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Willem dug up this interview

Willem dug up this interview with Jerry Yang and David Filo of Yahoo!, circa May 1995. What strikes me is how little they seem to have thought about how Yahoo! was going to grow as a business, but how well they succeeded anyway.

An interview with Marc Andreessen of Netscape, also circa 1995. Having had the benefit of being around some good business and technical people, Marc, unlike Yang or Filo, seems to have a better grasp on what the whole Web thing means and where his company is headed in that context. To their credit, Yahoo! caught up quickly, though.

Back in the day, near before I was e’er born, Bill Gates, Paul Allen, and Microsoft employee #1 developed the BASIC programming language for the Altair (one of the first personal computers). As their company continued to pour development resources into developing newer and better versions of BASIC, they noticed that only a small percentage of BASIC users were actually paying for the software…the rest were pirating it (or, as the users saw it, sharing it with each other). Gates, being a business man, fired off An Open Letter to Hobbyists, lambasting the PC-using community for stealing software from Micro-Soft (as it was then known). Open source vs. closed source. Pay vs. free. The beat goes on.

Some early mainstream press coverage of the Web (thanks to jjg): A Free and Simple Computer Link from the Dec 8, 1993 edition of the NY Times and this blurb about Mosaic and the WWW in the Net Surf section of Wired magazine. Here’s a snippet from the Times article:

“…Mosaic’s many passionate proponents hail it as the first ‘killer app’ of network computing โ€” an applications program so different and so obviously useful that it can create a new industry from scratch.”

Hype like that doesn’t usually pan out, but it turns out they were right.