People have sometimes asked me whether I am upset that I have
not made a lot of money from the Web. In fact, I made some
conscious decisions about which way to take my life. These I
would not change - though I am making no comment on what I might
do in the future. What does distress me, though, is how important
a question it seems to be to some. This happens mostly in
America, not Europe. What is maddening is the terrible notion
that a person's value depends on how important and financially
successful they are, and that is measured in terms of money. That
suggests disrespects for the researchers across the globe
developing ideas for the next leaps in science and
Core in my upbringing was a value system that put monetary gain well in its place, behind things like doing what I really want to do. To use net worth as a criterion by which judge people is to set out our children's sights on cash rather than on things that will actually make them happy.
It can be occasionally frustrating to think about things my family could have done with a lot of money. But in general I'm fairly happy to let other people be in the Royal Family role (as it were), as long as they don't abuse the power they have as a result. It's not as if I can just make decisions that change the Web ... but I can try to get an entire industry to do it. My priority is to see the Web develop in a way that will hold us in good stead for a long time. If someone tries to monopolize the Web - by, for example, pushing a proprietary variation of network protocols - they're in for fight.
[da Weaving the Web, p. 107-108]