Facebook has exceeded an astonishing $500 billion in market value for the first time this past July (Louderback 2017). The youthful leader of the tech giant, Mark Zuckerberg, is worth more than a staggering $70 billion (Egan 2017, Forbes). How could a company that sells no products and allows individuals to build profiles for free be worth so much? Similarly, Amazon has met with success reaching the same milestone this year of exceeding $500 billion in market value, worth more than some major retailers combined including Macy’s, Sears, and Target (Egan d2017, La Monica 2017). What do both of these titans in business do that set them apart from other businesses and has been the key to their high value? Both of these companies have learned to build networks of information collect data on their users; however, both of these companies would not exist without the internet. They have leveraged the ability of the internet to connect people across the globe. Despite not being here even when some of our parents were born, the internet has obviously revolutionized the business world, but everyday life in general. I personally could not have imagined writing this paper without it! In this paper, I will discuss a brief history of the internet and the impact it has had since its creation.
The internet started in the 1960’s. Computers were nothing like the ones we have today. The original purpose of the internet was to allow the government to share information. The Department of Defense's Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) decided to try to connect computers so they could share information, or even store data across whole states. Spreading the internet out like that was also a form of protection. It made it difficult for an enemy to take out the military's computerized information. Later, a system called ARPAnet was established, which had four main hubs: the University of California, Los Angeles, the University of Utah, and SRI International (PBS). This hub setup made it possible for someone to sit down at any hub computer and pull anything from another hub computer. In 1985, the National Science Foundation improved the system when it funded the NSFNET. This had a backbone of five supercomputer centers to serve as highways for all the data traffic. This first Internet system could send data at 56 kilobits per second, which is more than 400 times slower than the speed of my internet at the time of the writing this paper. Today there is a huge difference in the system. The infrastructure since then has been upgraded and now it can transmit information hundreds of times faster. In 1991, NSF allowed commercial use of the Internet. In 1995, NSF removed its funding completely, leaving the Internet a self-supporting industry. (PBS)
Cerf’s protocol transformed the Internet into a worldwide network. Throughout the 1980s, researchers and scientists used it to send files and data. In 1991 the Internet changed again. A compu...