Business History Links
INDUSTRIES: Business History of Internet Industry
business biographies  

1969 - Golden United Life Insurance Co., Columbus, OH, established Compu-Serv Network, Inc. subsididiary to support in-house computer processing  , develop time-sharing service; drove emergence of online service industry; 1977 - name changed to CompuServ Incorporated; 1979 - first service to offer electronic mail capabilities, technical support to personal computer users; 1980 - first online service to offer real-time chat (CB Simulator); acquired by H&R Block  1982 - formed Network Services Division to provide wide-area networking capabilities to corporate clients; 1998 - acquired by AOL.

October 29, 1969 - Internet created; connection established between computers at UCLA, Stanford Research Institute in first wide area packet switching network, two node ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network) of US Department of Defense, over 50 kbps line provided by AT&T.

1971 - Ray Tomlinson (Bolt Beranek and Newman) wrote/sent first email program through ARPANET (Internet) between two machines side by side; selected @ symbol to separate login name from host name in email.

May 22, 1975 - Robert M. Metcalfe, of Woodside, CA, David R. Boggs/Charles P. Thacker of Oalo Alto, CA and Butler W. Lampson, of Portola Valley, CA, received a patent for a "Multipoint Data Communication System with Collision Detection"; Ethernet; assigned to Xerox Corporation.

December 13, 1977 - Robert M. Metcalfe, of Woodside, CA, David R. Boggs, of Palo Alto, CA, Charles P. Thacker; of Palo Alto, CA, Butler W. Lampson of Portola Valley, CA, received a patent for a "Multipoint Data Communication System with Collision Detection" ("apparatus for enabling communications between two or more data processing stations comprising a communication cable arranged in branched segments including taps distributed thereover"); ethernet; assigned to Xerox Corporation.

July 1979 - William F. von Meister announced The Source, first popular online services company, at Plaza Hotel in New York; Isaac Asimov, sharing platform, proclaimed, "This is the beginning of the information age" (recalled Bettie Steiger, former Source executive, Xerox marketing executive at Palo Alto Research Center); May 24, 1985 - founded Quantum Communications (AOL).

December 1984 - Stanford University computer scientists Len Bosack, Sandy Lerner co-founded Cisco Systems; named for San Francisco, gateway to Pacific Rim; 1991 - John Chambers hired as Senior Vice President, Worldwide Sales and Operations; January 1995 - Chambers appointed CEO.

March 15, 1985 - first .com registered in what had yet to be labeled "world wide web";  took nearly decade for domain and consumer Internet to take off; 2010 - over 80 million .com websites; domain - platform for $400 billion in annual economic activity, broader Internet economy drives more than $1.5 trillion in global annual economic activity (more than global sales of medicine, investment in renewable energy, government investment in R&D, combined); economic activity flowing across .com infrastructure likely to grow to $950 billion in annual revenue by 2020(source: Information Technology and Innovation Foundation). 

1986 - Eric Thomas, engineering student in Paris, wrote first version of LISTSERV, first email list management software; prior to invention, all email lists administered manually.

November 12, 1990 - Tim Berners-Lee, consulting software engineer at CERN (European Laboratory for Particle Physics, originally known as Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire), largest Internet node in Europe,  wrote program for first web browser (browser-editor), called WorldWideWeb, on  NeXT computer; December 25, 1990 - communicated with first web server at; August 6, 1991 - posted summary of project for organizing information on computer network using "web" of hyperlinks:  "WorldWideWeb" (W3); put first website online, CERN telephone book (immediately useful, rapidly accepted); organized content through uniform source locators; 1994 - founded World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) at Massachusetts Institute of Technology; comprised companies willing to create standards,  recommendations to improve quality of Internet; December 2004 - accepted chair in Computer Science at School of Electronics and Computer Science, University of Southampton, UK.

April 21, 1993 - Mosaic web browser 1.0 released; written at National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA); Marc Andreesen one of founders of Netscape, Jim Clark one of founders of Silicon Graphics led development team.

February 1994 - Jerry Yang, David Filo, Stanford University Ph.D students, created Yahoo! (acronym for Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle!); March 1, 1995 - incorporated.

Yahoo! Timeline 1995-2010 by Yodel Anecdotal.(

April 4, 1994 - Jim Clark, Marc Andreessen founded Mosaic Communications, renamed Netscape Communications; first commercial browser enabled better links, faster moves through Internet; October 1994 - Netscape web browser 1.0 released; August 10, 1995 - Netscape, developer of Navigator, popular software for surfing World Wide Web, went public; largest Initial Public Offering (IPO) in Wall Street history - five million shares priced at $28, traded to high of $72 (market value of $1.96 billion).

April 12, 1994 - Laurence Canter, attorney in Arizona, used first Internet spamming program; created software program,  simple Perl script, that flooded Usenet message board readers with notice for "Green Card Lottery" to solicit business for his law firm of Canter & Siegel; reaction from online community vigorously critical, condemned advertising; new, burgeoning business of unsolicited mass Internet advertising spawned; term "spam" coined from sketch in "Monty Python's Flying Circus" BBC television show (waitress offered menu full of variations of spam to unwilling patron).

March 25, 1995 - Ward Cunningham installed WikiWikiWeb on Internet domain (started developing it in 1994); first site to be called wiki (Honolulu International Airport counter employee had told him to take so-called "WikiWiki" Chance RT-52 shuttle bus line that ran between airport's terminals; substitute for 'quick', avoided name quick-web; "wiki" shorter form of wiki wiki - Hawaiian for fast); computer software allows users to create, edit, link web pages, to "comment on and change one another's text"; early 2000s - adopted in enterprise as collaborative software (project communication, intranets, documentation); March 15, 2007 - 'wiki' entered Oxford English Dictionary Online.

August 1995 - Microsoft released Internet Explorer 1.0; released Windows 95, sold more than 1 Million copies within 4 days.

December 15, 1995 - Alta Vista web site, developed by researchers at Digital Equipment Research Laboratories in Palo Alto, CA, made public; first web-page discovery tool to gain wide popularity; initially indexed 16 million web pages; January 5, 1996 - handled 2 million requests per day; November 1996 - 22 million requests per day.

January 1996 - Larry Page, Sergey Brin began collaboration on search engine called BackRub (named for unique ability to analyze "back links" pointing to given website); September 7, 1998 - Google Inc. opened (play on word googol, coined by Milton Sirotta, nephew of American mathematician Edward Kasner, popularized in book, Mathematics and the Imagination by Kasner and James Newman; refers to number represented by numeral 1 followed by 100 zeros; reflected company's mission to organize seemingly infinite amount of information available on web); September 21, 1999 - beta label came off website, search engine launched; August 19, 2004 - initial public offering; priced at $85 per share. Traded above $300 per share within first year; November 6, 2007 - traded at $747.24, all-time high.

July 4, 1996 - Hotmail went online (created by Sabeer Bhatia,  Jack Smith); acquired by Microsoft for $400 million.

1997 - Andrew Weinreich, former General Counsel of the Hertz Technology Group, launched, first recognizable social network site; based on the Web of Contacts model of social networking; allowed users to create profiles, list Friends; 1998 - could surf Friends lists; about 100 employees, registered about 1,000,000 members; failed to become a sustainable business; 2000 - acquired by YouthStream Media Networks for US$125 million; January 16, 2001 - Andrew P. Weinreich, Mark R. Salamon, Shoshana Zilberberg, Nicole D. Berlyn, Leeann Mitchell, Cliff Rosen, Adam Seifer, Justin Green, David Haber, David Samuels, Ron Chibnik, Scott Clifford, Chandrasekhar Boddu received a patent for a "Method and Apparatus for Constructing a Networking Database and System" ("A networking database containing a plurality of records for different individuals in which individuals are connected to one another in the database by defined relationships. Each individual has the opportunity to define the relationship which may be confirmed or denied."); assigned to six degrees, inc.; first patent in social networking; more successful social networking sites, based on the "Social-circles network model", followed (Friendster, My and system" XING, Facebook).

December 23, 1997 - Jorn Barger, of Robot Wisdom, regarded as first blogger; began business of hunting, gathering links to things in which he was interested; David Winer (Scripting News), Cameron Barrett (CamWorld) early proponents.

October 1, 1998 - ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) created through Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between U.S. Department of Commerce, ICANN to transition management of Domain Name System (DNS) from U.S. government to global community; not-for-profit public/private partnership dedicated to keeping Internet secure, stable, interoperable; assumed responsibility for selling top-level domain names for Internet (coordination role of Internet’s naming system).

June 28, 1998 - Microsoft released Windows 98.

April 1, 1999 - David Smith, of New Jersey, arrested, charged with originating "Melissa" e-mail virus, infected more than 1 million computers worldwide, caused more than $80 million in damage (served 20 months in federal prison in exchange for helping FBI track authors of other computer viruses).

October 25, 2001 - Microsoft released Windows XP.

2002 - Blake Ross (17), Dave Hyatt launched Mozilla Firefox project, community-made Web browser; November 9, 2004 - released Firefox 1.0, open-source and non-profit web browser; 2006 - Interbrand named Firefox one of top ten brands in world (over 15% of world’s Web users use it); with Joe Hewitt formed Parakey, Inc. to develop software billed as Web-based operating system; July 2007 - acquired by Facebook.

2002 - Jonathan H. Abrams founded Friendster in Mountain View, CA; April 2004 - removed as CEO; June 27, 2006 - Abrams, of Sunnyvale, CA, received a patent for a "System, Method and Apparatus for Connecting Users in an Online Computer System Based on Their Relationships Within Social Networks" (" system collects descriptive data about various individuals and allows those individuals to indicate other individuals with whom they have a personal relationship").

August 2003 - Tom Anderson, Chris DeWolfe founded MySpace, interactive, user-submitted network of friends, personal profiles, blogs, groups, photos, music, videos for teenagers and adults internationally, in Beverly Hills, CA; revenues generated by advertising, no paid-for features for  end user; July 2005 - acquired by News Corporation for $580 million.

February 2004 - Mark Zuckerberg, Dustin Moskovitz, Chris Hughes launched Facebook from Harvard dormitory room as a social utility to help people communicate more efficiently with friends, family,  coworkers; June 2004 - moved operations to Palo Alto, CA.

February 14, 2005 - Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, Jawed Karim founded YouTube, Inc. in Menlo Park, CA; November 2006 - acquired by Google for $1.65 billion.

November 2006 - Google paid $1.65 billion in stock for YouTube, 19-month old video-sharing start-up

December 16, 2007 - Growth in email users (% change in visitors from November 2006 - November 2007)

  (source: comScore;;

February 2, 2008 - Microsoft made an unsolicited $44.7 billion bid for Yahoo in attempt to better compete with Google.


(Cisco Systems), David Bunnell with Adam Brate. (2000). Making the Cisco Connection: The Story Behind the Real Internet Superpower (New York, NY: Wiley, 218 p.). Cisco Systems, Inc.; Cisco Systems, Inc.; Telecommunication; Telecommunication--Equipment and supplies; Routers (Computer networks).

Len Bosack - Cisco Systems ( cast/images/bosack.gif)

Sandy Lerner - Cisco (

John Chambers - Cisco ( pictures/thumbnails/john_chambers.jpg)

(Cisco Systems), Jeffrey A. Young (2000). Cisco Unauthorized: Inside the High-Stakes Race to Own the Future (Roseville, CA: Forum, 310 p.). Cisco Systems, Inc.; Internet industry--United States; Internetworking (Telecommunication)--United States.

(Cisco Systems), Ed Paulson (2001). Inside Cisco: The Real Story of Sustained M & A Growth. (New York, NY: Wiley, 314 p.). Cisco Systems, Inc.; Computer industry--Mergers--California; Consolidation and merger of corporations--California. 

(Cisco Systems), John K. Waters (2002). John Chambers and the CISCO Way: Navigating Through Volatility. (New York, NY: Wiley, 192 p.). Chambers, John T.; Cisco Systems, Inc.; Chief executive officers--United States--Biography; Internet industry--United States--Management.

(Cisco Systems), Robert Slater (2003). The Eye of the Storm: How John Chambers Steered Cisco Through the Internet Collapse. (New York, NY: HarperBusiness, 289 p.). Chambers, John, 1949- ; Cisco Systems, Inc.--Management; Corporate turnarounds--United States--Case studies; Computer industry--United States--Management--Case studies; Data transmission equipment industry--United States--Management--Case studies; Computer industry--United States--History; Data transmission equipment industry--United States--History; Internet industry--United States--History.

(Facebook), Aaron Greenspan (2008). Authoritas: One Student's Harvard Admissions and the Founding of the Facebook Era. (Palo Alto, CA: Think Press, 335 p.). Founder Think Computer Corporation, Inventor Facebook. Greenspan, Aaron; Harvard University --Students --Biography; Harvard University --Faculty; Facebook; Computer programmers --United States --Biography; Entrepreneurship. Origins of social networking company; September, 2003 - invented The Facebook; sent email to Harvard students describing newest feature of houseSYSTEM as "the Face Book," an online service for finding other students; 2004 - Mark Zuckerberg started ""; raised capital, created Facebook (co-founders of ConnectU also said Facebook was their idea, that Zuckerberg stole it.

(Facebook), Ben Mezrich (2009). The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal. (New York, NY: Doubleday, 272 p.). Zuckerberg, Mark, 1984-; Saverin, Eduardo; Facebook (Firm); Facebook (Electronic resource); Webmasters --United States --Biography; College students --United States --Biography; Businesspeople --United States --Biography; Online social networks. Columnist for Boston Common. Innocence lost, revolution in way hundreds of millions of people relate to one another; Facebook succeeded by bringing people together, its success tore two best friends apart.

(Facebook), David Kirkpatrick (2010). The Facebook Effect: The Inside Story of the Company That Is Connecting the World. (New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, 384 p.). Former Senior Editor for internet and Technology at Fortune magazine. Facebook (Firm); Internet industry --United States; Online social networks --History. From dorm-room novelty to company with 500 million users; how 19-year-old Harvard student created company that has transformed Internet; how he grew it to current enormous size; how Zuckerberg steadfastly refused to compromise his vision, insistently focused on growth over profits, created company that has changed social life in United States, elsewhere.

(Google), John Battelle (2005). The Search: The Inside Story of How Google and Its Rivals Changed Everything. (New York, NY: Portfolio, 288 p.). Co-founding Editor of Wired, Founder of The Industry Standard. Google (Firm); Google; Internet industry--United States; Web search engines; Internet searching; Information society--United States. Story of Google's success: how search technology works, power of targeted advertising, impact on society.

Sergi Brin and Larry Page - Founders, Google  (

(Google), Neil Taylor (2005). Search Me: The Surprising Success of Google. (London: Cyan, 192 p.). Google; Google (Firm); Google; Internet industry--United States; Brand name products -- Case studies.

(Google), David Vise, Mark Malseed (2005). The Google Story. (New York, NY: Delacorte Press, 336 p.). Reporter (Washington Post); Researcher. Google (Firm); Google; Internet industry--United States; Web search engines; Internet searching; Information society--United States. Account of the populist media company.

(Google), Randall Stross (2008). Planet Google: How One Company’s All-Encompassing Vision Is Transforming Our Lives OR One Company's Audacious Plan To Organize Everything We Know. (New York, NY: Free Press, 288 p.). Columnist (New York Times). Google (Firm); Internet industry --United States --History; Web search engines --United States --History. Business plan to become indispensable gatekeeper of all world's information, one-stop destination for all information needs; 68% of all Web searches, profits that are the envy of business world, surplus of talent; more offerings Google adds, more ubiquitous its presence, more dependent its users, more information to its comprehensive collection of data.

(Google), Bernard Girard (2009). The Google Way: How One Company is Revolutionizing Management As We Know It. (San Francisco, CA: No Starch Press, 256 p.). Google (Firm) --Management; Internet industry --United States --Management; Web search engines --United States --Management. Culture of innovation, way people work, how organizations are controlled, how employees are managed; focus on users, automation; how eCommerce has profoundly changed relationship between businesses, customers.

(Google), Jeff Jarvis (2009). What Would Google Do? (New York, NY: Collins Business, 272 p.). Proprietor of, new media columnist (Guardian in London). Google; Information technology --Management; Technological innovations; Creative ability in business; Management. 40 rules to manage, live by; new worldview of internet generation: how it challenges, destroys, opens vast new opportunities; how everyone, everything (corporations, governments, nations, individuals) must evolve in Google era.

(Google), Janet Lowe (2009). Google Speaks: Secrets of the Worlds Greatest Billionaire Entrepreneurs, Sergey Brin and Larry Page. (Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 315 p.). Brin, Sergey, 1973-; Page, Larry, 1973-; Google (Firm); Google; Computer programmers --United States --Biography; Businesspeople --United States --Biography; Internet programming --United States; Web search engines. People, philosophies behind company which has has become global household name, created new model for corporate responsibility, employee relations - in less than 15 years.

(Google), Ken Auletta (2009). Googled: The End of the World As We Know It.(New York, NY, Penguin Press, 400 p.). America's premier media critic. Google (Firm); Internet industry --United States; Web search engines --United States --History; Internet searching. What we know, don't know, about what future holds for imperiled media industry; how Google (stand-in for the digital revolution) formed, crashed into traditional media businesses (from newspapers to books, to television, to movies, to telephones, to advertising, to Microsoft); how industry is being disrupted, redefined; Google's rise, "secret sauce" of Google's success, why worlds of "new" and "old" media often communicate as if residents of different planets; Google engineers assume that old ways of doing things can be improved,  made more efficient; will generate about $20 billion in advertising revenues in 2009 (more than combined prime-time ad revenues of CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX); poised to become world's first $100 billion media company; risks.

(Google), Steven Levy (2011). In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives. (New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, 448 p.). Senior Writer at Wired, Former Senior Editor and Chief Technology Correspondent for Newsweek. Google (Firm); Google; Internet industry --United States. Inside Google headquarters, Googleplex, to show how Google works; engineering mind-set, adoption of Internet values as speed, openness, experimentation, risk taking - key to Google’s success; pampers engineers (free food, dry cleaning, on-site doctors, masseuses), gives them resources they need to succeed; more than 23,000 employees, Larry Page signs off on every hire; stumbled in China, chasing successful competitor for first time (social media).

(LinkedIn), Judith Hurwitz (2011). Smart or Lucky: How Technology Leaders Turn Chance into Success. (San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 240 p.). Former LinkedIn employee, President and CEO of Hurwitz & Associates. Entrepreneurship; Businesspeople; High technology industries; Technological innovations; Success in business; Sustainable development. How to recognize lucky break, have foresight to take advantage of it; most successful technology entrepreneurs understand value of combination of luck and smarts, make it work for them; those who fail may be lucky but get complacent, believe they’re smartest players in market, fail to make changes needed to sustain leadership; LinkedIn: 1) shifted focus quickly to infrastructure, relationships, planning; 2) drew up, followed roadmap; 3) stuck with its target market.

(Lycos), Bob Davis (2001). Speed Is Life: Street Smart Lessons from the Front Lines of Business. (New York, NY: Currency, 203 p.). Former CEO of Lycos. Davis, Bob, 1956- ; Lycos, Inc.; Telecommunications engineers--United States--Biography; Executives--United States--Biography.

(MySpace), Julia Angwin (2009). Stealing MySpace: The Battle To Control the Most Popular Website in America. (New York, NY: Random House, 371 p.). Reporter (Wall Street Journal). MySpace (Firm); Internet industry --United States --History. How MySpace became media powerhouse; Rupert Murdoch, MySpace versus Facebook; 2005 - acquired by News Corporation for $580 million as part of strategy to move media conglomerate into 21st century.

  Chris DeWolfe - MySpace (

(Netscape), Michael A. Cusumano and David B. Yoffie (1998). Competing on Internet Time: Lessons from Netscape and Its Battle with Microsoft (New York, NY: Free Press, 361 p.). Internet Software Industry, Netscape Communications, Microsoft Corporation.

Jim Clark - Netscape (




Marc Andreesen -Netscape ( images/pics/andreessen.gif)

(Netscape), Joshua Quittner and Michelle Slatalla (1998). Speeding the Net: The inside Story of Netscape and How It Challenged Microsoft (New York, NY: Atlantic Monthly Press, 323 p.). Netscape Communications Corporation--History; Microsoft Corporation--History; Internet software industry--United States--History.

(Netscape), Jim Clark with Owen Edwards (1999). Netscape Time: The Making of the Billion-Dollar Start-up That Took on Microsoft (New York, NY: St. Martin's Press, 276 p.). Netscape Communications Corporation -- History; Internet software industry -- United States -- History.  

(YouTube), Jean Burgess and Joshua Green (2009). YouTube: Online Video and Participatory Culture.  (Malden, MA  Polity, 172 p.). Research Fellow at the Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation (Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia); Research Manager and Postdoctoral Researcher in the Comparative Media Studies Program (MIT). YouTube (Electronic resource); Online social networks --Social aspects; Internet --Social aspects; Information society. Participatory media in contemporary online environment, first mass-popular platform for user-created video; contemporary and future implications of online media; how it relates to wider transformations in culture, society, economy; how central to struggles for authority, control in new media environment; how used by  media industries, audiences, amateur producers, communities of interest.

(Wikipedia), Marshall T. Poe (2008). Everyone Knows Everything: Wikipedia and the Globalization of Knowledge. (New York, NY: Random House, 288 p.). Department of History (University of Iowa). Wikipedia--history; internet--mass collaboration; internet--democratization. How mass collaboration on internet (Web 2.0) revolutionized, democratized markets, culture, society; offerred everyone unprecedented opportunities to work together; Wikipedia - started in 2001 with 10 regular contributors, closer to 500,000 by beginning of 2007; initial 16 articles to estimated 5 million today in 2008, in at least 200 different languages; now vast communities of well-informed, dedicated amateurs work together to produce, share information.

(Wikipedia), Andrew Lih; Foreword by Jimmy Wales (2009). The Wikipedia Revolution: How a Bunch of Nobodies Created the World's Greatest Encyclopedia. (New York, NY: Hyperion, 272 p.). Wikipedia; Electronic encyclopedias; User generated content. What enabled creation of Wikipedia - Internet culture that inspired hacker ethos, USENET, Free Software movement; Apple's forgotten HyperCard project inspired Ward Cunningham to create wiki (saved original Nupedia encyclopedia started by Larry Sanger, Jimmy Wales); from idea to inception in 2001 to global phenomenon with cultural repercussions.

Jimmy Wales - Wikipedia (

(Yahoo!), Anthony Vlamis & Bob Smith (2001). Do You? Business the Yahoo! Way: Secrets of the World's Most Popular Internet Company. (Milford, CT: Capstone, 231 p.). Yahoo! Inc.; Internet industry--United States.

David Filo David Filo - Yahoo ( com/ i/docs/david_filo.jpg)

Jerry Yang Jerry Yang (Co-Founders, Yahoo)  ( media/peopletracker/241/240707_TS.jpg)

(Yahoo!), Karen Angel (2002). Inside Yahoo!: Reinvention and the Road Ahead. (New York, NY: Wiley, 276 p.). Yahoo! Inc.; Success in business.

Janet Abbate (1999). Inventing the Internet. (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 264 p.). Internet, Computer Network. 

Eds. William Aspray, Paul. E. Ceruzzi (2008). The Internet and American Business. (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 596 p.). Rudy Professor of Informatics Indiana University in Bloomington); Curator of the National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution. Internet--United States--Economic aspects; Electronic commerce--United States; Internet industry--United States; Internet--United States--Social aspects; Information technology--United States--Economic aspects. Impact of commercialized Internet since 1995 on American business and society; new business models, new companies, adjustments by established companies, rise of e-commerce, community building; dot-com busts, difficulties encountered by traditional industries; new problems (copyright violations associated with music file-sharing, proliferation of Internet pornography).

Daniel Bell (1976). The Coming of Post-Industrial Society: A Venture in Social Forecasting. (New York, NY: Basic Books, 507 p.). Henry Ford II Professor of Social Sciences Emeritus (Harvard University). Social history --20th century; Social prediction; United States --Social conditions --1945- . Prediction: development of different society reliant on “economics of information” rather than “economics of goods”; would not displace older society, would overlie some of previous layers (as industrial society did not completely eradicate agrarian sectors of society); spread of a knowledge class, change from goods to services, role of women - dependent on expansion of services in economic sector, increasing dependence on science as means of innovating and organizing technological change.

Tim Berners-Lee with Mark Fischetti (1999). Weaving the Web: The Original Design and Ultimate Destiny of the World Wide Web by Its Inventor. (San Francisco, CA: Harper, 226 p.). Berners-Lee, Tim; World Wide Web (Information retrieval system)--History. 

Edward Castronova (2005). Synthetic Worlds: The Business and Culture of Online Games. (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Associate Professor of Telecommunications (Indiana University). Internet games--Social aspects; Internet games--Economic aspects. Implications of online game industry for business, culture.

Paul E. Ceruzzi (2008). Internet Alley: High Technology in Tysons Corner, 1945-2005. (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 242 p.). Curator of the National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution. Internet --History. How defense, telecommunications industries shaped Tysons Corner's development in postwar period; history of suburban development; became midpoint of "Internet alley" called Dulles Corridor; several reasons geography played vital role.

Paul E. Ceruzzi (2008). Internet Alley: High Technology in Tysons Corner, 1945-2005. (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 242 p.). Curator of the National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution. Internet --History. How defense, telecommunications industries shaped Tysons Corner's development in postwar period; history of suburban development; became midpoint of "internet alley" called Dulles Corridor, reasons geography played role.

Jack Goldsmith and Tim Wu (2006). Who Controls the Internet?: Illusions of a Borderless World. (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 240 p.). Internet--Social aspects; Internet--Government policy; Internet--Law and legislation. Internet's challenge to governmental rule in the 1990s, ensuing battles with governments around the world.

Katie Hafner and Matthew Lyon (1996). Where Wizards Stay Up Late: The Origins of the Internet. (New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, 304 p.). Internet.

Shannon Henry (2002). The Dinner Club: How the Masters of the Internet Universe Rode the Rise and Fall of the Greatest Boom in History. (New York, NY: Free Press, 288 p.). Technology Reporter (Washington Post). Chief executive officers--Washington Metropolitan Area; Internet industry--Washington Metropolitan Area; High technology industries--Washington Metropolitan Area; Stocks--Washington Metropolitan Area; Investments--Washington Metropolitan Area. 

Leslie S. Hiraoka (2005). Underwriting the Internet: How Technical Advances, Financial Engineering, and Entrepreneurial Genius Are Building the Information Highway. (Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, Inc., 297 p.). Department of Management Science (Kean University). Internet; Internet--Economic aspects; Information superhighway.  Internet's commercial development.

Michael Indergaard (2003). Silicon Alley: The Rise and Fall of a New Media District. (New York, NY: Routledge, 256 p.). Associate Professor of Sociology (St. John's University). Internet industry--New York (State)--New York; High technology industries--New York (State)--New York; Internet; Electronic commerce.

Casey Kait and Stephen Weiss (2001). Digital Hustlers: Living Large and Falling Hard in Silicon Alley. (New York, NY: Regan Books, 344 p.). Internet industry--New York (State)--New York--Case studies; Entrepreneurship--New York (State)--New York--Case studies.

Philip J. Kaplan (2002). F'd Companies: Spectacular Flameouts. (New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, 191 p.). President of PK Interactive. F'd companies : spectacular flameouts / Philip J. Kaplan; Business failures--United States--Case studies; Internet industry--United States--Case studies; Electronic commerce--United States--Case studies.

Byung-Keun Kim (2005). Internationalising the Internet: The Co-Evolution of Influence and Technology. (Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar Publishing, 300 p.). Professor, School of Industrial Management (Korea University of Technology and Education). Internet--Economic aspects; Internet--Social aspects; Technological innovations--Economic aspects; Technological innovations--Social aspects. Global formation of Internet system, how digital economy formed.

Sarah Lacy (2008). Once You're Lucky, Twice You're Good: The Rebirth of Silicon Valley and the Rise of Web 2.0. (New York, NY: Gotham, 304 p.). Reporter (BusinessWeek). Web site development industry--California; Internet industry--California; Web 2.0. Where the "dot.bomb" books left off -  growth of social networking (Facebook, Digg, Youtube), entrepreneurs (Marc Andressen, Paypal's Max Levchin); futuristic hyperbole of era not wrong, just early.

Michael Lewis (2001). Next: The Future Just Happened. (New York, NY: Norton, 236 p.). Internet--Social aspects; Internet--Economic aspects.

Charlene Li, Josh Bernoff (2008). Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies. (Boston, MA: Harvard Business Press, 286 p). Vice President and Principal Analyst (Forrester Research); Vice President (Forrester Research). Online social networks --Economic aspects; Information society --Economic aspects. Global groundswell of people using online social technologies to discuss products, companies, write news, find deals; affects every industry, foreign to powerful companies (feel vulnerable); how to turn   threat into opportunity: 1) evaluate new social technologies as they emerge, 2) determine how different groups of consumers participate in social technology arenas, 3) apply four-step process for formulating future strategy, 4) build social technologies into business .

Eds. Robert E. Litan and Alice M. Rivlin (2001). The Economic Payoff from the Internet Revolution. (Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press, 292 p.). Technological innovations--Economic aspects; Business enterprises--Computer network resources; Internet; Evolutionary economics. 

Robert E. Litan, Alice M. Rivlin (2001). Beyond the Dot.coms: The Economic Promise of the Internet. (Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press, 130 p.). Internet--Economic aspects--United States--Forecasting; Industrial productivity--United States; Labor productivity--United States.

D. Quinn Mills (2002). Buy, Lie, and Sell High: How Investors Lost Out on Enron and the Internet Bubble. (New York, NY: Financial Times Prentice Hall, 288 p.). Internet industry--Finance; Internet industry--United States; Online information services industry--Finance; Investments.

Christos P. Moschovitis (1999). History of the Internet : A Chronology, 1843 to the Present. (Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 312 p.). Internet (Computer network); Telecommunication--History. 

Greg Pelling and the Cisco Systems IBSG Asia Pacific and Japan Team (2005). Cisco Net Impact: Competitive Advantage from Internet Innovators in Asia Pacific and Japan. (Singapore: Wiley (Asia), 323 p.). Managing Director Asia Pacific and Japan for Cisco Systems Internet Business Solutions Group; Former Senior Partner for PWC Technology Consulting Practice. Internet--Economic aspects--Asia; Internet--Economic aspects--Pacific Area; Internet--Economic aspects--Japan; Business enterprises--Asia--Computer network resources; Business enterprises--Pacific Area--Computer network resources; Business enterprises--Japan--Computer network resources; Computer networks--Economic aspects--Asia--Case studies. How to achieve visible benefits from Internet, how to use it to manage organizations in Asia Pacific.

Adam Penenberg (2009). Viral Loop: From Facebook to Twitter, How Today's Smartest Businesses Grow Themselves. (New York, NY, Hyperion: 272 p.). Paradigm-busting phenomenon - essence of how most successful Web 2.0 companies grow (each new user begets more users (spread it by using product), and telling the colorful story of its main players, with viral loop.

Anthony B. Perkins, Michael C. Perkins (2001). The Internet Bubble: The Inside Story on Why It Burst--and What You Can Do To Profit Now. (New York, NY: HarperBusiness, 327 p.). Internet industry--Finance; Online information services industry--Finance.

Robert H. Reid (1997). Architects of the Web: 1,000 Days That Built the Future of Business. (New York, NY: Wiley, 370 p.). Computer software industry--United States--History; Businesspeople--United States--Biography; World Wide Web--History.

Frank Rose (2011). The Art of Immersion: How the Digital Generation Is Remaking Hollywood, Madison Avenue, and the Way We Tell Stories. (New York, NY: Norton, 354 p.). Contributing Editor, Wired magazine. Internet entertainment industry -- Social aspects; Internet entertainment -- Social aspects; Internet marketing -- Social aspects; Entertainment computing -- Social aspects; Internet -- Social aspects. Transmedia—what it is, where it came from, how it is changing culture; people reshaping media for two-way world (Will Wright, The Sims; James Cameron, Avatar), Damon Lindelof, Lost), dozens of others; changing how we play, chill, think.

Steve Rosenbaum (2011). Curation Nation: How to Win in a World Where Consumers are Creators. (New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Professional, 304 p.). CEO of, largest real-time video aggregation and curation engine on Internet. Online social networks; Market segmentation; Management. Curation - enables people to sort through digital excess, find what's relevant; why brands, publishers, content entrepreneurs must embrace aggregation, curation to grow an existing business or launch new one; takes advantage of Web's breadth, depth and provides measure of human sorting, filtering that search engines can't achieve; trusted source of value in otherwise meaningless chaos of digital noise; demand for quality, context becomes more urgent as volume of digital information in world increases.

Scott Rosenberg (2009). Say Everything: How Blogging Began, What It's Becoming, and Why It Matters. (New York, NY: Crown, 416 p.). Cofounder of Blogs; social media; Internet --History. Blogosphere; new species of written conversation, complex network of influence; blogging innovators; dilemmas that still face bloggers; privacy, self-expression, authority, community in era of Google, Facebook.

Johnny Ryan (2010). A History of the Internet and the Digital Future. (Chicago, IL: Univ. of Chicago Press, 256 p.). Senior Researcher (Institute of International and European Affairs, Dublin, Ireland). Internet -- history. Development of Internet from 1950s to present; how balance of power has shifted between individual and state in areas of censorship, copyright infringement, intellectual freedom, terrorism, warfare; how Internet has revolutionized political campaigns; how development of World Wide Web enfranchised new online population of assertive, niche consumers; how dot-com bust taught smarter firms to capitalize on power of digital artisans; trends that are shaping businesses, politics, media of digital future (from government-controlled systems of Cold War to today’s move towards cloud computing, user-driven content, new global commons).

Stephen Segaller (1998). Nerds 2.0.1: A Brief History of the Internet. (New York, NY: TV Books, 399 p.). Internet--History; Computer networks--History; Telecommunications engineers--United States; Information technology--History--20th century.

Sherman So, J. Christopher Westland (2009). Red Wired: China's Internet Revolution.  (London, UK, Marshall Cavendish Limited, 254 p.). China Technology Reporter ("South China Morning Post"); Professor (University of Illinois, Chicago). China -- Internet --history. China - 250 million Internet users, largest in the world (70% under 30, vs. US, 70%  older than 30); 42.4% of users go online via internet café; how China has adopted Internet at rapid pace; role that technology has played, lessons from Internet companies which succeeded.

Clifford Stoll (1995). Silicon Snake Oil: Second Thoughts on the Information Highway. (New York, NY: Doubleday, 247 p.). Computers and civilization; Internet; Information technology.

Linus Torvalds and David Diamond (2001). Just for Fun: The Story of an Accidental Revolutionary. (New York, NY: HarperBusiness, 262 p.). Torvalds, Linus, 1969- ; Linux; Computer programmers--Finland--Biography. 

Walter B. Wriston (2007). Bits, Bytes, and Balance Sheets: The New Economic Rules of Engagement in a New Wireless World. (Stanford, CA: Hoover Institution Press, Stanford University, 160 p.). Former Chairman, CEO of Citicorp. Internet--Economic aspects; Information technology; Electronic commerce. Consequences of changes produced by new economy of Internet; new rules (based on economic dogma not human nature), intellectual capital more important than physical capital; information revolution has radically affected business, government practices, political policymaking throughout world; personal ethics of good people should regulate new economy, not increased government regulation, not more laws.

Jonathan Zittrain (2008). The Future of the Internet and How To Stop It. (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 342 p.). Professor of Internet Governance and Regulation (Oxford University), co-founder of Harvard Law School’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society. Internet; Internet--Social aspects; Internet--Security measures. As 'tethered appliances', applications eclipse PC, very nature of Internet, "generativity," or innovative character, is at risk; sputtering because of its runaway success; generative Internet is on path to lockdown, ending its cycle of innovation, facilitating new kinds of control.

Matthew A. Zook (2005). The Geography of the Internet Industry: Venture Capital, Dot-Coms, and Local Knowledge. (Malden, MA: Blackwell Pub., 200 p.,). Internet industry--Location. 


Business History Links

First U.S. Web Site: Documentation of the Early Web at SLAC (1991-1994)                                                                                                       

This collection documents the installation of the first United States Web server at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC). Features a chronology, images of the first SLAC Web pages, a list of some of the people involved in Web activities at SLAC (along with publications such as "The Virtual Library in Action"), and other related documents. From Archivist Jean Marie Deken of the SLAC Archives and History Office.

Digital Archive of the Birth of the Dot.Com Era                                                                                      Established in June 2002 by David Kirsch, Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship, Robert H. Smith School of Bussiness (University of Maryland); what did, did not work; archive contains 6.4 million e-mail messages, memos, slide presentations, photographs, marketing materials, databases representing thousands of companies.

Geek's History of the Internet                                                    

How The Web Was One: An Oral History of the Internet   internet200807          Vanity Fair set out to compile an oral history of the Internet, speaking with scores of people involved in every stage of the Internet’s development, from the 1950s onward. From more than 100 hours of interviews we have distilled and edited their words into a concise narrative of the past half-century—a history of the Internet in the words of the people who made it.

Internet Evolution: Riding the Waves of "Web 2.0"                

This October 2006 report looks at "Web 2.0," a "catch-all buzzword that people use to describe a wide range of online activities and applications." It provides an overview of Web 2.0 and some of the concepts (such as blogs, wikis, and podcasts) that have been associated with the trend, and statistics showing the rise of services such as Photobucket, Wikipedia, and MySpace. From the Pew Internet & American Life project.

La Historia Económica en Internet                                             12&id=      

Three parts; 1) evolution of computers and the development of the net; 2) economic history, trying to look for the topics of their own; 3) interesting sites in the net, for economic history. Economic History, Internet, computers, data base, resources of information.

Net History                                                                                               

Not-for-profit project, started by Internet expert and historian Ian Peter, as overview portal for Internet history materials.


Founded on June 11, 2005 as weblog dedicated to obsessively profiling and reviewing new Internet products and companies. In addition to covering new companies, we profile existing companies that are making an impact (commercial and/or cultural) on the new web space.

What Are CERN's Greatest Achievements?: The World Wide Web  AboutCERN/Achievements/WorldWideWeb/WWW-en.htm            

History of the invention of the World Wide Web (WWW) in 1989 by Tim Berners-Lee, a scientist at CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research). "The basic idea of WWW was to merge the technologies of personal computers, computer networking and hypertext into a powerful and easy to use global information system." Discusses early Web pages, Web servers, browsers, how the Web is not identical to the Internet, and how the Web works. From CERN.

W3C: History                                                                                           

History of the creation of the Web in 1989 by Tim Berners-Lee and of the origins of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), founded in 1994. Highlights include Berners-Lee's original proposal for the Web, a biography and FAQ from Berners-Lee, and archival documents about the organization and uses of the Web. From W3C.


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