Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

Elliot Noss, the CEO of Tucows is an old friend. He's the one who convinced me to join the ICANN board. He's a fellow World of Warcraft guildmate and an inspiration to me in many ways.

For the last few months, we've been talking a lot about his company Tucows and I've been trying to help. I love Elliot's attitude and style and really like the staff and board of the company. I have joined their board and we announced this today.




Not to plunge you in the deep end, but I do hop that Elliot is looking after the Tucows' Netidentity email service.

One blog posting I did became an epicenter of unhappiness about Netidentity:
Netidentity email outage 19 hours and counting.

I do hope they have sorted out this problem, which kept recurring over the period of several months.

heh. thomas, thanks for welcoming joi to the world of email! :-)

we think the service is in great shape right now. please let me know (off joi's blog!) if you think otherwise.

welcome joi!

How many boards are you now a member of? It must be in the dozens by now ;)

Hi Joi, Eliot (if you're still around).

Maybe this is a rude or stupid question, and forgive me if it is. What is the core of what tucows actually does? Maybe there is no core, just a bunch of different activities, and that could be alright too.

Best of luck to Joi in this role!


Congrats Joi! You make big business so personable. :)

Request for you: I'd like to hear what you actually do, being on each board — stuff you're allowed to share, of course. Being on the board of a company seems like a mysterious thing, and your responsibilities and activities, recounted pure Joi style, would be delightful.

Adriaan: My board positions and investments are here:

I try to keep that and my LinkedIn profile updated.

Torley: Each board is rather different... Generally speaking board work involves various things:

1 - Board Committees... like audit committee, compensation committee... this is just normal work where the board performs functions required by law or in the bylaws of the company.

2 - Helping and managing the CEO. Different companies have different levels of this. Some CEOs or Executive Directors will use the board actively. Sometimes boards have to get very "hands on" if/when the company is having difficulty or going through a big transition.

3 - Fund raising and in the case of for-profit companies, interfacing between investors and the organization in some cases.

There are many other things that boards sometimes do, but these are sort of the main roles. Some boards only meet once or twice a year. Some meet every month.

In the case of Tucows, I'm interesting in trying to help Elliot work on developing the "consumer Internet" side of his business and the long term vision of the company.

Antoin: I'll let Elliot answer your question. ;-)

hi antoin.

the core of what we do is provide Internet services (domain registration, hosted email, SSL) to service providers (

we also have a retail Internet services business ( a large domain portfolio ( and our original business, the Tucows download libraries ( which is now being run under a new brand with shiny new leadership as (

sorry for all the urls. hope this helps!

Omedetou Gozaimasu !

Congratulations Joi - I have a lot of respect for Tucows.

Congratulations Elliot - it is great to see you adding another decent guy to your team.

P.S. I see we share 2 connections on LinkedIn

Hi Joi,

congratulations !!(I am sure if I should congatulate someone who will have more work to do :) )
joining tucows maty mean that you will back to imvolve ICANN stuff? there area lot of change in this side.
it will be interesting to know more about ''consumer Internet''. I am interested because I have just joined a non commercial user constituency.


What does it do what tucowsun duty to tell whether the site has actually got one of the knowledgeable, but better described Joi.

What does it do what tucows duty to tell whether the site has actually got one of the knowledgeable, but better described Joi.

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