When Mozilla launches its newest version of the Firefox Web browser 2.0 this fall, it will be led by Paul Kim, who is more than just the director of product marketing - he's a dedicated fan.
"I was a happy Firefox user," he notes, "before I realized there was a group of really dedicated core users."
Kim directs overall product marketing strategy and initiatives for Mozilla Corp., a subsidiary of the nonprofit Mozilla Foundation, working with a team of full-time marketing staff and volunteer contributors.
When Kim joined the company last year, he introduced himself on his blog by writing, "I'm the new director of product marketing for Mozilla Corp., and I am damned happy to be here. It's a dream job for me, and it's going to be an adventure spreading the word about who Mozilla is and why what we do matters."
Soon upon his arrival in 2005, Kim led the launch of Mozilla's Firefox Web browser, Firefox 1.5. To put it simply, techies go nuts over Firefox. It is renowned for its security, so PC users in particular dumped their other browsers and brought all of their bookmarks and Web surfing over to Firefox.
To promote the browser, Mozilla encouraged filmmakers and Firefox enthusiasts from around the world to submit short films about the product in a "Firefox Flicks" video contest held this past spring. Three hundred entries later, Mozilla announced the winners in April, and the grand-prize winner, "Daredevil," was short-listed for the New York Festival of Advertising's 2006 International Advertising Awards.
All of the finalists' Firefox videos will be incorporated into Mozilla's 2006 marketing activities, which will continue throughout the year.
Kim's next project, with the help of A&R Edelman, the company's AOR, is gearing up for the release of Firefox 2.0 this fall.
The techheads are already sold on the browser, so Mozilla is chasing a different market this time around, Kim says.
"We feel our biggest challenge over the next few years will be introducing a whole new set of users to Firefox," he adds. "[We'll be] going after less-intense users of the Web through grassroots and word-of-mouth marketing."
To understand why Kim is well suited to lead Mozilla, one need only look at his background. He has spent most of his career at tech companies. The Cal-Berkeley MBA and Stanford undergrad led global product marketing campaigns for Adobe Systems' Creative Suite, as well as for its In-Design and PageMaker.
Before that, he worked as associate product manager at Spectrum Holobyte, making computer games based on Star Trek: The Next Generation. His next job was at the Milarepa Fund, which hosted the Tibetan Freedom Concert in Golden Gate Park in 1996 and did a webcast from there.
It's clear by talking to Kim that he is proud to represent Mozilla. Because of the Firefox creation's open-source market nature, meaning it was developed by teams of volunteers throughout the world, Kim's doing more than just pushing a product, he says.
"One of the things I feel a huge amount of responsibility for is the organic good will that has built up over the past two years," he shares. "The care for the user really shows in the design of the product."
Bob Angus, president of A&R Edelman and Edelman's US technology director, says he became very familiar with Kim's talent years ago at Adobe.
"This was the second time we worked with him as a client," Angus notes. " We were anxious to have him come [to Mozilla]. He brought great new ideas to the company and innovative new ways to get communities to work together. He has been a great stimulus to the open-source agenda."
Director of product marketing, Mozilla Corp.
Senior product marketing manager, Adobe Systems
Business development and product management intern, Kivera