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Jon von Tetzchner, Opera's founder and former CEO spoke to The Register

  • Originally posted by rafaelluik:

    2. "Just to put an end to these rumors once and for all: The same people are still working on the desktop browser. Some of us have been here for more than 10 years. The difference, perhaps, is that we have more people now than we used to. That's how we can do proper integration on all platforms. We actually have the resources to do a properly integrated user interface now.

    Well, if the same talented developers that created what Opera once was are still there, PLUS, they now have even more people helping them out, then why is it taking them so very long to incorporate something as basic as Bookmarks, especially knowing this is driving many long-time users away, and I can't imagine newbies checking it out, being willing to use a browser they can't use & manage bookmarks, to aid in their browsing & work?

    Finally, why must it be so intolerable to you & some of the others, that posters may simply not agree with your take on things, whether you are fine without Bookmarks or not, etc? Most people here are discussing the many issues involved in the changes at Opera, yet unless one conforms with your views, they are worthy of scorn, disrespect, and ridicule? Perhaps you should read the Forum's purpose & guidelines, along with the rest of the mega-posting crew here, for you all violate the letter & spirit of this forum more than anyone else..... And perhaps looking up the word: "discussion" may be enlightening, as well....

  • Originally posted by leushino:

    That would be very cool if someone could reveal what was in that Easter egg. 🙂

  • Originally posted by Sawo:

    Another interview with Jon von Tetzchner, which appeared today in the German magazine c't'.

    It contains some information about the changes at the company, and the switch to Opera 15.
    ...

    I also noticed he said, he wanted to take MyOpera over but they did not allow.
    This definately means - they will not release Presto/Caracan code so that his new start-up could use it...
    This is the most sad part of the interview...
    😞

  • Originally posted by Sawo:

    Another interview with Jon von Tetzchner, which appeared today in the German magazine c't'.

    It contains some information about the changes at the company, and the switch to Opera 15.

    It is in German, so you may need to use a web translator.

    Google translate isn't so bad:

    Jon von Tetzchner was co-founder and CEO until early 2010 the Norwegian company Opera Software, which develops the same browser. Mid-2012, he retired from the strife of his company, which since then drives a significantly different course. With Vivaldi.net now reports from Tetzchner back from his Icelandic home. The first goal of startups: building an online community with blogs, forums and mail services, offering the users of the soon closing service My Opera a new home.

    In an interview with c't tells of Tetzchner of his plans with Vivaldi and keep his opinions about the new Opera strategy is not behind the mountain.

    c't: you have left about two and a half years ago Opera. What did you do in the meantime?

    Jon von Tetzchner: I have a little invested in startups, about ten companies, most in Iceland. I founded a startup center in Seltjarnarnes in Reykjavik, where I lived as a child. Here now work 18 companies - the Startup Center was full in a week.

    Then I asked myself: Do I want to now only work as a consultant? After a while I thought: No, I must be doing something yourself. In a way, I served the Opera idea by hiring My Opera. I thought for some time, it would be interesting to start a community: a difficult competition, a crazy idea - okay, let's do it.

    c't: Is Vivaldi.net planned as a pure My-Opera-clone? It's a bold idea of ??building a community in the age of Facebook ...

    of Tetzchner: We think a lot about innovations. We have compiled a comprehensive starter kit, but it will definitely be more. We still are but in an early stage. We have launched a month ago.

    From Tetzchners Vivaldi.net to the My Opera community, which is closed in three weeks, which give a new home.
    We focus not so obvious to attract users. I think there is room for a site like this. We have always tried in Opera, to be the good guys, and so it is with Vivaldi. There are many former Opera-people, also a few Icelanders. We are a small team, about 20 people, more than half of technicians. The money comes from me, there are no other investors.

    c't: Where is the business model?

    of Tetzchner: We have experience with affiliate deals in Opera, something in the way we could make at Vivaldi. I think there are some ways to make money, without sacrificing the user. We try to focus on privacy and security: It's all encrypted, we play no advertising in the mails. We host in Iceland, only for the delivery of the websites we use Content Delivery Networks.
    "There are some ways to earn money without having it at the expense of users."

    We did not want to spy on our users. Check out our EULA at times, sure, I'm actually proud of. It is not so full of legalese as usual. We try to give the company a human face - as we have done in Opera, and I hope we can do it again here. We want to build something for geeks, make a group of happy people who demand a lot - the target group are the Opera-users.

    c't: How big is the My Opera community?

    of Tetzchner: There are, I believe, registered more than 10 million, but the number of active participants is much smaller. There were over 35 million visitors per month - I do not understand why Opera closes.

    That said, I understand it already, because I know the people who run the company now: look at the revenue and expenditure of My Opera separately, and there was never at Opera efforts to make money - it was something that what we did for our users. But the community has played a central role in building operators, since people all came through word of mouth.

    c't: Have you spoken with Opera on the acquisition of My Opera? The founders of Fast Mail've got you down even bought back.

    of Tetzchner: One can, I think, to say that the relationship is not optimal. I have a few people over concerns that I would like to take over the community, but they did not give me.

    Up to and including version 12 Opera was packed with functions, features and configuration options.

    Opera 15 had the flashing engine not much to add except a nice user interface with "Discovery" and "Stash".

    c't: What browser do you use anyway?

    of Tetzchner: Still Opera 12

    c't: Am I doing even occasionally, but he is aging fast ...

    of Tetzchner: Yes, it's a bit like a burning ship - at some point you have to stop the machine. The interesting thing is: Of the approximately 330 million Opera users still use the 300 million Opera 12

    c't: That would not bode well for Opera's move to WebKit.

    of Tetzchner: It was the wrong move. It has apparently taken the decision at the beginning of 2010, when I stopped - at least you heard back then on to invest in the development team. You have people no longer replaced, who have left, gradually the code was less competitive. And we all know that you have to give everything when you compete against Google, Apple and Mozilla.
    "A lot of smart people have left Opera."

    c't: Many Opera users were shocked when they saw Opera 15.

    of Tetzchner: We could have said: Okay, let's take WebKit, we use our resources to build a great UI. But in reality, there were the people for not, because the had ceased or been fired.

    A lot of smart people have left Opera. When I stopped, about 750 people worked at Opera. Now while there are more, but over 300 people have since ceased, especially from the core team. The focus is now more on advertising and on the financial side, not in the products - and Opera was a product company.

    c't: Did you then actually voluntarily ceased as CEO?

    of Tetzchner: It was my decision, but it was a long, long struggle preceded, and I was really exhausted. I hoped with Lars Boilesen there would be continuity, because he had worked as my Head of Sales, but I should find out quickly that this would not be so.

    The investors wanted the company in a different direction when I draw - rather in the holding of the financial market is right, instead of trying to make the end user happy. I have seven years fought against, to sell the company or to neglect the desktop browser.

    I left the company in a very good condition. We had doubled our user base of 50 to 100 million and continued to grow, even without new features. I left the company with 100 million U.S. dollars in the bank. This money is spent obviously, because they had a new round of financing. You have company bought, which is expensive.

    The financial market seems to be very happy with how the company is run. I am sad when I see what has happened with my company. It goes completely in the opposite direction from the one where I was going. This change in direction was the reason that I no more than a kind of spirit was standing in the background and Opera in 2012 finally left. Then perhaps accelerated the development, but the real break was already done.

    Sentimental farewell gesture: As a kind of Easter Egg developers smuggled in Opera 12 a letter to her retired founder of the company a.

    c't: Do you feel that you have destroyed your life's work?

    of Tetzchner: I think Opera could have achieved much more. For 2013, we had 500 million users as the target. Had we continued on our way, we would have, I think, done. The two features that have been added since my departure, are Discovery and Stash. On the other hand a lot of things have disappeared.

    And Coast, the new tablet browser, I see myself more as a cool prototypes. Previously, we have implemented projects such as Turbo or Unite, which was a major innovation. Unite matches the direction in which the Internet developed more peer-to-peer, not everything in the cloud.
    "When you're in an area pioneer, one comes in a very good position when one catches up after a while the trend."

    c't: Unite was, I believe, the first thing that Opera has adjusted after your departure. I always had the impression that the users have not understood then what you could do with it.

    of Tetzchner: I had the idea that we can improve further Unite - that was only version 1.0. Peer-to-Peer is now a big trend, as the Internet of Things. We have started doing in 2005. That was very early, as much of what we did.

    We started with mobile browsers in 1999. At that time, people said that mobile browsers do not make sense, one should take WAP. I believe that if one is a pioneer in a field and continue working on it, you get into a very good position when one catches up after a while the trend. Therefore we need long-term investments.

    Now Opera invested more in the purchase of other companies - as Skyfire, what ever did not make sense to me. Of course I'm sad that she threw away Unite, but I'm also sad that she threw away bookmarks and a lot of other things that use the people.

  • Thank you, Krake.

    Bing's take on it was much MUCH worse! 🙂

  • Originally posted by Krake:

    Originally posted by Sawo:

    Another interview with Jon von, which appeared today in the German magazine c't'.

    It contains some information about the changes at the company, and the switch to Opera 15.

    It is in German, so you may need to use a web translator.

    Google translate isn't so bad

    This is the most interesting and substantial of the interviews with Tetzchner that I've seen posted here. People can—and some people here will—question the accuracy of Tetzchner's assertions and the validity of his judgements, but I'm inclined to believe him. And what he has to say here is rather damning and confirms some of my suspicions.

  • Originally posted by Krake:

    Originally posted by leushino:

    That would be very cool if someone could reveal what was in that Easter egg. 🙂

    Very cool. Thanks. 🙂

  • I'm waiting for the gang to blast Tetzchner for having complaints, criticizing the developers' & execs' decisions, etc.....
    He must be wrong, he doesn't know what he's talking about, airing his complaints simply isn't constructive, he's just a troll, and his comments shouldn't even be seen in this forum.....

  • Mr Cee. Have you considered anger management counseling? I think you might benefit from such. Just an opinion mind you. :whistle:

  • Originally posted by leushino:

    Mr Cee. Have you considered anger management counseling? I think you might benefit from such. Just an opinion mind you. :whistle:

    leushino, your comment is off the mark (and not for the first time): Neither of StevenCee's two posts preceding your snide "advice" provides any grounds for your comment. Furthermore, the frequency of your posts instructing people how to think/behave—a temptation that many are subject to but that few yield to as readily as you—brings a saying to mind, one that I think you'll be familiar with:

    And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

  • Sez you. Mr. Cee has been a whiner from the get-go. He has never made use of the Help forums in the way in which they were meant to be used but rather ragged on Opera's decisions and those who attempted to provide an explanation (as sketchy as that might be). I could care less what you happen to think fluxrev. If you don't like my posts, IGNORE them. It's really quite a simple process. Furthermore, YOU are simply a member here (as am I) and your opinion means nothing more nor less than my own. You've been here for a few weeks whereas I've been here for 11 years (and in reality, since 1999 when I bought my first copy of Opera). What I'm trying to say is: honestly... I don't care what you think. Oh... and spare me the words from the Good Book. I believe it says something about "Judge not, lest ye be judged." And from your remarks that is exactly what you have done in regards to my previous posts. You see, fluxrev, if you're going to level an accusatory finger at me, bear in mind that three others point directly back at you. :p

  • The interesting thing is: of the approximately 330 million Opera users about 300 million still use Opera 12.

    Very interesting indeed.

  • Originally posted by leushino:

    If you don't like my posts, IGNORE them. It's really quite a simple process.

    Yes, it is. So, why do you find it so very difficult to do it?

  • Originally posted by leushino:

    If you do not like my posts, IGNORE them. It is really quite a simple process.

    Originally posted by fluxrev:

    Yes, it is. So, why do you find it so very difficult to do it?

    Exactly Leushino, and you and the other couple "long-termers" (as if none of us are, as well), are the ones constantly ragging on everyone. And proof of your own delusional importance, is that you are so completely full of sh*t, attempting to judge whether I've made "proper use" of the forums. You sir an idiot of the first degree, for I've tried plenty of the varied, less-than-great, & "sketchy" (as you yourself depict them) suggestions offered, plus I've observed the shifting, even contradictory passing along of information, as if you & Pissala, and others, have some inside line on what's happening.

    Plus, as I've pointed out before you & your crew's narrow definition of what is "proper use" of the help forum, is simply WRONG, and at odds with what Opera states it to be! So, get on with your blown up self-importance, and if you don't like what others post, then simply STFU....... No need to tell us what to do.

  • Originally posted by fluxrev:

    Originally posted by leushino:

    If you don't like my posts, IGNORE them. It's really quite a simple process.

    Yes, it is. So, why do you find it so very difficult to do it?

    But I (unlike you) DON'T dislike reading your stuff or Mr. Cee's noise. Ergo: no need to use that function. :p

  • Originally posted by StevenCee:

    Originally posted by leushino:

    If you do not like my posts, IGNORE them. It is really quite a simple process.

    Originally posted by fluxrev:

    Yes, it is. So, why do you find it so very difficult to do it?

    Exactly Leushino, and you and the other couple "long-termers" (as if none of us are, as well), are the ones constantly ragging on everyone. And proof of your own delusional importance, is that you are so completely full of sh*t, attempting to judge whether I've made "proper use" of the forums. You sir an idiot of the first degree, for I've tried plenty of the varied, less-than-great, & "sketchy" (as you yourself depict them) suggestions offered, plus I've observed the shifting, even contradictory passing along of information, as if you & Pissala, and others, have some inside line on what's happening.

    Plus, as I've pointed out before you & your crew's narrow definition of what is "proper use" of the help forum, is simply WRONG, and at odds with what Opera states it to be! So, get on with your blown up self-importance, and if you don't like what others post, then simply STFU....... No need to tell us what to do.

    Take a deep breath... breathe in s-l-o-w-l-y and breathe out. No need to use vulgar words, Mr. Cee. You've whined from day one in the forums. You've never sought out help but simply decided that you were not subject to the terms of service and used the forums to whine and complain.

    Now here's the thing (which you consistently fail to grasp). Are you ready for it? All of your complaints don't amount to a hill of beans as far as Opera is concerned. Over a year ago the decision was made to drop Presto. The team that developed it is essentially gone. There is NO turning back now and no matter how many threads are begun stating the disenchantment with the new browser or bemoaning the loss of features of the former, Opera Next is the new browser and the only browser that will be developed... period. If there are features you would like to see added back, be respectful (something that appears very difficult for you) and state them in the developers' blogs where they will have a better chance of being noticed. In the meantime, you can easily continue using a Presto version alongside the newer Blink version "if" you want to see how Opera Next is developing. If that is not satisfactory and does not meet your needs, then use another browser. In all of this, whining, complaining, swearing, threatening, bullying, labelling etc etc etc are both counter-productive and somewhat indicative of "other" problems (which I will mercifully leave unsaid).

    :bye:

  • Originally posted by StevenCee:

    you are so completely full of sh*t, attempting to judge whether I've made "proper use" of the forums. You sir an idiot of the first degree . . . . and if you don't like what others post, then simply STFU

    Uhhh . . . . on the other hand . . . :left:

  • Originally posted by fluxrev:

    Originally posted by StevenCee:

    you are so completely full of sh*t, attempting to judge whether I've made "proper use" of the forums. You sir an idiot of the first degree . . . . and if you don't like what others post, then simply STFU

    Uhhh . . . . on the other hand . . . :left:

    Indeed, fluxrev. I've been the recipient of some vicious (and rather vulgar) responses hence my "anger" comment (which in hindsight wasn't one of my more prudent decisions and one I now regret). I suppose the only real option is to place Mr.Cee on Ignore since it would appear that my comments provoke rather than educate. fluxrev, there's no question but that some of my responses have been out of line. I can explain them but sadly I cannot justify them and therein lies the rub for me. 😞

  • Originally posted by StevenCee:

    I'm waiting for the gang to blast Tetzchner for having complaints, criticizing the developers' & execs' decisions, etc.....
    He must be wrong, he doesn't know what he's talking about, airing his complaints simply isn't constructive, he's just a troll, and his comments shouldn't even be seen in this forum.....

    What gang? I haven't seen any gang here doing this. I only question what he says when it collides with other pieces of information we have. And of course if he thinks developing and investing in Presto performance and dealing with compatibility problems until the end of time plus maintaining all the other classic features is better than using a borrowed engine it's his opinion and I have the right to have a different one.

    Originally posted by StevenCee:

    Well, if the same talented developers that created what Opera once was are still there, PLUS, they now have even more people helping them out, then why is it taking them so very long to incorporate something as basic as Bookmarks

    I don't know, but it's not as basic / simple / easy as it seems. There are a lot of bug reports related to the bookmarks bar (QAB) marked as fixed in the changelogs so it required a lot of testing and development even though it looks like a simple feature they could "steal" from the Chromium code, well it only looks like it's a basic/simple feature perhaps.
    Also, I asked Daniel Aleksandersen on Twitter just yesterday "Ok this is getting really weird, why is @Opera resisting so much to add a bookmarks menu/button?", the reply: "Managment are unhappy with how trad. bookmarks work. Getting them just right have taken more time than anyone expected."

    Originally posted by StevenCee:

    specially knowing this is driving many long-time users away

    Your assumption.

    Originally posted by StevenCee:

    I can't imagine newbies checking it out, being willing to use a browser they can't use & manage bookmarks

    Again that's your assumption that newbies need a traditional bookmarks manager/menu/nicknames.

    Originally posted by missingno:

    The interesting thing is: of the approximately 330 million Opera users about 300 million still use Opera 12.

    Very interesting indeed.

    VERY interesting indeed.
    1. Jon has left the company completely but still has access to this kind of internal information?
    2. 330 million is the total number of users, there's no way 300 million people use Opera 12 as the total number of desktop users is 51 million and mobile consists mostly of Mini.

    Originally posted by leushino:

    The team that developed it is essentially gone.

    That's not 100% true, as pointed in quotes I shared in the beginning of this topic.

    I wish the fish slap doesn't hijack this thread. 😕

  • Originally posted by leushino:

    But I (unlike you) DON'T dislike reading your stuff or Mr. Cee's noise. Ergo: no need to use that function. :p

    It's not a matter of dislike (for me, anyway). Just suggesting that some restraint may be a better way to achieve your goals for this forum. But this is all I'll say about it.

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