Back in 1997 or 8…we had an internet to build. I had come to silicon valley in 1995 and one of the biggest thrills of my life was to see the Netscape N in real life outside their headquarters. it was as if the people who made things had come off the tops of the faraway planet where the superheroes live. I realized that human beings worked hard and made this stuff.
THe internet was a magical castle that everyone was working on, and making up exactly the way we all wanted.
We hoped that it would take off. We all said it *had* to take off.
We were so excited when URLs appeared on billboards. This was the era of geocities and flashing color hightlights. the “under construction” icon was seen almost everywhere.
I had a half of an idea to start a business of my own. Four of us were going to offer to make websites for small businesses. It failed. for numerous reasons, but i did make a lot of cold calls askign small businesses what they might pay for such a service.
It grew. THe internet got as big as we thought it would, and maybe even better.
When I drive on the 10 free way to West LA there is graffitti on one of the overpasses.
It’s been there for more than a year. It’s a URL. a Uniform Resource Locator as a spray-painted bit of tag under an overpass.
I can hardly credit it.