Becoming part of the story – expert or ego-maniac?

A story about the case has appeared in the San Jose Metro which includes as many quotes from me as it does from Gary Kremen and from Cohen’s current lawyer. I was also heavily featured in a different article in the German FT on last week. And on Monday I am going to be interviewed by the BBC on my new role in ICANN.

This has all caused me to realise I am becoming part of the story – something that I instinctively wish to avoid. My experience as a journalist has led me to see that the most real work – and hence change – is done by people that remain in the background. There are always frontmen and they serve a very useful role, but they are rarely any good at actually recognising what the problems are and how to solve them. And I’ve always liked to think of myself as a doer. The great risk that also comes with having a public profile is that you start to believe in your own genius. The number of people I’ve seen who are brilliant on one topic but within a few interviews have started waxing lyrical about things they know nothing about, and looked ridiculous as a result – to the extent that people have trouble listening to them even when it comes to their own specialist subject.

So with respect to and ICANN – am I an expert or an emerging ego-maniac? I would say the former at the moment. The test will come when I am asked to do something that stretches slightly beyond my knowledge. And then the final test: how you react when someone criticises you for not knowing what you’re talking about. I have already charged a few people with the job of occasionally telling me I’m an idiot. Let’s hope my failure to reply to their emails thanks to workload doesn’t encourage them to sleep on the job.

  1. ZZZ…zzz wha’? Eh, er, looks like you’re still doing OK. Can I go back to sleep now?


Comments are closed.