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Early Posts From Tech Founders Who Changed The World (carlcheo.com)
265 points by carlcheo on Mar 23, 2015 | hide | past | web | favorite | 48 comments

Fun read. Should add the Marc Andreessen message.


I want to highlight the crowd pleasing "Options for new window per document (aka TurboGopher interface) -- always, or via middle mouse button."

Seriously though, it is easy to see why Marc has done so well.

I wonder who got the Amazon job, and what he's worth today. It says meaningful equity, so let's say they gave him 1.5% equity. With dilution and stock splits, let's say that equity got divided 20 times. So that guy now owns .075% of Amazon. At $170 billion market cap, his stake would be worth $127 million

I don't think that's the guy. The ad said it was a well-funded startup. This guy was literally the first employee.

This makes me feel so inadequate. I love it.

edit: I wonder how many similar postings exist from people who did not end up changing the world.

You hit the nail on the head. Survivorship bias is a bitch! There are millions of such postings from remarkably talented people starting out interesting projects all over the world. Only a few will get the recognition they deserve and in hindsight it will look like the successful ones were somehow special or different from the rest.

Inadequate? I think this does the opposite for me showing that there's hope for the common folk who are just passionate with their projects :P

Yeah but I'm older than all those guys already and the project I was passionate about at 21 didn't do the thing.

Jeff Bezos had a fairly long career on Wall Street before founding Amazon. I believe he was ~30 when he first flew to Seattle to start it in his garage

Makes me rethink every 'shameless plug' posts I've seen on boards. How many billionaires were there...?

re: "I wonder how many similar postings exist from people who did not end up changing the world."


There may be one or two change-the-world posts mixed in there as well.

I like how the top comment in the Dropbox thread (#5) is someone criticizing it. Ah HN... Never change.

"No mention of Javascript. How is this still relevant today?"

priceless read :)

It's not really criticising Dropbox per se, but rather their comparison to USB sticks.

To be fair, it was a pretty good suggestion!

And to be fairer, he droped the USB tagline.

I argue that http://xkcd.com/949/ is the exact criticism.

"Every time you email a file to yourself so you can pull it up on your friend's laptop, Tim Berners-Lee sheds a single tear."

Made me chuckle, and then kind of sad since this is still standard practice for a lot of people I know.

What are the state of the art alternatives? FTPS? Dropbox?

Personally i use dropbox, we transfer or self hosted depending on the content and who I am sending it to.

Web-based email providers that switch to Dropbox-like services when attachments are too large for email?

It's a bit of HN lore that nickb was pg's sockpuppet.

I'm not sure if it was ever confirmed, but the evidence was reasonable.

Things were a little different back then. ;-)

That criticism was spot-on, and dropbox actually addressed those issues.

Jeff Bezos' job post looking for talented engineers to "pioneer commerce on the Internet"... A startup description that certainly delivered on that promise.

Complete with semi-realistic requirements that people complain about nowadays.

I think I would have dismissed the amazon ad immediately without a second thought. Reads like all the other low-quality postings I see today.

Or maybe low-quality postings you see today read like the amazon ad :)

People copy what works

You're right, that thought did cross my mind.

Google used to have a great list of these. I can't seem to find the link anymore. Not only did it include ones like the Tim Berners Lee post, but also the first posts they could find mentioning AIDS, Tiananmen Square and more.

Back when people typed two spaces after the end of a sentence. When the convention changed is not clear, but 'tis been a tough thing for me to un-learn.

When we went from predominantly fixed-width to predominantly variable-width for both professional writing drafts and, more widely, email.

When we stopped using typewriters.

unsurprising - most smart people are out there, being curious, asking lots of questions, trying to find or hire other smart + good performing people.

don't agree that WhatsApp and oculus rift have "changed the world" ...yet.

Ah, I had wondered who said "Apparently the Internet, Google, Amazon, and other successful tech companies and products don’t come out of no where." before. How could I forget, of course it was Lao Tzu.

I'm a fan of WhatsApp's original idea..I didn't know they pivoted to such a degree.

I was working on a project like that over winter break, but had to put it on hiatus.

I'm trying to figure out if I should kick myself or not. I also had the WhatsApp original idea, but in the mid-2000s. ;)

Go back to the late 1990s and AOL had it. When I was in college (early 2000s) away messages were all the rage.

True, but I guess theres's value in "legacy" means of communication in the modern day - just take pager communication with Yo. Actually, Yo might not be the best example, but nonetheless.

Linus' comment was tongue-in-cheek, though.


You aren't doing any favors to yourself when you insult the userbase to which you direct your question.

I wouldn't want anyone to see some of the code I was paid to write when I was just starting out.

This article makes me sad, because it is easy to find posts by Chris Schefler, who along with Thomas Leavitt founded Web Communications, the world's first private web hosting service. Before WebCom, if you wanted to have a web page, you needed your own server with an Internet connection - or a good friend with those.

Chris and Thomas had lots of questions about the HTTP protocol, apache, Solaris and so on.

They eventually sold WebCom to their direct competitor, Verio. Chris got $4,500,000.00 out of it, and retired young. I only saw him once after that, out in the Santa Cruz Mountains, riding a mountain bike with a friend.

Chris was later brought by the police - in handcuffs - to a psychiatric hospital, but was turned away as "not sick enough to hospitalize". The very next day he shot himself in the head.

I myself have quite a severe mental illness - Bipolar Type Schizoaffective Disorder. It is somewhat like being manic depressive and schizophrenic at the same time.

There are all manner of social workers, case managers and the like who have urged me to go on the disability check, get into subsidized housing and so on. The specific reason I always refuse is that I am - for the most part - well enough to take care of myself.

There are plenty of people who are not. I don't want to take the resources away from them.

There is a case manager at my mental health clinic whose job it is to fetch prescription medicine from the pharmacy then hand-deliver it to us clients. I asked her not to do that and said "I don't want you to do for me what I can do for myself". However she kept fetching my medicine for me; as a result I request a written prescription from my shrink, so I can fill it myself, with money I earn myself.

Dominic Giampaolo asked at at Be Developer's Conference, for a show of hands as to whether we would prefer a case-sensitive, or a case-preserving but -insensitive filesystem.

We overwhelming voted for case-sensitive, so that's what he implemented.

He later claimed that BFS did not need a filesystem consistently check tool; with its journaling, he said it was simply not possible to screw up the filesystem.

I owned two BeOS computers back then - one a PowerPC mac, the other a Pentium II box that I built myself. I powered off one with the intention of removing its external SCSI drive, but cluelessly detached the drive from the box that was still powered on.

In a panic, I plugged the cable back on. Rather oddly, most of the filesystem was just fine, but other parts were totally brain-damaged.

I reported this on the bedevtalk list. Dominic personally apologize. A few months later, Be released a filesystem tool.

Good Times.

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