The Cyberbrains

Research and contemplation in new media

Vanity Fair’s history of the Net

jpkthumb.jpgThis month’s (or actually next month’s, July-month’s) Vanity Fair has a great article “An oral history of the Internet: How the Web Was Won.”

The article does just that, with quotes and anecdotes from the big names today, the guys and gals who made all the dough and quotes from the egg-heads who made it all happen.

Here’s some highlights in case you don’t want to shell out six odd bucks:

Jim Clark is one of the founders of Netscape:

One of the things that struck me at that early embryonic state (the early 90s) was that the Internet was going to mutate the newspaper industry, was going to change the classified-ad business, and change the music business. And so I went around and met with Rolling Stone magazine. I met with Times Mirror Company, Time Warner. We demonstrated how you could play music over this thing, how you could shop for records, shop for CDs. We demonstrated a bunch of shopping applications. We wanted to show the newspapers what they were going to undergo.

The venerable Jann Wenner of Rolling Stone wasn’t a taker and neither were the newspapers. DOH!

They got another chance, however.

Vinod Khosla created Sun Microsystems with some Stanford buddies and later joined a prestigious venture capital firm Kleiner, Perkins Caufield & Byers.

“The media people essentially did not think the Internet would be important or disruptive. In 1996, I got together the C.E.O.’s of 9 of the 10 major newspaper companies in America in a single room to propose something called the New Century Network. It was the C.E.O.’s of The Washington Post, and The New York Times and Gannett and Times Mirror and Tribune and I forget who else. They couldn’t convince themselves that a Google, a Yahoo or an eBay would be important, or that eBay could ever replace classified advertising.”


Don’t even mention Craigslist to them. And speaking of that list. Continue reading

June 12, 2008 Posted by | From The Cyberbrains, Joe Kokenge | 1 Comment