One of the Firefox developers posted the story of Mozilla and Firefox, seen from his own perspective:
I got involved with Mozilla because I loved the idea of working on something that had the potential to make an impact on millions of people. My friends and I lived in our browsers, so there was also a tangible payoff for contributions that made it into a shipping Netscape release. After switching gears on the layout engine, it looked like Netscape needed all the help it could get. In early 1999 only the most basic elements of the old Communicator suite were in place in the new browser; you could barely browse or read mail as Netscape's engineers worked furiously to erect the framework of the application.