In an interview at Andreessen’s office in Palo Alto, California, Wired editor-in-chief Chris Anderson talked with him about technological transformation, and about the five big ideas that Andreessen had before everyone else.
Idea One: 1992Everyone Will Have the Web
As a 22-year-old undergraduate at the University of Illinois, Andreessen developed Mosaic, the first graphical browser for the World Wide Web, then brought the technology to Silicon Valley and cofounded Netscape. By August 1995, Netscape had gone public and was worth $2.9 billion.
Chris Anderson: At 22, you’re a random kid from small-town Wisconsin, working at a supercomputer center at the University of Illinois. How were you able to see the future of the web so clearly?
Marc Andreessen: It was probably the juxtaposition of the two — being from a small town and having access to a supercomputer. Where I grew up, we had the three TV networks, maybe two radio stations, no cable TV. We still had a long-distance party line in our neighborhood, so you could listen to all your neighbors’ phone calls. We had a very small public library, and the nearest bookstore was an hour away. So I came from an environment where I was starved for information, starved for connection.
Anderson: And then at Illinois, you found the Internet.
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