Many people predicted the downfall of the IT industry a long time ago. After the technological bubble burst by 2000, their predictions saw reality with many dot com companies closing down in the face of investor uncertainty. Huge brand names like AOL eBay took a hit as well and only the strongest like Microsoft survived. Many thought this was the end of technological era even though this was not the case. The IT sector had not stopped growing nor had it declined; it had just stabilized and kept growing, even if not at the same rate as it was a few years ago.
With technological advancements coming in by the hour, it is only natural for new people to rise above the rest to make a name for them selves among the multitude of entrepreneurs and whiz kids of the past and present. People like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs still might be the key players in the industry, they do however are no longer the new blood that this industry almost always seems to require in order to stay on top. Google founders Larry Page Sergey Brin could arguably be the next major players after the ones that actually started the hype of the technological era.
More recently however, new faces have come up. Two of these are as follows:
Description: Videosharing website that allows its user to upload, view and share audio visual clips.
Popularity: Close to 8 million hits per day.
YouTube was founded by Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim, who were all early employees of PayPal. Prior to PayPal, Hurley studied design at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Chen and Karim studied computer science together at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The domain name “YouTube.com” was activated on February 15, 2005, and the website was developed over the following months.
The creators offered the public a preview of the site in May 2005, and six months later, YouTube made its official debut. Youtube became on of the fastest growing websites and even outpaced Myspace at this. Its business model is an advertising based revenue model where users clicking on ads are the source of revenue. This was an innovative idea and developed by the three youngsters with Chad Hurley being the Chief Executive Office and Steven Chen being the chief technology officer.
Hurley, Chen and Karim got their start in the business world during the dot-com bubble and the bust that followed. Their venture money came in part through their connection to Roelof Botha, the South African former PayPal CFO. YouTube was born when the founders wanted to share some videos from a dinner party with friends in San Francisco. Sending the clips around by e-mail was not possible because they kept bouncing for being too big. Posting videos online wasn’t feasible either as no website allowed it.
In 11 months the site became one of the most popular on the Internet because the founders designed it so people can post almost anything they like on YouTube in minutes. Steve Chen grew up in Taiwan until the age of 15, when his family immigrated to the United States. He attended high school at John Hersey High School as well as the Illinois Math and Science Academy and college from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
In June 2006, Chen was named by Business 2.0 as one of the “The 50 people who matter now” in business. Hence the person to look out for would be Steve Chen. Karim had a lesser role as he developed the website but was an advisor by the end. Their dreams were realized when Google bought Youtube for a whooping $1.6 Billion and made them the modern entrepreneurs of today.
Description: English social networking website.
Popularity: Close to 8 million hits per day.
The site was founded as Thefacebook in February 2004 by college sophomore Mark Zuckerberg at Harvard University with technical support from Andrew McCollum and financial support from Eduardo Saverin. The site was founded as Thefacebook in February 2004 by college sophomore Mark Zuckerberg at Harvard University with technical support from Andrew McCollum and financial support from Eduardo Saverin.
Zuckenberg was not a new player in the field however. In 2003, Zuckerberg and friend Adam D’Angelo launched the Synapse Media Player. The player received high acclaim in its ability to predict songs to play based on the user’s previous selections. Several software companies, including Microsoft, expressed interest in the player, though no formal deal was made. This is similar to the way Bill Gates was in his younger years; attaining acclaim as an avid programmer and being noticed by firms like IBM.
Hence, it can be safely said that people like Steve Chen and Mark Zuckerberg are the modern day equivalent of Bill Gates and Steve jobs. They might not be as exceptional nor are their innovations as far reaching as Windows or iPod, they still are the current knights of the technological era and have done what their predecessors did before them; create something exceptionally unique with the ability to influence people internationally.
Grossman, L. (2006). Time: Best Inventions, 2006. Retreived, March 22, 2007 from, http://www.time.com/time/2006/techguide/bestinventions/inventions/youtube.html
Grynbaum M. (2004). Mark E. Zuckerberg ’06: The whiz behind thefacebook.com. Retreived, March 22, 2007 from, http://www.thecrimson.com/article.aspx?ref=502875