In early 1996, a question by one Lawrence appeared on comp.lang.java, a Usenet forum dedicated to the Java language. The boy had a technical question and asked for help. He would then sign: “Thank you, Larry Page.”
It turns out that Lawrence was the co-founder of Google, and like him, other great entrepreneurs and living legends of technology turned to the internet to seek help or simply to share their idea of the future. Linus Torvalds, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg or Brian Armstrong also did it. The rest, as they say, is history.
Even the big ones were little once
Obviously almost no one knew who Larry Page was or that his project (which he developed together with Sergey Brin) would end up becoming one of the greatest technological empires of all time.
Larry Page asked in forums because of course, Google didn’t exist yet. He would take care of creating it.
As indicated in this discussion initiated by Paul McKellar a Twitter, he was not the only one who asked for help or opinion when starting his project and putting it into operation. We have one of the most famous cases with Linus Torvaldsthe creator of Linus, who on August 25, 1991 wrote a message on comp.os.minix (another Usenet forum) that has also become historical.
It said the following:
Here Linus Torvalds told how he was creating an operating system as a hobby. “It won’t be big and professional,” he said. Ha.
Another mythical message is the one published by Jeff Bezos in the ba.jobs.offered forum (also on Usenet, which was the Reddit at the time). In it, Bezos was looking for “extremely talented” programmers to help him “pioneer internet commerce.”
You only had to send your CV and cover letter to Jeff Bezos, which even left the postal address of the company. By the way: at that time it was not called Amazon, but Cadabra.
These stories demonstrate how business start-ups of all kinds seek help and feedback just like anyone else. These are not the only cases, of course, and it is curious to remember how Mark Zuckerberg created FaceMashpredecessor of Facebook.
That controversial website for students at Harvard University allowed you to vote on whether or not a girl on campus was attractive. That caused the Harvard board of directors to submit him to a third degree from which he emerged unscathed, and that would end up giving rise to the creation of his social network, Facebook.
At that time Zuckerberg had his blog on the Live Journal platform, and although those posts were lost, someone rescued them and published them. In them you can see how the creator of Facebook was telling how on the night of October 28 to 29, 2003 he created FaceMash because “I need something to keep my mind busy.”
Many others share their ideas online before launching to seek validation and suggestions. One of those who told it recently was Brian Armstrongwho in 2012 posted a message on Hacker News commenting on his idea and looking for a co-founder for his project.
This was Brian Armstrong’s message in March 2012. Most of those who replied criticized his idea. Who laughs last…
Despite the criticism he received, Armstrong ended up making that idea a reality. His objective was to propose a way to facilitate transactions with “digital currencies, such as bitcoin or some derivative of it.” He believed in the future of cryptocurrencies: he founded Coinbase and ended up going public a few weeks ago. Today he is a billionaire, and when he told the story of those beginnings, he also made an important reflection: “I knew I didn’t have to take negative comments too seriously.”
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Imagen | CC