10 Years of the Web

This year, the Web completes 1- years. WSJ has an article which asks people to reflect on the period:

IBM’s Linda Sanford: Ten years ago, when I was helping lead our mainframe business through a period of dramatic transition, we weren’t using the Internet internally. We sent e-mail through a trusty old “green-screen” system, no pictures, no cool graphics. Our idea of sending an instant message was leaving a post-it on a colleague’s door. My only recollections of using the Net back in its early days were to browse for product information before making a purchase or to check weather conditions before I traveled somewhere. Finding information, mainly.

Michael Cleary of Bank One: In 1995, Bank One started posting information on checking accounts and loans at bankone.com, basically providing electronic brochures for the relatively few consumers using the Internet back then. Soon, we added access to accounts and then online bill payment. By January 1999, the Internet had picked up steam and we became the first lender to approve home-equity loans online — within 50 seconds after an application was submitted. Electronic tax preparation and filing followed, along with other services. Then we got really bold. That same year, we launched WingspanBank.com, a bank that didn’t need branches.

10 years ago, I had a business that was struggling and nearly extinct. It was then that I went to the US for a couple months to figure out what to do next and experienced the Web for the first time – via Netcom’s NetCruiser account. It was in 1994 that I put the business plan together for what later became IndiaWorld, the first Indian portal on the Net. Seems such a long time ago – almost part of another era…

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.