Why I do what I do

This blog post is also available as a video read by Phil Nash.

I’m currently in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and last night I had a very humbling experience.

I was out for a late dinner with some friends and got back to the hotel at about midnight. The night before I had been on a flight all night to arrive in Buenos Aires, gotten off the plane, went to the hotel, took a shower, and then gave a presentation and took part in the MDN Hack Day.

Suffices to say, I was quite tired and worn after the last events and all I wanted was to get some sleep. When I reached the hotel, there was a group of people gathered outside of the hotel – people who had attended the Hack Day and who also planned to be at the MozCamp this weekend.

When one of them saw me, he yelled “Robert Nyman!”, ran up to me and praised me for my work and specifically my talk previously during the day. He was talking for ten minutes about how much this meant to him, how he got influenced to do a lot of things and he was very excited about the future and the prospects! He was so engaged that he was almost bouncing up and down, just expressing his sheer joy and happiness.

And don’t get me wrong, this is not to say that I’m such a good speaker. I gave a good talk, and I’m happy about that, but this is about something completely different.

As I stood there listening, it just got to me more and more just how special that moment was, and in particular, the life I have chosen to lead. I can’t imagine doing something better than teaching, supporting and inspiring people to my best knowledge to create amazing things, to grow, to dare to take the plunge and try something new. And not just that, doing something that will be good for the web, and, as an extension, the world.

I sincerely believe it is our responsibility, our role as a species, to teach, share and help each other. And I feel blessed to have the opportunity to spend my life doing that!

Seeing this young man’s excitement really got to me, and all the implications of what it meant, so after a while I started feeling the tears begin to well up in my eyes. I thanked him and withdrew to my room before I got too emotional.

So, that’s why I do what I do. Because I have this amazing opportunity to play my small part in trying to make the world and people better by trying to be a better person myself.


  • Thanks Robert for the great presentation at the MDN hack day in BA!
    Very inspiring…Hope to see you soon!

  • Robert Nyman says:


    Thank you, I’m glad you liked it!

  • Thanks Robert for an amazing talk and great chat together! You agave me some really useful advices about work and life in general, thanks you for everything!
    I really hope I can see you again in one of your talks!

  • Jay says:

    thats a great story Robert.
    Its not only that single guy there, there are a lot many people who would be glad to learn and share thing from/with you.

    I am also 1 amongts them, but sadly I am not too good at programming, but working hard day-by-day and learning things from You, Christain, Mozilla, Google and of course, the web.

    thanks a lot for sharing man.

  • Robert Nyman says:


    Thank you very much! I’m happy to hear that! See you again one day. 🙂


    I think that’s such a vital part, that knowledge is available to everyone, and when you learn things, you share it!

  • Maurício Araldi says:

    You’re just amazing man. You already made me change my way of seeing somethings, and surely I’m learning a lot reading and listening to your opinions and advices.

    It’s nice to know that I’ve made a good pass and that you’ve made the goal, in Mozilla Football match x)

    Again, thanks for helping me be wiser as a web developer.

    (Sorry if there’s any english mistake)

  • Robert Nyman says:


    Great to meet you and to play some football with you – thanks for the pass! 🙂
    Glad to hear that I can inspire you in any way, and thanks for your hard work!

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