Brian McCullough, who runs Internet History Podcast, also wrote a book named How The Internet Happened: From Netscape to the iPhone which did a fantastic job of capturing the ethos of the early web and telling the backstory of so many people & projects behind it’s evolution.
I think the quote which best the magic of the early web is
Jim Clark came from the world of machines and hardware, where development schedules were measured in years—even decades—and where “doing a startup” meant factories, manufacturing, inventory, shipping schedules and the like. But the Mosaic team had stumbled upon something simpler. They had discovered that you could dream up a product, code it, release it to the ether and change the world overnight. Thanks to the Internet, users could download your product, give you feedback on it, and you could release an update, all in the same day. In the web world, development schedules could be measured in weeks.
The part I bolded in the above quote from the book really captures the magic of the Internet & what pulled so many people toward the early web.
The current web – dominated by never-ending feeds & a variety of closed silos – is a big shift from the early days of web comics & other underground cool stuff people created & shared because they thought it was neat.
Many established players missed the actual direction of the web by trying to create something more akin to the web of today before the infrastructure could support it. Many of the “big things” driving web adoption relied heavily on chance luck – combined with a lot of hard work & a willingness to be responsive to feedback & data.
Amazon employees:2018 647,5002017 566,0002016 341,4002015 230,8002014 154,1002013 117,3002012 88,4002011 56,2002010 33,7002009 24,3002008 20,7002007 17,0002006 13,9002005 12,0002004 90002003 78002002 75002001 78002000 90001999 76001998 21001997 6141996 158— Jon Erlichman (@JonErlichman) April 8, 2019
The book offers a lot of color to many important web related companies.
And many companies which were only briefly mentioned also ran into the same sort of lucky breaks the above companies did. Paypal was heavily reliant on eBay for initial distribution, but even that was something they initially tried to block until it became so obvious they stopped fighting it:
“At some point I sort of quit trying to stop the EBay users and mostly focused on figuring out how to not lose money,” Levchin recalls. … In the late 2000s, almost a decade after it first went public, PayPal was drifting toward obsolescence and consistently alienating the small businesses that paid it to handle their online checkout. Much of the company’s code was being written offshore to cut costs, and the best programmers and designers had fled the company. … PayPal’s conversion rate is lights-out: Eighty-nine percent of the time a customer gets to its checkout page, he makes the purchase. For other online credit and debit card transactions, that number sits at about 50 percent.
How The Internet Happened: From Netscape to the iPhone is a great book well worth a read for anyone interested in the web.
New to the site? Join for Free and get over $300 of free SEO software.
Once you set up your free account you can comment on our blog, and you are eligible to receive our search engine success SEO newsletter.
Already have an account? Login to share your opinions.
Your top competitors have been investing into their marketing strategy for years.
Now you can know exactly where they rank, pick off their best keywords, and track new opportunities as they emerge.
Explore the ranking profile of your competitors in Google and Bing today using SEMrush.
Enter a competing URL below to quickly gain access to their organic & paid search performance history – for free.
See where they rank & beat them!
Your competitors, are researching your site
Powered by WPeMatico