Sometimes, it’s really hard to tell if someone’s a genius or just insane, and when it comes to the Internet, there is no one who is simultaneously more visionary or more deranged than Josh Harris. Sometimes hailed as “The Greatest Internet Pioneer You’ve Never Heard Of,” We Live in Public documents the life of Harris, one of the lucky dot-commers who shaped what the Internet has become.

Once upon a time, in the early ’90s, the Internet looked nothing like it does today: There was no Facebook, no YouTube and certainly no Twitter. But there was, the first Internet television network founded by Harris, who saw that the Internet was a powerful tool that could be utilized to connect people in ways never before imagined. He was the first person to offer streaming video shows and also paired them with live chat rooms.

All was going well for Harris, until he decided to perform a social experiment and created the infamous “Quiet: We Live In Public” project in 1999. Set up in an all-expenses-paid “hotel” (it was more like open pods), Harris invited 100 people to live together for 30 days. The only catch was that every cubicle-bed, every shower, every bathroom was wired with cameras. Of course, chaos ensued.

But that was only the precursor for Harris. He took the next step in giving up his privacy when he decided to experiment on himself. He moved into a fully wired apartment with his girlfriend just to see what happened, and it led to his mental collapse.

What brought him to all of this in the first place, and what happened to him afterwards? Director Ondi Timoner, herself a participant in the Quiet project, is the only director who’s won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance twice in her career, and for good reason: She really knows how to pick her subjects. We Live in Public is a riveting documentary that paints a terrifying picture of where society could end up if we keep giving up our privacy, piece by little piece.

It really benefits from the fact that Harris took all of his experiments to such extremes, but he’s like a train wreck – you know it’s going to end badly, but you just can’t look away. Timoner has captured this aspect of Harris’ personality and situations perfectly, balancing the bizarre with the innovative and bringing a sense of humanity to the man who just wanted to find a way to connect with other people.