In the autumn of 1969, a small group of people launched the most disruptive revolution of our time — and yet their names aren’t taught in high school history books, nor do we take off work to celebrate their birthdays. In this piece, I’d like to take a look at two questions: Who invented the internet? And what exactly they did they do?
On October 29th, 1969 the first message on the early internet was sent from UCLA to Stanford University: it was just two letters “lo.”
So how did we get from “lo” to “LOL’s,” cat GIFS, YouTube, Facebook and a global internet that connects over 3 billion people around the world?
I’m about to share a sweeping history of the two people who founded the internet, the Founding Fathers if you will: Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn.
While working at the U.S. agency ARPA, they helped send the first message on the ARPANET, and a few years later they set out to accomplish one of the biggest and most audacious of goals: to create a global decentralized internet.
Please note that: Over decades, thousands, if not tens to hundreds of thousands of people, have contributed their expertise to the construction and evolution of the internet.
With that said, I’d like to focus, though, on one year in particular, 1973 — the year when the early internet, known as the ARPANET, made the leap from being a U.S. government military communications tool to a global free internet. And the two people who are responsible: Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn.