. And again, some of those users that we're working with, those volunteers, they have a lot of demands, a lot of details that like exactly their way. And we do whatever we can to provide the flexibility in the application so they can get it exactly how they wanted to work. And again, with something like a browser, you are spending so much time with your browser. Many of us are doing hours a day in front of the browser. So having a tool that can kind of grow with your needs is kind of a natural progression.

Host (David C. Luna) 00:37:20 Yeah, absolutely. So if we fast forward to the year 2011, all was going well and then you suddenly left up software. Can you elaborate why that was and why you left opera?

Guest (Jón von Tetzchner) 00:37:34 Yeah, I think in a way, I mean, you mentioned and again, there's a. Reason why we don't have any investors in Vivaldi when we went public, I mean, we had some investors in the company, we got some victims in, we got them quite late in the company's history. But around 2000, we got a couple of weeks in. And when we went public in 2004, kind of. And that was kind of the promise that I made to the investors. So we provided with an exit, which was to go public and one of the VC sold their shares like the we are supposed to do the other one. The owners of the fund had different opinions and some of them wanted to stay inside the company. And suddenly we had investors that were in the company that had a different opinion on how the company should be run.

Guest (Jón von Tetzchner) 00:38:20 They wanted to sell the company and that was what we were dealing with. So for very many years, I mean, for a period of six years, we had a continuous fight with a subset of the investors because they wanted us to sell the company. And I think at some stage and this is 2010, this was getting tiring. And I guess my thinking was if I step aside, maybe the company will not have to do fights in two places at the same time, both with the investors and competition. So again, the company was in really good shape. We were profitable. We had plenty of money in the bank, but I decided that I would stop the fight and step aside. I guess from that time they were trying to sell the company and I mean, it took them six years to do so. But that's kind of kind of what happened there. And I mean it again, it shows the difficulty when you have investors, are you wanting to go in the same direction? And and in this case, we had active investors that wanted to go in a different direction. And and and there was a lot of fighting around that. It was very tiring. And that some states, I guess I had to give up on that fight. But that's, again, the reason why there is no investors involved here, because I never want to build another company to have it torn down by rogue investors.

Host (David C. Luna) 00:39:42 And that's very understandable. So why why did you go public in the first place?

Guest (Jón von Tetzchner) 00:39:46 Well, the thing is, we got investors in to allow us to grow. And the point was, when you have these VCs, you have to provide an exit. They they do not sit in the companies. They they want to sell their shares. So you had two options. Either we sell the company or we go public and we went public. And obviously, as a public company, you still have to deal with the potential of companies wanting to buy us. But there was, I think, a number of the investors, they looked at our position and they were thinking, OK, you're competing with big guys, you're doing good so far. I'm sure you're going to fail. So let's try to sell the company while we can. From the perspective of of maximizing maximizing shareholder value, my view was always we should just continue to build the company. And and obviously, if if an offer comes in, we have to deal with it. And I mean, that's the decision of investors. And that obviously was a big investor in the company as well. They believed that they could they could get more out of selling the company. I think they were wrong. And I think I mean, they didn't really do a very good job of selling. I mean, they ended up selling the company at a reasonably low price. But that's kind of the problem when you have people with different opinions on where you want to bring the company.

Host (David C. Luna) 00:41:03 So according to my research, you also criticized that upper management back then was to quarterly focused. So essentially focusing too much on the financial results every quarter instead of focusing on the bigger picture, which could enable opera to grow into new areas and expand its its product piece. I also remember a story back in my believer's 2001 where Porsche refused to give the standard it was listed in. I think it was the tax back then to give the investors quarterly reports. So essentially, what would the German stock exchange did? They threw them out of the index and their argument was what was basically that Porsche said with these quarterly reports, we're losing focus of our vision to build great cars, and that actually promotes this up and down of the stocks. So that was very unique for a German public noted company to openly criticize this quarterly focused business and to actually follow through with it.

Guest (Jón von Tetzchner) 00:42:09 I mean, in our case, I mean, we were giving shareholders quarterly reports and in some way it's that that doesn't need to be the issue. Again, I did that for six years as as CEO of the company. And obviously we had great results generally. But I mean, we still had to deal with the quarterly pressure. But I think it's a question of what do you do in the situation and kind of if you are thinking about the long term. And I think the big change after I left opera was that I think. We're looking to sell the company, so they were optimizing, kind of making the numbers look better. So every quarter there would be an extraordinary event that would make the numbers look better. Typically firing some people, because that kind of would like the make the numbers look better in the short term or some other operation. And I think I mean, in my case, I was always just focusing on building. So the company went in a very different direction where they actually ended up firing a lot of really talented people and then at the same time taking some of those funds and investing them in buying other companies, which I think were really bad investments. I think it is crazy that they wouldn't continue to invest in the browser company and make the most of it. I mean, one of the decisions that they made was to throw away all the source code that we had built. What made us unique at opera? I mean, I think that was a massive mistake to throw away all that source code. It was a very good piece of source, but they didn't see the value in it. They were saying, OK, we can just build on top of the work of others and and save money that way. And but that takes away the uniqueness of the company. And I think I mean, it's examples of really bad short term decisions because they were just trying to make the multiples look better because they were expecting to sell really quickly.

Host (David C. Luna) 00:44:03 Yeah, you unfortunately see that too often in the startup realm where startups will try to sell their idea as fast as possible. So you'll have a few people that have a great idea, then try to build traction and then sell it as fast as they can. Just make a quick buck, so to speak. But your story kind of reminded me, even though it was a different setting and it was your choice to make to leave opera was when Steve Jobs got ousted from his own company. So if I would be in your position and I would have built the company, the team, and made a great product, that would have been really heart wrenching for me to say, OK, this enough is enough, I'm going to leave opera. So that must have been really hard for you to actually leave opera behind.

Guest (Jón von Tetzchner) 00:44:48 Yeah, I mean, that was it was a really hard decision to leave opera. And actually, I mean, it was I mean, seeing then what was happening at the company with people being fired and the like. But the reality the decision to that make Vivaldi came actually quite a lot later because initially my thinking was, OK, I'll I'll I'll always love to compete with my old company. I mean, I know all the guys that are working there. There's really a lot of fantastic people. I'll never be able to compete with that anyway, but I wouldn't want to write. So that's kind of my initial thinking. But then Opera decided to throw away all the source code. They decided to kind of change the company culture and again, fire a lot of people and change the design philosophy and all that. And that kind of forced my hand, which is why we made Vivaldi. But I mean, the decision to make Vivaldi came two years after I left opera. And again, I mean, it it was it was a difficult decision to do that. But in some ways, with what was happening at opera, it was an easy decision.

Host (David C. Luna) 00:45:56 Yeah, it's it's always really tough to leave a company, especially if you built the company from scratch and just to to let it go. But let's talk about the time after opera. After you left opera, you started Vivaldi. What has changed? Has the philosophy remained the same? What are some differences between opera and now? Vivaldi and Vivaldi is still a free browser. So what are some things that that have changed?

Guest (Jón von Tetzchner) 00:46:28 Well, I think in a way, when opera decided to stop being opera, meaning that they changed the philosophy of the software and the organization, we felt OK, that we need to build another one.

Guest (Jón von Tetzchner) 00:46:40 And that's kind of we decided to build Vivaldi. And so in some ways, Vivaldi is a it's a natural replacement for what opera used to be, which is a browser that kind of focuses on the needs of of of the users and the things about the individual instead of just the group. So that's a unique thing that we do. And I mean, the big difference compared to last time is that we don't have any investors. Obviously, that's because when I left opera, I had a fair amount of shares at opera that I ended up selling, which then has allowed me to to fund the growth of Vivaldi instead. So we don't need external investors. Obviously, the goal is to be profitable and I believe we will be. But the initial investment and the stock is done by me.

Host (David C. Luna) 00:47:31 So I believe in 2016, opera was then sold to Chinese investors and at that time. You already started to Vivaldi and then also in January 2020, short seller Hindenburg Resarch, basically a forensic financial research organization, claimed that opera offered predatory short term loan products in Kenya, India and Nigeria. And according to the report, at least most of opera's lending business was operated through Google's play store. When when you heard of that, what did you think when when that came out? Were you shocked? Were you disappointed? What were your initial reactions?

Guest (Jón von Tetzchner) 00:48:11 I mean, obviously, I didn't really know where opera would go with the new ownership. And obviously, I mean, I'm very disappointed to to see the name of opera. It kind of at the same time that you're talking about predatory lending. So I don't know the details of these stories. And they're like, but it doesn't sound good. And obviously it's terrible to to hear hear stories like that.

Host (David C. Luna) 00:48:34 And that was also the point where I personally said to myself, I have to get rid of opera, even though up till then I loved opera very much because I had it on my machine nonstop for 15 years. But as soon as the Chinese investors took over and that story came out, I had to look for a replacement. And then luckily I found Vivaldi. And Vivaldi has been really great. I mean, you can customize to letting shit out of it, literally.

Host (David C. Luna) 00:49:02 And one thing that that struck me while I was doing research for this episode was how many browsers are actually based on chromium or the chromium rendering engine? So even though one would think there's a lot of choice in browsers, you have the brave, you have edge, you have Firefox, you have Chrome, you have Vivaldi, opera and so on, there almost all except Firefox based on chromium. So I have a few geeky questions. Why do you think there's so little choice and thus competition when it comes to rendering engines?

Host (David C. Luna) 00:49:35 Is it that complicated? Speaking as someone that has no programing experience so complicated to develop a rendering engine, it's really hard to make.

Guest (Jón von Tetzchner) 00:49:46 I mean, it's a really complicated piece of software. I mean, I think this is kind of the decision why the opera team decided to to kill off Presta, which was our engine. We had 100 people working on it. Right. 100 really talented people. And actually, we needed to add more people to the team. And I think they decided, OK, we can save money by by not having 100 people working on this. And I get 100 really, really, really talented people that had been doing this for years and knew exactly what to do.

Guest (Jón von Tetzchner) 00:50:18 So, again, I think it was a massive mistake for them to to kill the browser team there. But I think if you look at the history of browsers, I mean, there's talk of like Google Chrome. Now, where did Google Chrome come from? Well, Google Chrome came from Webjet, which was by Apple. But where did that one come from? That came from HTML, which was a Linux project. The reality is even the big guys, even companies like Microsoft and Apple and Google didn't think that they could compete and had to get code from somewhere else. And I think that tells you something. And that's kind of why there wasn't an option for us. I mean, we had 100 people working on this at opera. So if we wanted to build it from scratch, that's the amount of people we would need to maintain it. And then first we would have to build it. So you build something, you make sure that is compatible with everything out there. The complexity is just huge. So so from that perspective, that wasn't an option for us, just like it wasn't an option for Google or Apple or Microsoft.

Host (David C. Luna) 00:51:18 So is that legend true that browsers are some of the most complex computer programs out there?

Guest (Jón von Tetzchner) 00:51:23 Well, I mean, the browser is like an operating system in many ways.

Guest (Jón von Tetzchner) 00:51:26 I mean, it runs the applications. So it views pages, but it also runs full blown applications. And obviously, there's a lot of complexity in there. You have to deal with a lot of different content that is following standards, but quite often not accurately. So you have to deal with being compatible with other browsers interpretation of the standards, which is almost impossible. Yes, it is a really complex piece of software to do. I mean, obviously you can today decide to to build something on top of something like chromium. But even that is complicated because you have to deal with the fact that you're building a house on a moving platform. Right. This is this is not trivial. If it was trivial, I can tell you that Google, Microsoft, Apple and others would have basically built their own. And they haven't all of them have built they've taken code from others and built on top of that.

Guest (Jón von Tetzchner) 00:52:21 I mean, the fact that Microsoft and opera have given up on there, I mean, I think it obfuscated was just a stupid mistake. But the fact that even Microsoft has given up on their own core and is using chromium, I think it tells your story. This is not trivial to do.

Host (David C. Luna) 00:52:34 Wow. I've learned something now. I didn't know that. So many browser engines came from almost one single source from from Linux.

Guest (Jón von Tetzchner) 00:52:42 It's kind of a funny story in a way, because this a project and again, this is kind of what happens. No one knows where this code came from. That code was being programed on in the same building as opera in Norway. And some of the developers actually had access to the opera code. So there's a bit of a history there.

Guest (Jón von Tetzchner) 00:53:02 So, again, I mean, they built a fairly limited browser, the care HTML browser, which was being used as part of the KDDI Linux project. And that project was then contacted by Apple. They decided to take that and build a website which they then tried to get everyone else to use, and they managed to get, for example, Nokia and and and Google to to make use of that. That's kind of how this code that started off as a Linux project became the norm.

Host (David C. Luna) 00:53:33 I already see a plot twist coming. Something along the lines of a news headline stating Norwegian browser company demands billion dollars of royalties from Apple, Google and Microsoft for using their browser software for decades.

Guest (Jón von Tetzchner) 00:53:48 I don't see that happening. Would be a fun story there. It's a fun story, but I'll bet it is really interesting that when it comes to the code bases, I mean, there are not many browser code bases around and the two of them came from the same building in Oslo.

Host (David C. Luna) 00:54:03 If we turn around the question, what would you want to see if you had basically unlimited money or you would have enough money to develop a browser from scratch, rendering engine, everything, what would you change? I mean, how would it look like?

Guest (Jón von Tetzchner) 00:54:17 Well, I think in a way, what I liked about the fact that when we were doing Presto, when we were doing the opera code base is that we had a code base that was all ours. Right. When we were working with chromium. That code base, this code from multiple projects. I mean, you can sense how it's kind of grown from one place to another and it means it's complicated, is really complicated. Beast of code. Well, what we are building at opera was kind of we did everything. We were not invented here. We would take I mean, everyone else was using the same code for the most part, for things like basic images and the like, and we would build our own instead. And I think that was rather unique. I mean, we we made code that was then more efficient and obviously more coherent. I think that's kind of when you have these code bases that kind of where there's a lot of different people sitting in different places with different interests that combine into one code base. The question is, is does it work well together? And and I mean, there's a lot of complexity with this code. There's a lot of history. And I think that's you get the baggage. So a cleaner code base would be nicer. But I think realistically, that's not going to be easy to do and definitely not for us. I mean, we don't have unlimited means. So instead we'll take that code base that we have there and we'll build something great on top of it.

Host (David C. Luna) 00:55:38 Yeah, that's the most pragmatic approach we want to take with with limited means. Yeah. One pressing question I still have is how do you continue to add very innovative features to Vivaldi that I haven't seen elsewhere without killing the usability or turning it into a Frankenstein product that nobody wants to use or it's just unusable? I mean, I think that's a challenge. And a lot of companies have had to contend with that.

Guest (Jón von Tetzchner) 00:56:03 What we do is we build a lot of flexibility. So that means you can make it work the way that you like. Right. So, yes, we are adding an awful lot of features and will continue to add an awful lot of features. But you'll always have the possibility to highlight or even remove those features and you'll be able to customize things to your liking. And gradually we'll be having more and more of these ready-Made concepts. So you can actually have a really simple browser, a really, really advanced browser. It's based on the same code base, but we are just building an awful lot of flexibility into what we are doing. That's kind of how we do it. And yes, you have all that functionality, but if you're not using it, it shouldn't be in your face, it shouldn't be in your way. And that's kind of our focus. And I think you'll find in the company you'll have people that like simplicity. You'll find people that like complexity. And we do whatever we can to keep both or all the different groups, because in practice, it's a lot of different groups. People will say something I wanted simple. And then you ask them, OK, what is simple? And then they'll say, Oh, I want this feature and this feature and this feature. And those are special features that only some people want. So you basically end up with very many different kinds of products. And that's why we just end up with a lot of flexibility and then gradually trying to make sure that people people can get what they want easily.

Guest (Jón von Tetzchner) 00:57:22 So essentially hiding the complexity from the user, keeping it simple, but the user can then add complexity or functionality if he so chooses when it's all there.

Guest (Jón von Tetzchner) 00:57:32 And I mean, what we are defining as a browser is quite different. I mean. Building in our mail client calendar, we have notes, functionality, we have all this kind of functionality that you may or may not use if you use it, it's there. If not, it shouldn't bother. You shouldn't be visible. And that's kind of what we are working on.

Host (David C. Luna) 00:57:50 One last question to have is, what are you most excited about when it comes to browsers for the next few years? Maybe you can give us a sneak peek of what's to come or what you're most excited about?

Guest (Jón von Tetzchner) 00:58:01 Well, I mean, for us, we've been working such a long time on kind of getting the rich functionality. And I mean, I mentioned mail and calendar and the like.

Guest (Jón von Tetzchner) 00:58:10 I mean, for a lot of us, we spent a lot of time in the browser. So what we want to do is to make sure that the browser can satisfy all the needs that you have from your browser. And and it also help keep you safe. And there's a number of different things that come in there. There is things like tracker blocking and ad blocking. And I think in a way that browser plays an important role there. I really think that government should play an important role there, because I think we need regulation on the collection of data, which is happening far too frequently on the Internet. And the buildings are profiles and the like, which I think should just be banned. To be frank, the building of profiles on your users, basically spyware. I mean, that's that's not what you should be finding in software. So hopefully what we'll be seeing is government taking a step there. But from the browser side for us, I mean, we are trying to build a tool that can adapt to whatever need you have help you work in a way which is not so centralized. Right. Not so dependent on being locked in to the big guys. We are working on providing you with ways where you can have a distance between you and the big guys that you don't have to log into them all the time. And that's a core for us that providing you with providing with more privacy, providing you with more security, providing you with freedom to choose.

Host (David C. Luna) 00:59:24 OK, that definitely sounds very exciting. And there's also a few aspects I didn't really see before, as if you have your Google calendar open in a tab and you can be tracked. But if you haven't been in directly integrated into the to the browser, then you're not trackable.

Guest (Jón von Tetzchner) 00:59:41 In a sense, it's making it harder. Point is, what we're trying to work on is said that you don't have to be I mean, obviously, preferably if you're just not using the Google services. Right. So you can have your calendar either locally or you can work with a third party, which is not one of the big guys that collects data from multiple sources. And by doing that, then you're you're staying more safe. And I think I know across the world, in Germany and other places, people are really focused on on the privacy side and not just using the big guys and providing alternatives there is so important. I mean, we are seeing the consequences of this data collection. And I think I mean, over the years, there's been things that I fought for and we fought for in the browser space, open standards and the like has been really important over the years. I think now it's keeping the Internet open and free and and ensuring that it's this collection of data is stopped and we can do certain things to help people get away from the data collection. And then I hope that the governments will do their part.

Host (David C. Luna) 01:00:45 Obviously, I want to be very respectful of your time, and I appreciate you coming on on the podcast. Before we leave, is there something that I didn't mention or didn't forgot to touch on that I should have mentioned?

Guest (Jón von Tetzchner) 01:00:56 Good question. I mean, we covered a lot of a lot of ground. I really think, again, as I said, we are at in some ways as a crossroads.

Guest (Jón von Tetzchner) 01:01:04 I think it's for me, following the Internet from the very beginning, I always felt that we were kind of the task for us as a browser company was to help people get online so that equal access to information and data was crucial. And again, now we are seeing a different world where people are misusing data and the like. And and I would like us to to fight for ensuring that we change that and that people's privacy and this use of data is control. So I think that's that's really important for us as a company continuing to focus on the needs of the users. I think that's core that everyone should get the browsers that they want. And that's going to continue to be our focus as a company. I'm really proud of the the team that we have and and of all those people that are willing to spend so much time helping us spread the word and help us test and the like, I feel it's a unique, unique place to be. I hope that we can contribute to making the Internet get back on the straight and narrow, definitely support that message.

Host (David C. Luna) 01:02:08 So if people want to get into touch with you, what's the best way of doing so?

Guest (Jón von Tetzchner) 01:02:12 So that's a good question. I mean, probably just going to a website and going into the forums and the like, that's always a good place to get to people. I guess people can also send me messages on on like Twitter. And and they're like, I'm not sure if I want to give my email address and the podcast, but it's fairly easy to get hold of me.

Host (David C. Luna) 01:02:31 OK, I'll be sure to include the Twitter handle and the opera forum. So if you ever want to get the.

Guest (Jón von Tetzchner) 01:02:37 We've all we've all different. I don't hang out in the opera forums anymore.

Host (David C. Luna) 01:02:41 Oh, sorry. Sorry, Vivaldi. Yeah. And so it's attached to to the to the opera name still.

Host (David C. Luna) 01:02:48 And yeah. So I include that and yeah. Thanks for, for being on the podcast and taking the time. Thank you. Well that wraps up another fascinating interview. How about you. But there were quite a few things that I learned from this episode. For example, I wasn't really aware that almost all browsers can be traced back to almost a single origin. And it was also really Eye-Opening to me to hear how complex and how much effort it is to create a rendering engine, let alone maintain such a code base. Now, that makes me appreciate that that single piece of software that I use most in my daily business in life is managed by a huge amount of people. Now, this episode has also shown the sad truth that despite being the innovative and even most innovative player on the market, that doesn't really guarantee you'll win. Oftentimes, incumbents with a huge market position or market share will try to do anything to defend their existing position and business model, even if that means they'll have to resort to illegal practices, as we've seen with Microsoft and the like. But on the bright side, it also shows us that companies can compete in crowded markets against industry giants by providing a work environment that really values the opinions of every employee and encouraging them to experiment and to take risks to push the boundaries of your respective industry. Opera was and the world is still are, sadly the only browser out there that really are trying to create new and innovative concepts on ways we browse the web. For example, Apple just introduced a speed dial type feature in Safari on their newest OS update, Big Sur, which opera had since at least 2007. But I mean, to be fair, Apple's goal was never to be first. So welcome to the party, Apple. Even if you're more than a decade late, at least, you know, Safari has copy and paste functionality. And finally, the more pressing issue is the constant and pervasive Web tracking of our browsing habits, which big corporations collect in order to sell us more things. We don't need to basically impress people we don't like with money some people don't even have.

 


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This podcast looks at innovators and companies that are changing the game and how they took their initial idea and created a game-changing product or service, while giving you unique perspectives and insights you’ve probably haven’t heard elsewhere.

David and his guests discuss real-world practical advice on how to best harness the creativity of your employees and go from idea to product or service that has the potential to radically transform your business.

They also share lessons they’ve learned along the way to effectively accelerate, incubate and scale innovations within small, medium and large enterprises, all while separating hype from reality and replacing bullshit bingo with common sense.

The show is hosted by David C. Luna, author, keynote speaker and founder of GAMMA Digital & Beyond.

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Creative Commons License

The Innovational Correctness Podcast by GAMMA Digital & Beyond, David C. Luna is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Based on a work at gammabeyond.com/en/podcast/. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available by contacting us here.


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