The time around which the Time Asia cover story came (March 2000) was a world in which the dotcom reigned as king. Valuations of Internet companies were skyrocketing, and everyone wanted the .com suffix in their name. It was, as we found later, the peak of the Internet bubble.
Time contacted me through Saritha Rai in Bangalore for the story. Saritha spoke to me on phone and then Time sent a photographer from Delhi and we did a photo shoot early one morning at Gateway of India with me holding a laptop.
The story almost did not happen. I had been very reluctant to talk to the media (and in fact, still am). I had had a bad experience immediately after the IndiaWorld deal was announced with a leading Indian financial newspaper published an in-depth interview with me and published things which I had clearly asked the journalist not to. When I contacted the paper later, I was told that it added to the spiciness of the story. It is an experience that I have not forgotten. After that, I just figured that the best way not to quote misquoted is not to get quoted!
Even now, I decline to give interviews unless I believe that the writer can be trusted and has done homework before talking. I point everyone first to my blog stating that everything that I need to say is out there. Most journalists want that quick short quote and so don’t bother to come back. Some do and in that case, I ask them to email me the questions, and I email them the answers back. My reason for not wanting to give interviews is simple: I’d much rather like my actions speak rather than the words. Also, now, the blog gives me a great vehicle to speak my mind and it is unfiltered. I have the same reluctance to being photographed. In general, I ask them to just something from the archive if they can manage it!
Tomorrow: Jason and Jude
TECH TALK A Tale of Two Covers+T