A short(ish) post about something huge.
I was sitting in a weekly management meeting today and as we went through the usual agenda, i was struck by something;
Every single person in that room wouldn’t be there if Sir TIm Berners-Lee hadn’t invented the WWW 25 years ago this week. The company i work for is listed on NASDAQ and almost every cent of its near $3bn market cap is because of Tim. Many of the friends and colleagues i’ve made over a 20 year career is because what Tim created.
I would hope that Sergey, Larry, Mark and many others stop for a few seconds tomorrow and tip their hat to what enabled their billions to be made.
I also thought about the early days in London – this would be 94/95. We hung out in Backspace (now a Starbucks on Clink Street). We were all on Haddock, the mailing list. Charlie Brooker was about to write TV Go Home and was making prank calls on Super Kaylo. Hari Kunzru the acclaimed author wrote for British Wired and hung out with folks like Danny O’Brien and Dave Green, both of Wired and the wonderful NTK (NTK Live was always fun, especially i recall the whip round we had to buy Microsoft). All this before Danny went to fight the good fight at the EFF. Folks like Stefan Magadalinski were thinking up stuff like Up My Street, Matt Jones was about to help design the first BBC News website (before rampaging through Nokia, Dopplr, Berg and Google). Yoz Grahame was about to make the Hitchhikers actually real with Douglas Adams at Digital Village before making Second Life real, if that makes sense. Tom Loosemore was making Capital Radio digital, before changing the way our Government delivers its services via digital. Give me a bit longer and the so would the list be.
Agencies came and went: Obsolete, Deepend, Sunbather, Webmedia, Lateral, Online Magic to name check a few…
I also thought about the books that we devoured and the articles that each Wired gave us. Neal Stephenson was required reading – Snow Crash, Diamond Age. In fact, Diamond Age is coming down off the shelf.
Most of us are now 40 something’s. Many of us have children. We are as Darren Hayman notes ‘half way through now’ (though i’m not ‘making a list of the things we forgot to do’ just yet). The world my children inhabit is Tim’s world. It’s simply the way their world works. To me that is still amazing and something that get’s me out of bed each day.
I could not have imagined my old Mac Quadra 630 with a 28.8 dial up would grow up to be a MacBook Air with fibre broadband with 13 wi-fi devices connected to it. That’s simply nuts.
We logged onto things like MIT’s MediaMoo and ALT Newsgroups…the Web was only part of the Internet we were using.
I feel lucky to have been there at the ground floor of this thing. It’s given me a living i couldn’t have imagined.
So thanks Tim. I really have no idea what i’d be doing now. It really is as you say, for everyone.