Internet History Podcast

Internet History Podcast
From Netscape to the iPad
187. Story with Stephan Paternot Part II
Jan 6 • 64 min
Ok, part 2 of the Stephan Paternot mega-episode right now. This is where we get into the meat of it, the good stuff, the whole crazy roller coaster ride of being the hottest startup of the dotcom era. And I was going to make this the last episode, but as…
186. Story with Stephan Paternot
Dec 23, 2018 • 50 min
I said in the book, I think was the quintessential dot-com company. We spoke to one of the cofounders previously, Todd Krizelman. Todd was great, but he was time constrained and he didn’t quite get as personal about the story as I would have…
185. Ripple’s David Schwartz
Dec 9, 2018 • 39 min
David Schwartz is the Chief Technology Officer at Ripple, the company behind the cryptocurrency XRP. What is it like to start, build and build out a crypto startup? Is it different than the web and internet startups that we’ve covered on this show for…
184. GV’s Ken Norton
Nov 25, 2018 • 79 min
Ken Norton is a partner at GV, Alphabets venture capital arm, but before that, he was a product manager at Google, where he led the development of products like Google Docs, Google Calendar and Google Mobile Maps. But he was also early at JotSpot which…
183. Selling the First Facebook Ads, With Matt Britton
Nov 11, 2018 • 28 min
Matt Britton not only sold the first ads to and for Facebook, way back in 2004, he gives us a really insightful and, frankly, unbiased look at what Facebook was like as a company in its very earliest days.
Emergency Podcast Announcement
Nov 2, 2018 • 1 min
Emergency Podcast Announcement Link to Amazon
182. Google’s Matt Cutts @mattcutts
Oct 28, 2018 • 61 min
I figure most of you should know who Matt Cutts is, but if you don’t, let’s just leave it at this: he’s about to give you the best, most behind-the-scenes oral history of early Google we’ve gotten so far on this podcast. He was the head of Google’s web…
181. (Ch. 7.5) The Story of craigslist
Oct 13, 2018 • 22 min
SUMMARY: The history of Craig Newmark, craigslist and other odds and ends that didn’t make the book!
180. Part 2 With John McCrea
Sep 30, 2018 • 91 min
Simple enough: Part 2 with John McCrea. More on SGI, more on doing battle with Microsoft in the 90s. And… interesting stuff on VR and the future…
179. On Silicon Graphics with John McCrea (Pt. 1)
Sep 16, 2018 • 71 min
John McCrea is a Zelig-like personality who pops up in so many of the narratives we’ve already covered: Apple. Netscape. Doing battle with Microsoft. This is part one, mostly about Silicon Graphics, a company I had been thinking about doing an episode on…
178. On Google’s 20th Birthday - The History of Google
Sep 1, 2018 • 95 min
On Google’s 20th Birthday (September 4th) a re-cutting and re-airing of my comprehensive history of Google, from it’s inception through its IPO. Happy Birthday, Google!
177. with Fraser Van Asch
Aug 19, 2018 • 37 min was not only a very early experiment in bringing journalism to the web, it was also one of those local ISP’s that flowered in the era of the early 1990s. Fraser Von Asch was not only one of the key players at The News & Observer (thus, “NandO”)…
176. The Epic Fail of Digg V.4 With Will Larson
Aug 6, 2018 • 49 min
This story has gone down in Silicon Valley lore as the ultimate cautionary tale. Digg was the earliest high flying startup in early social media. But then, other startups like Facebook and Twitter started to steal the limelight. So Digg tried to keep up…
175. How the Internet Came to Pakistan With Imran Haider
Jul 22, 2018 • 41 min
Today, we’re going to continue our occasional project of getting oral histories and personal anecdotes about how, exactly, the Internet and the web came to various places around the world. On this episode we’re going to look at how the Internet came…
174. Bringing the NYTimes and MSNBC Online With Lisa Napoli
Jul 8, 2018 • 65 min
Lisa Napoli got a job straight out of college at CNN in its earliest days, which is a crazy startup story in it’s own right. But then she worked for a time at Delphi, which was an early online service and competitor to AOL and Prodigy that I don’t think…
173. Netscape’s Rosanne Siino
Jun 24, 2018 • 61 min
Rosanne Siino has been on my list to talk to from day one of this podcast. As you know, I started by reaching out to Netscape folks and Rosanne was the head of communications for that very first dotcom company. She saw it all, she can give us her take on…
HUGE Podcast Announcement
Jun 16, 2018 • 3 min
HUGE Podcast Announcement! Details on how to pre-order the podcast book!
172. How Politics Came to the Web With Karl Mattson
Jun 10, 2018 • 53 min
Today we’re going to go back to take a look at early journalism on the web. Karl Mattson helped launched one of the first political news websites, ElectionLine. He helped cover the 1996 election when covering an election on the web was a completely new…
171. Claude Shannon, Father of Information Theory
May 27, 2018 • 59 min
Claude Shannon was a mathematician, electrical engineer, and cryptographer known as “the father of information theory.” In the pantheon of cool people who made the modern information era possible, he’s right up there. Today, we’re going to talk about…
170. The Godfather of Streaming Music, Robert Reid
May 13, 2018 • 89 min
Summary: Robert Reid, the founder of Rhapsody, can be considered the Godfather (founding father?) of the streaming music reality we now live in. But guess what? That’s only half of this episode! Because it turns out, Robert is the author of a book that…
169.’s Jason Kottke, @jkottke
Apr 29, 2018 • 63 min
Jason Kottke, of fame, was one of the early bloggers, one of the first bloggers to go pro, and one of the few solo bloggers still going. If you know, then you love it. How could you not? If you’ve never heard of it, you can thank me…
168. The History of Java With Todd Sundsted
Apr 15, 2018 • 42 min
People have been yelling at me for years that I’ve not covered more technical aspects of the web’s history, especially things like Java. Specifically Java. The argument can be made that Java helped the web evolve into what it’s become. So, that’s why I…
167. NYTimes Tech Columnist, Farhad Manjoo @fmanjoo
Apr 1, 2018 • 58 min
Today, a man who needs no introduction: New York Times Technology Columnist Farhad Manjoo. This episode was recorded about two months or so ago, so we talk about the book leave Farhad is on that he only recently made public, but of course, we get into his…
166. Amazon, Hulu and Oculus with Eugene Wei
Mar 17, 2018 • 73 min
No joke, this is one of my favorite episodes we’ve ever done. Eugene Wei was an early employee at Hulu, so we get some details on that company for the first time, and he also worked at Flipboard and Oculus, so we get some important context especially on…
165. Claire L. Evans, Author of Broad Band- The Untold Story of the Women Who Made the Internet
Mar 4, 2018 • 67 min
Claire Evans is the author of the new book: Broad Band The Untold Story of the Women Who Made the Internet. This is the best tech history book I’ve read in a while and you know I read them all. Of special note, considering our 90s-heavy focus on this…
164. How the Web Came to Germany, With Thomas Ganter
Feb 19, 2018 • 52 min
Podcast listener Thomas Ganter gives us a first person, anecdotal account of how the web came to Germany in the 1990s.
163. The History of Online Video with JibJab’s Gregg Spiridellis
Feb 5, 2018 • 64 min
Gregg Spiridellis has been making things go viral on the web since before the term VIRAL was even a thing. His company, JibJab has been producing web videos since the dialup dotcom era, producing hits you might remember such as Elf Yourself, Nasty Santa…
162. Venrock’s David Pakman on Apple’s Music Group, N2K, eMusic and Dollar Shave Club
Jan 21, 2018 • 41 min
David Pakman is a well respected venture capitalist at Venrock, but also a lifelong musician and music fan. Earlier in his career he played a significant role in bringing music to the web. David tells us about cofounding Apple’s Music Group, his role in…
161. Jeff Bussgang on Open Market and early eCommerce
Jan 7, 2018 • 39 min
It gets my goat that these days, the history of ecommerce begins and ends with Amazon. There were so many companies and big ideas that got us where we are today, and one of the most important companies was Open Market. Jeff Bussgang is here to tell us the…
160. Growing Up With The Web With Desiree Garcia @thedezzie
Dec 17, 2017 • 46 min
An exploration of what it was like to come of age in the early web era.
159. The Forgotten Story of PLATO, with Brian Dear
Dec 10, 2017 • 68 min
Plato was an online and interactive learning computer system developed in the 1960s at the University of Illinois. But in the early 1970s, Plato got truly networked, and the users took over. Plato had already pioneered such things as touch screen…
158. Bob Stein of Voyager and The Criterion Collection
Nov 27, 2017 • 59 min
Bob Stein was the founder of Voyager, publisher of the first consumer CDROM titles, and, far and away the leader of the CDROM industry in the late 1980s and early 90s. Bob was also one of the founders of the Criterion Collection, as well as the publisher…
157. Rob Malda (@cmdrtaco) on SlashDot and Social Media
Nov 11, 2017 • 80 min
You might know him as Rob Malda, or you might know him as CmdrTaco, but he was the founder of the great geek social website Slashdot. Slashdot recently turned 20 years old, Rob commemorated this in a great Medium post, and so I reached out to him to tell…
156. Dave Winer on The Open Web, Blogging, Podcasting and More
Oct 29, 2017 • 97 min
Dave Winer has been called the godfather of a lot of things. The godfather of blogging. The Godfather of Podcasting. One of the key people involved in the development of RSS. But as you’ll hear in this great and wide-ranging chat, Dave Winer is just a…
155. Giphy with Nicole LaPorte
Oct 15, 2017 • 23 min
SUMMARY: Nicole Laporte has a cover story in Fast Company magazine this month about Giphy, potentially the next big story in online advertising and marketing, as well as… search? Read her profile of Giphy here.
154. Om Malik on Blogging and Web 2.0
Oct 1, 2017 • 68 min
Om Malik is, of course, a legend. One of the first journalists on the “tech beat” in the 1990s, one of the first bloggers to “turn pro,” one of the driving forces behind the Web 2.0 time period, and one of the most trusted analysts of the technology…
153. The AOL/Time Warner Merger - Crossover with the Acquired Podcast
Sep 17, 2017 • 105 min
What is generally considered the worst merger of all time, and certainly the crescendo event of the dotcom bubble era, today we take a look at the AOL/Time Warner merger, again with the excellent guys at the podcast Acquired.
152. David Shen on Early Yahoo and the Maturation of Online Advertising
Sep 3, 2017 • 65 min
David Shen was employee #17 at Yahoo, where he eventually had a hand in, not only the birth of advertising as the primary business model for the web but, eventually, the development of digital ads into their more modern, interactive form. As you’ll hear,…
151. Facebook’s First Senior Software Engineer, Karel Baloun
Aug 13, 2017 • 62 min
Karel Baloun was the first senior software engineer hired at Facebook in 2005. This was after the Accel round of funding, when Facebook truly began to staff up and grow up. Baloun was only at Facebook for a year, from 2005 to 2006, but he provides some…
150. More SoundCloud Chat with Buzzfeed’s Ryan Mac
Aug 6, 2017 • 24 min
Just as last week’s episode posted, another great piece about SoundCloud was posted on Buzzfeed by the great Ryan Mac. So, in a rare attempt by me to be topical, today’s episode is with Ryan Mac, discussing his article, which fills in some of the details…
149. Christina Warren on SoundCloud
Jul 30, 2017 • 68 min
Our friend Christina Warren is back for another analysis episode. Christina recently posted a tweetstorm about SoundCloud, and its prospects for the future. So she kindly agreed to come on the show, look at the history of SoundCloud as a company, and try…
148. Don Melton on Apple, Safari, WebKit and Netscape
Jul 23, 2017 • 109 min
Don Melton is popularly known as the father of the Safari web browser or WebKit. He’s basically a web browser legend. Not only does Don tell us a lot of great stuff about Safari, WebKit, Apple and more, but he was also an early Netscape employee, so we…
147. The First Text Message With Neil Papworth
Jul 9, 2017 • 26 min
The first text message (or, to be accurate, SMS message) was sent on December 3, 1992. It was sent by Neil Papworth, and it said, “Merry Christmas.” This is the story of that first text, recorded for the first time.
146. Mike Slade on Steve Jobs’ Return To Apple
Jun 25, 2017 • 61 min
As promised, Mike Slade is back to tell stories from the period 1998 through 2004, when he was Special Assistant to Steve Jobs. Background details on the iMac, the iPod and the iPhone and more!
145. Brian Merchant, Author of The One Device
Jun 18, 2017 • 59 min
Finally! A detailed history of the development of the iPhone inside Apple. But not only that, an extensive history of all the technologies that came together to make the iPhone possible. Lithium ion battery technology, touchscreen technology, Gorilla…
144. The “First” Blogger, Justin Hall
Jun 11, 2017 • 104 min
A lot of people give credit to Justin Hall for being, if not the first, then spiritually, at least, the “first” blogger. Since early 1994, first as Justin’s Homepage and at various points, as Justin’s Links from the Underground and, Justin Hall…
143. Neil Hunt on the History of Netflix and Netflix Streaming
May 29, 2017 • 76 min
For several months now, I’ve been complaining on Twitter and a bunch of other places that, for as ubiquitous as Netflix streaming has become—I think it’s one of the most important technology products of the last decade at least— there’s actually been…
142. Andy Rachleff @arachleff co-founder of Benchmark and Wealthfront
May 21, 2017 • 47 min
Andy Rachleff was a co-founder of Benchmark, one of the most respected venture capital firms to this very day, and one of the biggest venture players during the dotcom era. On today’s episode, Andy gives us more background on eBay’s founding and what…
141. Nathan Latka @NathanLatka of the Top Entrepreneurs Podcast
May 13, 2017 • 21 min
Summary Check out The Top Entrepreneurs Podcast here! Books recommended on this episode: - Storming the Magic Kingdom - Walt Disney - Unconventional Success - Say Everything - The Wikipedia Revolution - The Innovators - The Expanse
140. The Google Chef, Charlie Ayers
Apr 24, 2017 • 48 min
The famous Google Chef, Charlie Ayers, remembers joining Google when it was about 50 employees, the company’s early growth, culture, and the unique role he played in shaping that culture.
139. The Napster Story with Jordan Ritter
Apr 16, 2017 • 81 min
If you know the Napster story at all, then you know about the Shawn(Sean)s. Shawn Fanning and Sean Parker. But in my opinion, and in the opinion of a lot of other people, a name that you should be just as familiar with is Jordan Ritter. Napster was an…
138. (Ch. 9.2) The History of Google Part 2
Apr 10, 2017 • 47 min
There was one important trait that Google shared with the dotcoms: it wasn’t making very much money. It’s somewhat forgotten, given what would come later, but Google existed for several years without much of a business plan. The vision Larry and Sergey…
137. (Ch. 9.1) The History of Google Part 1
Apr 2, 2017 • 47 min
When Larry and Sergey first met, they didn’t like each other much… BIBLIOGRAPHY: In The Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives The Google Story How Google Works The Search: How Google and Its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and…
136.’s Joshua Newman on the Pets Space During the Dotcom Era
Mar 26, 2017 • 49 min
During the dot-com era in the late 90s, there were four different venture-backed startups (six, depending on how you count) that focused on the pet retail space. Most famous, or notorious, I guess was, of the sock puppet fame, but today, we’re…
135. The Story With Dennis Adamo
Mar 20, 2017 • 71 min
Before Snapchat Stories, before YouTube, in the dial-up era of the 90s, there were a select few who were experimenting with streaming video and interactive media on the web. The most prominent and notorious of these pioneers was Dennis Adamo…
134. Yahoo’s Acquisition of Overture (Crossover Ep. w/the Acquired Podcast)
Mar 12, 2017 • 90 min
Today’s episode is a special event, a crossover episode with the Acquired Podcast, which you can find in your podcast directory by searching for the word Acquired, or by going to Acquired is hosted by Ben Gilbert, the Co-Founder of Pioneer…
133. Gary Flake on Overture, Yahoo and the History of Search
Feb 26, 2017 • 102 min
Gary Flake has been involved with search technology ever since he got turned on to this particular field in college. In this wide-ranging discussion, Gary lays out for us, basically, the history of search technology before Google, the impact of Google,…
132. MG Siegler @mgsiegler on TechCrunch and GV
Feb 19, 2017 • 89 min
You all know MG Siegler. From TechCrunch’s most famous blogger to GV’s most affable venture capitalist, he has a lot to say about Apple, the business of blogging and where Silicon Valley is at in the modern era.
131. Elizabeth Osder on the, Yahoo and More
Feb 12, 2017 • 74 min
Elizabeth Osder is one of those digital media veterans who’s career has spanned the entire web era, from bringing the New York Times online (though, she got her native New Jersey online first by launching a few years beforehand) all the way through…
130. AOL, AIM, Chat Rooms, The Time Warner Merger… AOL’s History with Joe Schober
Feb 5, 2017 • 100 min
Joe Schober was the longest serving employee of America Online, working there as an engineer, and later chief architect, from 1992 until just a few years ago. So, there literally couldn’t be anyone better to walk us through AOL’s history and many…
129. Michael March on the Indie ISP Industry, and the Birth of Online Spam
Jan 29, 2017 • 78 min
Michael March was the founder of Internet Direct, the first commercial ISP in Arizona. Michael gives us a first-hand account of the independent ISP industry that grew up around the country in the 1990s. AOL might have been the training wheels for the…
128. Jim McCann of 1800Flowers
Jan 15, 2017 • 51 min
Would it surprise you to learn that 1800Flowers was not only one of the first ecommerce pioneers but quite possibly, the first to be profitable in a meaningful way? You wouldn’t be surprised if you knew the story of 1800Flowers and its founder, Jim…
127. The History of the iPhone, On Its 10th Anniversary
Jan 6, 2017 • 63 min
“So… Three things: A widescreen iPod with touch controls. A revolutionary mobile phone. And a breakthrough internet communications device. An iPod… a phone… and an internet communicator… An iPod, a phone… are you getting it? These are not three separate…
126. (Ch. 8) How the Dotcom Bubble Happened
Dec 31, 2016 • 65 min
The background, root causes and rough outline of the dotcom bubble. How it happened, why it happened… and why it’s unlikely to happen again anytime soon.
125. Sebastian Mallaby on Alan Greenspan and the Dotcom Bubble
Dec 12, 2016 • 36 min
As most of you know, I’m busy writing a book that this podcast is partially source material for, and at the moment, I’m deep in the weeds on chapters about the Dotcom bubble—how it happened, why it happened, that sort of thing. By necessity, I’ve been…
124. Founder of ReadWriteWeb, Richard MacManus
Nov 27, 2016 • 64 min
Summary Sometimes you get to talk to your actual heroes. I’ve been reading Richard MacManus probably almost as long as he’s been writing on the web. He is the founder of the popular ReadWriteWeb blog, and he was one of the forces behind the Web 2.0…
123. Founder of, Stuart Skorman
Nov 13, 2016 • 47 min
Summary At the dawn of e-commerce, if staked a claim in books, and sites like CDNow staked a claim in music, then should be remembered as the important dot-com era player in movie retail. But more than just going toe to toe with…
122. The First Web Search Engine? With Oliver McBryan
Nov 6, 2016 • 23 min
If you’ll remember back to the chapter episode on the early search engines and Yahoo, I said that it’s hard to pin down exactly what the “first search engine” was. There were so many competing projects and technologies that launched in different ways at…
121. Chamath Palihapitiya @chamath on Facebook, AIM and WinAmp
Oct 30, 2016 • 56 min
Summary Most of you know Chamath Palihapitiya as one of the most prominent and progressive venture capitalists working today. But before forming Social Capital, Chamath was an early employee at a startup we’ve already covered, WinAmp; was the head of…
120. Jason Calacanis @jason on Silicon Alley, The Dot-Com Bubble and Web 2.0
Oct 24, 2016 • 84 min
Most of you will know Jason Calacanis from his many high profile endeavors such as his podcasts (especially This Week in Startups) his Launch conference and But older listeners will remember Jason as one of the most colorful personalities of…
119. The Story of with Julia Turner @juliaturner and Jacob Weisberg @jacobwe
Oct 9, 2016 • 43 min
SUMMARY I missed it (I should really be keeping a calendar of these things) but celebrated its 20th anniversary last month. If you’ll recall, we went into some detail about Slate’s founding in this chapter episode, but today we have Slate’s…
118. The Birth of Amazon’s 3rd Party Platform with John Rossman
Sep 26, 2016 • 42 min
John Rossman helped transform’s business. After the dotcom bubble burst, Amazon delved into a new business line that allowed third parties to do business off of Amazon’s platform, and make use of Amazon’s many competencies. In this Episode,…
117. Founder of Friendster and Nuzzel, Jonathan Abrams
Sep 18, 2016 • 64 min
Jonathan Abrams was the founder of the first modern social networking site, Friendster. This is essentially the story of the birth of social media… the ideas that inspired the very notion of social networking, the struggles to launch a web startup after…
116. Director of the Documentary Silicon Cowboys ( @Silicon_Cowboys ) Jason Cohen
Sep 12, 2016 • 25 min
If you’ll remember a few years ago I spoke with Rod Canion about how Compaq created the industry standard computer platform that finally supplanted IBM. Well, this week, on September 16, a new documentary about the Compaq story, called Silicon Cowboys, is…
115. Mike Slade on 80s Microsoft, NeXT, Starwave and Steve Jobs’ Return to Apple
Sep 4, 2016 • 64 min
I originally wanted to talk to Mike Slade about Starwave, the innovative company that launched some major names onto the web, including,,, and after an eventual sale to Disney, put together the pieces that eventually…
114. Douglas Colbeth, CEO of Spyglass
Aug 28, 2016 • 56 min
We’ve spoken a lot on this show about Netscape and the “Browser Wars,” but there’s a key angle to this story that we haven’t had the chance to delve into yet. While Netscape was out in California creating Navigator, there was another company, Spyglass,…
113. Joel Johnson on Gawker and the Rise of Professional Blogging
Aug 8, 2016 • 105 min
Summary Joel Johnson has spent nearly his entire professional career, working in digital media. He went from being an anonymous online commenter to being an early editor of Gizmodo, to eventually becoming editorial director of Gawker Media. Essentially,…
112. Inventor of the First Digital Camera, Steven Sasson
Jul 31, 2016 • 68 min
Summary Steve Sasson was the inventor of the world’s first digital camera. Because it’s hard to imagine modern life without digital photography, it’s maybe easy to forget what a marvel it really is. And Sasson has been front and center for the entire…
Announcing the Podcast Book!
Jul 25, 2016 • 11 min
Quick, special announcement of a book, based on the podcast, coming from Liveright (W.W. Norton) in 2018. Regular episode to come next monday…
111. CompuServe Founder Jeff Wilkins
Jul 5, 2016 • 55 min
Summary Jeff Wilkins was the co-founder and first CEO of CompuServe, perhaps the original consumer online service. Jeff recounts for us CompuServe’s founding in 1970, the launch of it’s consumer-facing service in 1980, and all of the innovations that…
110. Hunter Walk Talks Second Life, Google Adsense and YouTube
Jun 12, 2016 • 73 min
Special Note: We’re testing something new this week. You can read a full transcription of this episode here. Everyone’s favorite, friendly neighborhood Venture Capitalist, Hunter Walk, discusses four amazing segments of his career: Late Night With Conan…
109. The History of Sierra Online with Laine Nooney
Jun 5, 2016 • 72 min
Summary Ken and Roberta Williams were the founders of the legendary PC gaming company Sierra Online. Assistant Professor of Digital Media in the School of Literature, Media and Communication at Georgia Tech, Laine Nooney, joins the show to discuss the…
108. Founders Mark Selcow and Matt Glickman
May 30, 2016 • 61 min
Mark Selcow and Matt Glickman were the founders of The story of BabyCenter is a combination of several themes we’ve discussed on this show: creating community as a strategy for building a sustainable audience, attempting e-commerce in the…
107. Founder of Marketwatch, Larry Kramer @lkramer
May 22, 2016 • 85 min
Summary Larry Kramer was the founder of He’s also been the President and Publisher of USA Today and he’s currently interim CEO of We talk to him about creating a brand like MarketWatch in a space dominated by powerful…
106. Co-Founder of Tesla, Marc Tarpenning
May 15, 2016 • 83 min
Summary Marc Tarpenning, along with Martin Eberhard, was the cofounder of Tesla Motors back in 2003. But before that, Tarpenning and Eberhard were also the cofounders of NuvoMedia, which produced one of the world’s first ebook devices, the rocket eBook.…
105. Tom Rielly, Founder of PlanetOut
May 8, 2016 • 83 min
Summary Tom Rielly was the founder of PlanetOut, the largest LGBT website and community of the 1990s. Tom recounts the unique impact the web and online technology had on the LGBT community and, prior to that, remembers the early days of the Mac industry.…
104. Suck Again! Joey Anuff And Carl Steadman Return!
May 1, 2016 • 84 min
Summary What more do I need to say? Joey and Carl are back for round two. You can visit the Suck archives here.
103. Rafat Ali @rafat of PaidContent and Skift
Apr 25, 2016 • 91 min
Summary I can’t be sure about this exactly, but I would hazard to say Rafat Ali is possibly patient zero when it comes to taking a blog and turning it into a real, 21st century media company. Before the Huffington Post, before TechCrunch, even, maybe,…
102. Analysis Ep. 5 - The History and Future of Automotive Tech with Mike Dushane
Apr 10, 2016 • 78 min
I know it’s a bit beyond our usual chronology of 90s-era technology, but car tech has come up so much in recent episodes, that I thought it was high time to learn more about the history and future of automotive tech. Electronic vehicles, Tesla, autonomous…
101. Matt Kursh on Pen Computing, Sidewalk and MSN
Mar 21, 2016 • 67 min
Summary Matt Kursh was a part of the pre-web Silicon Valley frenzy for pen computing that we’ve spoken about several times on this show. Matt is kind enough to give us an in depth look at that mini-bubble and explains how it happened and how it paved the…
100. The Man Who Could Have Been Bill Gates? The Gary Kildall Story
Mar 13, 2016 • 98 min
Summary To celebrate our 100th episode, we’re taking a special look at one of the foundational legends of the technology industry. It’s about the man who invented the modern disc operating system (the OS) and the concept of the software platform. That man…
99. Founders of, Carl Steadman and Joey Anuff
Feb 28, 2016 • 98 min
Summary Carl Steadman and Joey Anuff were the founders of perhaps the most influential of the early web content sites, If you’re unfamiliar with Suck, you’re about to get a taste of why so many of us have been such big fans for so long. If…
98. Rob Lord, Founder of the Internet Underground Music Archive
Feb 24, 2016 • 56 min
Summary Rob Lord was the founder of the Internet Underground Music Archive all the way back in 1993. This would become the first website devoted to the distribution of music via MP3 downloads, and very much paved the way for a lot of what came later.…
97. Chris Fralic @chrisfralic Discusses and
Feb 14, 2016 • 54 min
Summary Most of you will know Chris Fralic as a partner in the VC firm First Round Capital, here in New York City. But Chris was also heavily involved in two key companies that we’ll be talking more about over the next year, and…
96. The First “Web” Cam With Quentin Stafford-Fraser
Feb 8, 2016 • 71 min
Summary I wanted to speak to Quentin Stafford-Fraser because he was involved in the first “web” cam. I say “web” in quotes because, it wasn’t technically on the web, but, well, you’ll understand the distinction when you listen. But Dr. Stafford-Fraser has…
95. Pathfinder Executive Paul Sagan
Feb 1, 2016 • 45 min
Summary Paul Sagan has had a long and illustrious career, which includes: 1) stints working on the Full Service Network, that interactive tv initiative in Orlando Florida that we’ve mentioned several times in the past, as well as 2) being a key member of…
94. Founder of the First Dorm Room Dot Com, Tripod’s Bo Peabody
Jan 10, 2016 • 47 min
There’s a certain romance surrounding dorm room startups. From Microsoft, to Dell, to Facebook, there’s something about the audacity of building a company before you even get your degree that catches the imagination. The title for the first of the Dot Com…
93. (Misc 4) Minitel, the French Internet That Came Before the Web
Jan 3, 2016 • 33 min
SummaryToday we’re going to talk a bit about alternate Internets. In previous episodes, we have outlined how, going back to the 1970s and 80s, early experiments with networked computing and online services began using a technology called Videotex. So, I…
92. Founder of the World’s First Commercial Website, Dale Dougherty
Dec 14, 2015 • 56 min
Summary Dale Dougherty was the organizer of the world’s first ever web developers conference, the World Wide Web Wizards Workshop in July of 1993. This was where Tim Berners-Lee and Marc Andreessen first met. Dale is also the man who coined the term “Web…
91. Co-Founder of Feed Magazine, Stefanie Syman
Dec 6, 2015 • 46 min
Summary If you’ll remember in Episode 32, we explored the early digital media startups like Salon, Slate, Suck, Pathfinder, etc. One site that was mentioned, but did not get a lot of detail in that episode was Feed Magazine (aka,, or Feed).…
90. CEO of MapQuest, Barry Glick, Discusses the History and Future of Location Tech
Nov 20, 2015 • 71 min
Summary I don’t think very many people, twenty years ago, would have imagined that maps, location technology and the like would prove to be so strategically important and structurally integral to the Internet and modern technology as we’re coming to know…
89. How Tom Hadfield Founded Soccernet At Age 13
Nov 8, 2015 • 46 min
Summary Tom Hadfield was the founder of Soccernet, which is still the premiere soccer (football!) website in the world. But just as the title says, Tom began Soccernet when he was twelve or thirteen. So, certainly, Tom takes the cake, out of anyone we’ve…
88. How Microsoft Went Online, With Brad Silverberg
Nov 2, 2015 • 45 min
Summary: In the early 1990s, Brad Silverberg was one of the key champions of the Internet within Microsoft. As the first ever Senior Vice President of the Internet Platform and Tools Group, he essentially led Microsoft’s efforts to embrace the Internet…
87. Tim DeMello Talks Home Delivery Startups
Oct 26, 2015 • 23 min
Summary: One of the big trends of recent years in the tech space has been the rise of delivery startups like Instacart and Postmates and the like. In a way, this is a resurrection of an idea, if you remember famous 90s startups like WebVan, Peapod and…
86. Martin Nisenholtz on Bringing the New York Times Online
Oct 18, 2015 • 61 min
Martin Nisenholtz is a digital media pioneer. He founded perhaps the first digital marketing group at Olgilvy and Mather all the way back in 1983. But from 1995 through 2012, he was first the President of New York Times Electronic Media and then CEO of…
85. Evan Kirstel @evankirstel Discusses The Wireless Industry and Broadband
Oct 11, 2015 • 38 min
Listen: Evan Kirstel is a 20 year veteran of the wireless, broadband, cloud and social space. He is also absolutely the number one person to follow on Twitter if you like a daily dose of amazing articles and blog posts. Evan helps me frame just that: how…
84. Analysis Ep. 4 “Clutching Pearls” With Chris Higgins
Oct 4, 2015 • 103 min
Summary: Chris Higgins is back! In this very fun episode we talk about Windows 95, command line computing, who is the Microsoft of tech today and how the Matrix is the perfect hacker/Internet movie. Listen, we promised a bunch of things would be in the…
83. Founder of Travelocity, Terry Jones
Sep 27, 2015 • 44 min
Summary: Terry Jones was the founder and CEO of Travelocity. Perhaps the primary pioneer in the online travel space, Terry explains the unique challenges Travelocity faced when dealing with the airline industry, fending off competition from the likes of…
82. (Ch. 7.4) eBay Wins the Auction Wars
Sep 21, 2015 • 40 min
Summary: Part 2 of eBay’s founding story. How, why and when eBay became the undisputed king of the online auction space. Bibliography: - The Perfect Store: Inside eBay - The Great Beanie Baby Bubble: Mass Delusion and the Dark Side of Cute
81. Founder of WebCal and “Turbo Yahoo” Bruce Spector
Sep 15, 2015 • 59 min
Summary: Bruce Spector is another early web entrepreneur whose company would be acquired during the dotcom era. In this case, the company was WebCal and the acquirer was Yahoo. Bruce later went on to spearhead Yahoo’s acquisitions during the late 90s,…
80. Founder of CBS Sportsline Mike Levy
Sep 7, 2015 • 56 min
Summary: There was a time, early on in the web era, where things were very much wide open. An entrepreneur could survey the scene and say, “No one has done a great sports site yet. Why don’t I build one?” Mike Levy did just that, taking on deep-pocketed…
79. Glenn Fleishman @GlennF Returns!
Aug 30, 2015 • 86 min
Summary: Glenn Fleishman is back to talk more about Amazon’s founding mythologies, the recent controversies surrounding Amazon’s work culture, and the effect the web revolution has had on publishing and journalism, but from the point of view of a writer.…
78. Yahoo’s Master Brand Builder, Karen Edwards
Aug 24, 2015 • 76 min
Summary: Most people agree that Yahoo the king of the dot-com-era search sites on the strength of its zany, friendly, ubiquitous brand. The woman responsible for building that brand was Karen Edwards. Karen recounts becoming the first dot-com company to…
77. Narendra Rocherolle @narendra of Webshots and 30 Boxes
Aug 16, 2015 • 120 min
Summary: How did we get from a place where people were completely skeptical of living their personal lives online to the “share everything” society we live in now? Well, companies like Webshots got us here. Webshots was the first site to organize and…
76. Steve Goldberg of Microsoft and the IAB
Aug 2, 2015 • 91 min
Summary: Steve Goldberg was the first hire for Microsoft’s Advertising division. He was present at the launch of such projects as MSNBC, Slate, Expedia and MSN, the portal. Steve goes into fascinating detail about Microsoft’s relationship to the…
75. The Development of Consumer Broadband with Intel’s Avram Miller
Jul 26, 2015 • 94 min
Summary: Avram Miller was the co-founder of Intel Capital, and during the 90s, racked up some of the greatest venture fund successes of all time, backing such companies as, Geocities, CNET and more. Crucially, for our purposes, Avram and…
74. Developer of Winamp, Justin Frankel
Jul 20, 2015 • 68 min
Summary: A conversation with Justin Frankel, creator of the Winamp application, which was arguably the software package responsible for popularizing the MP3.
73. “Father” of the MP3, Karlheinz Brandenburg
Jul 13, 2015 • 96 min
This is the story of MP3, the technology that (revolutionized? upended? destroyed? transformed?) changed music forever. It is also a conversation with the man who is most responsible for developing MP3 technology, Karlheinz Brandenburg.
72. Owen Thomas Returns!
Jul 6, 2015 • 51 min
Summary: Owen Thomas is back on the show for another analysis episode, helping us establish the context for the dot-com era. You can listen to his previous episode here. Note: Next week’s episode will be dropping on Tuesday morning.
71. Founder of, Chris Cooper
Jun 28, 2015 • 55 min
Summary: Get ready for one of the most fascinating entrepreneurial stories we’ve covered thus far on the show. Chris Cooper was the founder of, which, as you’ll see, powered the finance portals of everyone from the search engines to the online…
70. The Forgotten Story Of The Original IPhone Released In 1998
Jun 21, 2015 • 45 min
It turns out that almost exactly 9 years before Steve Jobs introduced the world to the iPhone, there was another 3-in-1 device that was introduced to the world, and it just so happened that that device was also known as an iPhone. But the company that…
69. Steve Yelvington Discusses Newspapers and the Early Web
Jun 15, 2015 • 60 min
Summary: Today we’re going to go a bit backwards in our timeline, back to some of the issues we covered in our Chapter 5 episodes. All of the research I did on newspapers and their early attempts to experiment with digital media came from secondary…
68. Founder of, Ted Barnett
Jun 8, 2015 • 86 min
Summary: So far in our project, we’ve mostly spoken to people who were involved in startups that went public in the dot com era. But as I’ve said many times, that’s only part of the story. I very much wanted to speak to someone involved with a successful…
67. Journalist Maggie Mahar Discusses the Dot-Com Bubble
Jun 1, 2015 • 54 min
Summary: Maggie Mahar is an award-winning journalist who has written for Money magazine, Institutional Investor, the New York Times, Bloomberg, and in the 1990s, covered the markets for Barron’s Magazine. She is also the author of an excellent book, Bull:…
66. (Ch. 7.3) The Founding of eBay
May 25, 2015 • 43 min
…or, to be more strictly accurate, this episode covers the founding of AuctionWeb, the site that would become eBay. How Pierre Omidyar founded a company that brought auctions to the web and revolutionized what classified ads and ecommerce could be.
65. The “Book Club” Episode
May 17, 2015 • 15 min
Summary: Where Wizards Stay Up Late: The Origins Of The Internet, by Katie Hafner The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution, by Walter Isaacson The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires,…
64. Geocities Founder David Bohnett
May 11, 2015 • 53 min
Summary: We continue our survey of the pioneering social/community sites by sitting down with David Bohnett, who, along with John Rezner, founded Geocities. David recounts how a lifelong passion for communications tech inspired the idea of Geocities, how…
63. TheGlobe Co-Founder Todd Krizelman
May 4, 2015 • 56 min
Summary: One of the biggest names of the dot-com era was It had one of the most successful and storied IPO’s of it’s day, and it was lead by two early-twenties co-founders, long before that sort of thing was common. Todd Krizelman (along…
62. iVillage Co-Founder Nancy Evans
Apr 27, 2015 • 74 min
Summary: Nancy Evans and Candice Carpenter founded iVillage in the mid 1990s. iVillage was one of the first community-focused sites on the early web, and grew to be one of the biggest of its ilk. Not only was iVillage a site and a company founded by…
61. (Ch 7.2) Amazon’s Dominance of eCommerce
Apr 19, 2015 • 66 min
Summary: It’s part two of our Amazon founding story. How did Amazon come to completely dominate e-commerce? How did Jeff Bezos’ “Get Big Fast” strategy evolve? How and why did Amazon become the quintessential “dot com” and dot-com-era stock? The answers…
60. Early eBay Executive (And Future California Governor?) Steve Westly
Apr 13, 2015 • 44 min
Summary: If you are a Californian, then you might know Steve Westly’s name very well. After all, in the mid 2000s, Westly was elected Controller of California, essentially the Chief Financial officer of the state, and he also ran for Governor in 2006. In…
59. Early Amazon Engineer and Co-Developer of the Recommendation Engine, Greg Linden
Apr 5, 2015 • 63 min
Summary: As you know, we’ve been trying to cover from every angle, the innovations that ecommerce sites in general, and specifically, brought to the world. That is why I was thrilled to get to speak with Greg Linden, who was one of the Amazon…
58. Robert Levitan of iVillage and Flooz
Mar 29, 2015 • 66 min
Summary: Robert Levitan has been involved in many pioneering tech companies. The two that I wanted to focus on were iVillage, one of the early web community sites, one of the very first sites to engage with women as a segment of the online audience, and…
57. (I Lied) The Special Requests Episode
Mar 23, 2015 • 13 min
I lied about there not being a show this week. Except, it’s not a show. It’s more of a state-of-the-podcast address, celebrating (belatedly) our one year anniversary.
56. Infoseek Founder (and Inventor of the Optical Mouse) Steve Kirsch
Mar 16, 2015 • 50 min
Summary: Steve Kirsch is one of the most fascinating entrepreneurs we’ve been lucky enough to speak to on this show. Going back to the 1980s, he was the inventor of the optical mouse. Back in the days of desktop software suites, he brought FrameMaker to…
55. The Watershed Year of 1995 with W. Joseph Campbell
Mar 9, 2015 • 36 min
Summary: W. Joseph Campbell is a Professor in the School of Communication at American University. He is the author of six nonfiction books, including Getting It Wrong: Ten of the Greatest Misreported Stories in American Journalism. Just this year, he came…
54. CDNow CEO Michael Krupit
Mar 2, 2015 • 62 min
Summary: Michael Krupit first joined CDNow as the Chief Technology officer. He soon took over COO duties, and eventually rose to become CEO of the entire CDNow operation. Mike gives us the background on the early days of another early ecommerce pioneer,…
53. and Founder Gary Kremen
Feb 22, 2015 • 60 min
Summary: Gary Kremen is another early internet legend. Kremen was one of the first people to recognize the opportunity that the Internet presented in terms of classifieds advertising. Seizing this opportunity, Kremen founded, to this day, still…
52. (Ch 7.1) The Birth of
Feb 16, 2015 • 54 min
Summary: Finally, the long-promised foray into e-commerce, starting with… not the first… but practically the first… player in the space… and ironically enough, the 800 pound gorilla in the space to this day. Amazon. Dot com. We examine Jeff Bezos, the…
51. Glenn Fleishman @GlennF Discusses Early Amazon
Feb 9, 2015 • 73 min
Summary: You may know Glenn Fleishman from a bunch of things. He has written for Wired, Fortune, Popular Science, The New York Times, and PCWorld, and contributes regularly to The Economist, The Seattle Times, Macworld, etc. Also, in the last few years,…
50. Amazon’s Technical Co-Founder and Employee #1, Shel Kaphan
Feb 1, 2015 • 60 min
Summary: Shel Kaphan was the very first person hired by Jeff Bezos to launch A lot of people consider Shel to be a co-founder in all but name, because he, along with Paul Davis, was largely responsible for the entire technical architecture…
49. Lycos Founder and CEO Bob Davis @BobDavisHCP
Jan 26, 2015 • 29 min
Summary: Bob Davis was not only the founder of the search engine/web portal known as Lycos, he was also the CEO, first employee, and for a time, the ONLY employee. Bob recounts how Lycos took technology from academia, turned it into a viable company, and…
48. Amazon Director, Customer Service Strategy, Jane Slade
Jan 19, 2015 • 49 min
Summary: Jane Slade joined’s nascent customer service team when it was a couple of people, some computers, and one phone line. Over the coming years, she helped to build the customer service operations at Amazon into the enormous team it is…
47. Analysis Episode with Christina Warren of @film_girl
Jan 12, 2015 • 62 min
Summary: Christina Warren is the Senior Tech Analyst for She came on the podcast to talk with me about Amazon’s place in the tech universe, Jeff Bezos as an entrepreneur, and to break down what might be the four or five main business models…
46. (Ch 6) A History of Internet Porn
Jan 4, 2015 • 73 min
So, I ran across this quote from Star Trek television producer Rick Berman. He said, “Without porn and Star Trek, there would be no Internet.” That’s a notion that I have to say really kind of rang true to me, in a tonge and cheek sort of way. I mean,…
45. Excite Co-Founder Ryan McIntyre
Dec 15, 2014 • 63 min
Ryan McIntyre, along with his fellow Stanford classmates (Graham Spencer, Joe Kraus, Mark Van Haren, Ben Lutch and Martin Reinfried) was one of the “Excite 6” who founded the Excite search engine in the early 1990s. Ryan recounts what it was like to found…
44. The Brief, Remarkable Life of Danny Lewin, Co-Founder of Akamai Technologies
Dec 8, 2014 • 59 min
Summary: On HBO, the show Silicon Valley is about a young kid who comes up with a billion-dollar algorithm and attempts to build a company around the technology. Well, there’s a real-life parallel, because that is what happened to Danny Lewin in the early…
43. Danny Sullivan @dannysullivan on the History and Future of Search
Dec 1, 2014 • 50 min
Summary: Danny Sullivan is generally acknowledged as THE expert on the search industry ( Danny first got his start coving search all the way back in 1996, and for almost twenty years, he has covered search technology as it has…
42. (Misc 3) Did Al Gore Really Invent the Internet?
Nov 24, 2014 • 26 min
As you know, often on this podcast, I run across issues or tidbits from the past that don’t quite fit our overall narrative. But sometimes those tidbits are just too interesting for me to ignore. One of those things I keep running across is Al Gore and…
41. CEO George Bell
Nov 17, 2014 • 63 min
Summary: George Bell was the CEO of, took that pioneering search engine public, and became the CEO of [email protected] when he oversaw that major merger of the dotcom era. George talks about the development of search technology, the madness of the…
40. Microsoft and Internet Explorer Executive, Ben Slivka
Nov 9, 2014 • 80 min
Summary: I was absolutely thrilled that Ben Slivka agreed to come on the podcast with us. Obviously, we’ve had plenty of oral histories relating to Netscape and the development of it’s browser. But we’ve only spoken to a handful of people about Internet…
39. CNET Founder Halsey Minor
Nov 3, 2014 • 53 min
Summary: Halsey Minor is an absolutely legend when it comes to the online era. Along with names like Jerry Yang, Jeff Bezos, Pierre Omidyar and others, Halsey Minor deserves credit for creating one of the first truly great companies on the web: CNet.…
38. An Oral History Of The Web’s First Banner Ads
Oct 27, 2014 • 76 min
The first banner ads went live on the web 20 years ago today, October 27th, 1994, when the website first launched on the internet. We’ve spoken to some of the people responsible for the creation of these ads, and so, in honor of the…
37. Wired Magazine Founding Editor John Battelle @johnbattelle
Oct 20, 2014 • 43 min
Summary: Younger listeners might know John Battelle as being one of the original forces behind the Web 2.0 movement, as the founder of the Web 2.0 Summit as well as Federated Media. But John was also the founding editor of both Wired Magazine and Industry…
36. Talking Early Online Services With Chris Higgins @chrishiggins
Oct 13, 2014 • 111 min
Summary: Another conversation with writer and journalist Chris Higgins. We start up talking about the recent sad demise of the Magazine, a project Chris was heavily involved in. But then we spend most of the episode talking about the early online services…
35. Joe McCambley Discusses Advertising and the First Banner Ads
Oct 6, 2014 • 45 min
Summary: Joe McCambley is one of the more prominent names in modern digital marketing and advertising. He’s had major roles at Digitas, at AOL in it’s modern incarnation and he’s the co-founder of the Wonder Factory. I wanted to talk to Joe about his time…
34. Owen Thomas of HotWired and Suck
Sep 29, 2014 • 53 min
Summary: Owen Thomas is one of the most prominent voices in modern web media. He is currently the editor in chief of, but he was also the west coast editor for Business Insider, the founding editor of Daily Dot, executive editor of…
33. HotWired CEO Andrew Anker
Sep 22, 2014 • 54 min
Summary: Soon after the founding of Wired Magazine, it was decided that Wired needed a major web presence. Andrew Anker was recruited to write a business plan and launch a website that would become As we’ve seen in this chapter, HotWired was…
32. (Ch 5.2) Wired, CNET, Slate, Salon and Suck
Sep 15, 2014 • 86 min
Summary: We continue our survey of early web media plays with some that have lasted the test of time and some that, while not currently extant, were lasting in terms of impact. It’s a big episode. EOnline. The Weather Channel. ZDNet.…
31. Real Networks Founder and CEO Rob Glaser
Sep 8, 2014 • 43 min
Summary: Rob Glaser was, and is, the founder and CEO of Real Networks. If you were around in the 90s, you’ll remember Real Audio and Real Video and the Real Media player. In the age before broadband, Real Networks pioneered streaming media on the web.…
30. (Misc 2) The NSA And The 1990s Debate Over the Clipper Chip
Sep 1, 2014 • 37 min
Summary: What the mid-1990’s debate about the so-called “clipper chip” can teach us about our contemporary debates concerning NSA surveillance of the Internet and the Web. This episode was originally written as a piece on Medium, entitled The NSA Tried…
29. Analysis Episode 1 With Chris Higgins @chrishiggins
Aug 25, 2014 • 103 min
Summary: A new kind of episode today. I sat down with writer, blogger and former programmer Chris Higgins to do a sort of analysis episode, expanding on some of the issues covered in Chapters 1 and 2. Hope you enjoy.
28. Pathfinder Executive Oliver Knowlton
Aug 18, 2014 • 29 min
Summary: Oliver Knowlton is another one of our alumni. He’s had a wide and varied career in media, from his role as the General Manager of Sports Illustrated to his current role as the VP of the Digital Portfolio Group at Gannett, he’s been…
27. She Gave The World A Billion AOL CDs - An Interview With Marketing Legend Jan Brandt
Aug 11, 2014 • 90 min
Summary: Jan Brandt is a legend in the world of marketing. She singlehandedly led the famous AOL “carpet-bombing” campaign that put millions of AOL trial discs and CDs in everything from magazines to popcorn boxes to banks. AOL was able to leap to the…
26. Head of Time New Media Executive Linda McCutcheon
Aug 4, 2014 • 78 min
Summary: Linda McCutcheon is another Pathfinder veteran. She came up through Time Inc. on the marketing side, so she was the one responsible for landing the first advertisements that ran on the Pathfinder site. But she also stayed at Time Warner through…
25. Pathfinder Editorial Executive Craig Bromberg
Jul 28, 2014 • 69 min
Summary: Craig Bromberg has had a long and fascinating career at the intersection of media and technology. An early adopter of online technologies, Craig was a freelance writer when he was chosen by Pathfinder head Walter Isaacson to become the first…
24. (Ch 5.1) Mercury Center and Pathfinder - Big Media’s Big Web Adventure
Jul 20, 2014 • 75 min
Summary: We’ve been looking at how companies were feeling their way into the internet era, trying to create new industries and new mediums without precedent or a road map. But thus far, we’ve mainly been looking at pure-play tech companies. And when the…
23. Co-Founder of FocaLink, Dave Zinman
Jul 14, 2014 • 42 min
Summary: Today we have an interview with Dave Zinman, co-founder of FocaLink Media services, which, if you’ll recall, developed the first remote ad server. We previously spoke to his co-founder, Jason Strober. Dave is a long time advertising industry…
22. Co-Founder of DoubleClick, Kevin O’Connor
Jun 23, 2014 • 51 min
Summary: Kevin O’Connor is the co-founder of the granddaddy of all Internet advertising companies, DoubleClick. Chances are, if you’ve seen a banner ad over the last decade or so, it was served up behind the scenes by DoubleClick’s DART technology. Now…
21. Yahoo Employee #3, Tim Brady
Jun 16, 2014 • 65 min
Summary: When you talk about Yahoo, most people know the names Jerry Yang and David Filo. But if you talk to people who were there at the time, there is another name that everyone mentions: Tim Brady. Tim was Yahoo’s employee number 3. He wrote the…
20. (Ch 4.2) How Yahoo Became The Web’s First Great Company
Jun 9, 2014 • 65 min
Summary: Yahoo became the web’s first truly great company, and in this episode, we examine why. Turning to advertising as a business model, Yahoo was among the first to find a way for the Internet to generate real money. In addition, we look back at the…
19. Co-Founder of Netgravity, John Danner
Jun 2, 2014 • 51 min
Summary This is a wide ranging and fascinating interview with John Danner. John was the co-founder of another of the major internet advertising pioneers, NetGravity. John gives us some more great background on how the technology and culture of the…
18. The True Story Behind Halt And Catch Fire - An Interview With Rod Canion
May 26, 2014 • 47 min
An Interview With Compaq Co-Founder and CEO Rod Canion This Sunday, AMC is premiering a new original series called Halt And Catch Fire. Set in the early 1980s, it tells the story of a band of cowboy entrepreneurs and engineers who join the PC Wars by…
17. Co-Creator of the First Remote Ad Server, Jason Strober
May 20, 2014 • 27 min
Summary In this episode we continue our exploration into the roots Internet advertising. We’re speaking with Jason Strober, another Internet Advertising pioneer and co-founder of Focalink Media Services, Inc. Focalink was responsible for arguably the…
16. Internet Explorer Team Member, Hadi Partovi @hadip
May 14, 2014 • 25 min
Summary Hadi Partovi was one of the original 9 people on the Internet Explorer project. He left Microsoft in the late 90s to found Tellme Networks, which was eventually acquired by Microsoft for $800 million dollars. This precipitated a second stint at…
15. (Ch 4.1) The Early Search Engines And Yahoo
May 9, 2014 • 33 min
Summary: As the early web grows, the explosion of content and websites creates chaos. Early search engines are among the most popular sites on the early web, as users try to find their way around the new medium. Sites like Excite, Lycos, Alta Vista and…
14. (Misc 1) The Forgotten Online Pioneer, Bill von Meister
Apr 25, 2014 • 48 min
What If I Told You… … there was a crazy entrepreneur who was the true founder of what would become America Online? He was the guy who hired Steve Case back before AOL was AOL. What if I told you that same entrepreneur invented true, networked, online…
13. Co-Designer of the First Banner Ad, Co-Founder of Razorfish, Craig Kanarick
Apr 17, 2014 • 58 min
Summary Craig Kanarick was one of the people responsible for the first ever banner ad, which appeared on Oct. 27, 1994 on As mentioned in the podcast, there’s no “first” ad, as several were launched in a rotation at the same time. But as…
12. (Ch 3.2) The Rise of AOL
Apr 11, 2014 • 39 min
Summary: America Online survives the inevitable run-in with Microsoft, only to come out the other side stronger. The company has to endure major PR fiascos and network capacity issues, but eventually sees itself firmly established as one of the major…
11. (Ch 3.1) CompuServe, Prodigy, AOL and the Early Online Services
Apr 3, 2014 • 31 min @brianmcc @nethistorypod Summary: We take a step back to look at the early online services: CompuServe, Delphi, GEine, the WELL and especially, early AOL. Why? Well, because online services very much served as “training…
10. Rob McCool, Founding Engineer, Mosaic and Netscape
Apr 2, 2014 • 36 min @nethistorypod @brianmcc Summary: Rob McCool is another of the core group of original Mosaic programmers who went on to found Netscape. Unlike a lot of the others we have spoken to, he worked more on the server side of the…
9. Jon Mittelhauser, Founding Engineer, Mosaic and Netscape
Mar 27, 2014 • 54 min
Summary: Jon Mittelhauser is another of the core group of original Mosaic programmers who went on to found Netscape. Jon worked on the Windows versions of both Mosiac and Navigator eventually became the project manager for the Netscape Navigator project…
8. Aleks Totic, of Mosaic and Netscape
Mar 16, 2014 • 47 min
Summary: Aleks Totic was one of the original Mosaic engineers at the NCSA, responsible for the Mac version of Mosiac. They don’t call him “Mac Daddy” for nothing. He was then one of the 6 original programmers recruited by Marc Andreessen and Jim Clark to…
7. (Ch 2.2) Bill Gates “Gets” The Internet
Mar 13, 2014 • 42 min
Summary: Microsoft was on top of the world at the dawn of the Internet Era… but like Jack Dawson in Titanic? Microsoft would pivot, and pivot hard, once it realized that the Internet was The Next Big Thing. This episode outlines how younger Microsoft…
6. Mosaic and Internet Explorer Engineer, Chris Wilson
Mar 10, 2014 • 64 min
Summary: Chris Wilson has been working on browser technology for the better part of two decades. A member of the original Mosaic team, he went on to work first at Spry (producing Internet in a Box) and then later at Microsoft, where he was a major…
5. Netscape and Mosaic Founding Engineer, Lou Montulli
Mar 6, 2014 • 65 min
Summary: Lou Montulli is a web pioneer. In 1991 and 1992 he co-authored a text web browser called Lynx with Michael Grobe and Charles Rezac while he was at the University of Kansas. This web browser was one of the first available and is still in use…
4. (Ch 2.1) Microsoft At The Dawn Of The Internet Era
Feb 26, 2014 • 58 min
Summary: Netscape has set the standard and taken the lead. But how long will it last? We take a step backwards in this episode and examine why Microsoft was so dominant at the beginning of the Internet Era. We ask the questions: Did Bill Gates really miss…
3. (Ch 1.3) Netscape’s IPO As The Big Bang
Feb 20, 2014 • 32 min
Summary: Netscape launches and is a smashing success. Jim Barksdale officially comes on as CEO. Netscape fights off legal threats from the NCSA and the University of Illinois. Despite it’s young age and lack of profits, Netscape files to go public in THE…
2. (Ch 1.2) The Creation of Netscape
Feb 19, 2014 • 59 min
Summary: Marc Andreessen heads out to Silicon Valley. He hooks up with startup legend Jim Clark. They decide to form a company, Netscape, to build upon Mosaic’s previous success. They “get the band back together” by recruiting most of the original Mosaic…
1. (Ch 1.1) Mosaic - The “First” Web Browser
Feb 11, 2014 • 40 min
Summary: Ayoung Marc Andreessen and a team of programmers at the NCSA on the campus of the University of Illinois create and publish the Mosaic browser, thereby creating the world wide web’s first killer app. Mosaic enjoys meteoric, overnight discuss. But…