When you say you’re good at something, people usually don’t jump all over you. When you say that you’re “The Worlds Number 1” something, however, you’re just asking to draw criticism from your peers. LIGATT Security International CEO Gregory Evans, arguably one of the best self-pitchmen since Muhammad Ali, claims to be “The World’s No. 1 Hacker” and has written a book telling others how to get to his level. Entitled “How To Become The Worlds No. 1 Hacker” (I’m not linking to it), the book has drawn voracious criticism from the security industry who have labeled it self-serving propaganda and plagiarism. I have not personally read the book but I trust the research skills and opinions of my peers in the industry who have splattered the big “DO NOT BUY” label across its cover.
While some would simply shrug off this attack, Evans has chosen to go on the offensive. Using videos, podcasts, and social media, Evans has attacked his critics and attempted to reinforce his label by denying everything and attacking his attackers like a brawler. The problem with fighting like a brawler is that you typically wear yourself out fairly quick in the hopes of knocking your opponent out as quickly as possible. Their slowness and predictable punching patterns (single punches with obvious leads) often leaves them open for counterpunching, as noted by Wikipedia. The industry is certainly counterpunching and, based on the score cards thus far, is winning.
If Evans is going to trash talk like Ali, he should be fighting like Ali and leveraging a rope-a-dope strategy. From Wikipedia, the rope-a-dope is performed by a boxer assuming a protected stance, in Ali’s classic pose, lying against the ropes, and allowing his opponent to hit him, in the hope that the opponent will become tired and make mistakes which the boxer can exploit in a counterattack. If Evans were smart, he’d simply take the criticism, move on for now, and look for a future opportunity to prove himself. Instead he’s trying to knock out everyone he sees which will inevitably hurt him. Professional boxers have to fight one person at a time and would likely fair poorly against a thousand or so opponents at a time.
Sometimes it’s just better to ignore the noise permanently and take a more humble stance. Don’t say you’re the best…just prove to people that you’re good at something through your work and commitment to solving problems. I would never be so arrogant to say that I’m “the best” at anything. Hell, my friends and colleagues wouldn’t let me. Keeping your ego in check is something that responsible adults are supposed to be able to do.
Finally, always remember that you can’t win every fight. Even Ali got knocked out by Holmes in 1980. Sometimes you need to see the writing on the wall that it’s time to move on.