16. Those ‘Free’ AOL Discs Weren’t Exactly Free
People of a certain age remember when AOL would send their start-up discs out in the mail, seemingly every month. But while those discs might have been free to consumers, they cost the company a pretty penny. According to TechCrunch, AOL “probably spent about $35 per user on things such as these discs,” or about $300 million in total.
TechCrunch adds, “The subscriber growth helped grow AOL from a market cap of $70 million at the time of their IPO to $150 billion when the merger with Time Warner occurred.”
At one point, over 50% of all CD’s being produced on the planet were AOL startup CDs.
17. The Entire Internet Used to Fit on 1 Computer
See that busted old NeXTCube up there? Believe it or not, that was the computer that housed the whole Internet. That was the first web server, owned by Tim Berners-Lee when he worked at CERN.
According to The Next Web, the first website went online in August of 1991.
18. Congress Should Be Thanked For Opening Up Internet Commerce
Can you imagine the world without Internet? Pew looks at the web at 25 and what it has done for the world. Amazing: http://t.co/xJVCqHfvuK
— Catherine McCullough (@honestlobbyist) February 28, 2014
Business Insider notes that Congress actually played a key role in the growth of the web. In 1992, Congress passed the Scientific Advanced Technology Act. This act allowed people, for the first time, to explore commercial interests online. Without this bill passing, ISPs couldn’t charge for their services and sites like eBay would have been illegal.
19. Many Websites Almost Had Strange, Different Names
Sites like Twitter, Amazon, and eBay are well-known parts of the Internet landscape. But these sites almost had different names. eBay was almost “echobay.com,” while Amazon was almost called “Cadabra,” until Jeff Bezos realized it sounded too much like “cadaver.” Twitter was almost called “Jitter” and Yelp was almost called “Yocal.”
On the next page, learn about the first items sold on eBay and Amazon…