There was silence in the room. Six faces looked at me apprehensively, a couple of others looked at the floor. “What?” I said nervously.
Finally someone spoke “ Its ok, it’s got good bits but basically it’s boring”. And there I had it. The first verdict on my first rehearsal of the Dimbleby lecture that I had been asked to give in March 2015.
They were right, it was boring and I am indebted to Russell Davies who told me it was and then helped me make it far less boring.
Russell and I worked hard on the story and ideas in my lecture that led to the creation of Doteveryone. I would not have given half as good a speech without his help. So, I am immensely pleased to say that he has now agreed to come and be the interim Ceo of Doteveryone and help me and the team deliver on the big, ambitious goals that we have for the organization.
He won’t remember this, but I first met Russell well over a decade ago when we were both on a panel at a trendy hipster tech conference – I gabbled away about the dotcom boom and did my normal over excited pitch about lastminute.com without making much sense. Russell then did a brilliant ten minute exposition on how he saw the future of technology and had the audience enthralled.
We then met again at the Government Digital Service when Mike Bracken started amassing an incredible team to transform how central government used the Internet.
One of the things I love about the UK tech scene is that there is a large cohort of talented people who aren’t looking for the next freaking unicorn, are not motivated by commercial gain alone and do want to shape profoundly the public sphere through innovative use of the Internet.
Russell is one of those people.
Russell is coming to Doteveryone on loan from the Co-Op, so I owe them thanks too.
We want to change the pace, scale and usage of the Internet in the UK. We want to make sure everyone benefits and we want to approach all our projects thinking about the furthest people first.
I have every confidence that over the next few months Russell can help me and the team begin to deliver on our ideas.