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Justin Dorfman
Justin Dorfman

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That time I blew off Tim Berners-Lee

As I’m prepping for the next Gitcoin virtual hackathon “Arweave Open Web Incubator” it made me think of that once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to walk and talk with the inventor of the open web, Tim Berners-Lee.

The year was 2018, and I was in London for MozFest. The company I was working for at the time sponsored the event, so I got to go to this fancy-schmancy cocktail hour for sponsors and speakers.

I was with my friend Eric, and we were both ready to head off to the next event. He needed to grab his coat or something. I told him I’d be outside and there he was, the father of www standing outside by himself. I composed myself and walked over and introduced myself. We chatted for around a minute, and then he said, “Hey, are you heading over to science fair? We can walk and continue our conversation.” I turned around and looked for Eric, and he wasn’t there. I panicked. I turned back around and without even thinking I responded to him, “I’m waiting for a friend...” In my mind, I was thinking, “what is wrong with you!? Eric will understand, go!”. He replied, “ok, well, it was good talking to you, Justin.”

Eric came down, saying he could find his coat (it was pretty cold). He asked me, “what’s wrong”? When I told him, he said, “why didn’t you go!?” I had no response.

The lesson of the story is your good friends (like Eric) will understand if you ditch them for a once-in-a-lifetime event. =)

What would you have done?

Eric and yours truly in The Tube

Photo by Aarón Blanco Tejedor on Unsplash

Top comments (2)

ben profile image
Ben Halpern

Damn, I'd love to converse with that fellow

tfantina profile image
Travis Fantina

Technically the right thing to do but still, I think you'd be forgiving for doing the wrong thing in this situation.