Who is running the internet?


It was a long and tedious walk to “the window.” We just finished a long drive from Lubbock to Big Band national park, and we were sure that we would manage to hike our way to the “window” and take pictures of the sunset. So, an excited 50 year’s old man carry tons of photography gear and his 18 years old son carrying himself started a hick that will impact one of them.

We arrived just after a storm cleaned the park and cooled down the temperature, so we didn’t prepare ourselves for five miles hick, we thought we are just taking for a short walk. Walking (in nature) has this beautiful ability to engage people in conversation, and we weren’t any exception. After one semester in college, we had a lot to cover anyway, and the long drive apparently didn’t provide enough time.

I don’t remember how the conversation flowed to that point, but at some point in our discussion, I found myself explaining what I’m doing as a manager at the company that I worked for. I explained how I’m taking care of people and the company, how I’m setting priorities, distribute tasks to different groups, coordinate between our IT group and other groups or in a nutshell manage a group of people.
My son listened carefully with a slowly growing smile, as I’m enthusiastically talking. When I finished, he asked me a simple question:
Who is running the Internet?

No one I replied and started to explain how the Internet is working. He stopped me and responded. So If no one is running the Internet, the same internet that you always said that is one of the successful revolutions made by human beings, why your organization needs to run by a single authority? Why you can’t use the Internet model to run your team?
There was a long silence from my side as I had to process what I just heard.
I never thought about it that way, I replayed. You are probably right. Then the trail becomes much harder to follow and walk. Therefore, our attention shifted to the path. As we made our way while jumping and climbing up and down the rocks, I couldn’t stop thinking about this question. Then we reached “The Window”!

As you can see in the picture, the view from this place is stunning. But for me, this “window” was also a window to a new world. A world where organizations organize and motivate people in a distributed way instead of the hierarchical and centralized approach.

As the sun set down, we struggle our way back to the car. I’ll let you judge if the hick was worth the picture, but I know that this hick worth a lot for me.

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