Summary and book reviews of How the Internet Happened by Brian McCullough

How the Internet Happened

From Netscape to the iPhone

by Brian McCullough

How the Internet Happened by Brian McCullough X
How the Internet Happened by Brian McCullough
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  • Published:
    Oct 2018, 400 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Chris Fredrick
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About this Book

Book Summary

Tech-guru Brian McCullough delivers a rollicking history of the internet, why it exploded, and how it changed everything.

The internet was never intended for you, opines Brian McCullough in this lively narrative of an era that utterly transformed everything we thought we knew about technology. In How the Internet Happened, he chronicles the whole fascinating story for the first time, beginning in a dusty Illinois basement in 1993, when a group of college kids set off a once-in-an-epoch revolution with what would become the first "dotcom."

Depicting the lives of now-famous innovators like Netscape's Marc Andreessen and Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, McCullough also reveals surprising quirks and unknown tales as he tracks both the technology and the culture around the internet's rise. Cinematic in detail and unprecedented in scope, the result both enlightens and informs as it draws back the curtain on the new rhythm of disruption and innovation the internet fostered, and helps to redefine an era that changed every part of our lives.

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Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

McCullough tells the human side of the Internet story, the blind rush toward the next big thing and the rapid successes and failures along the way. This well-researched and well-curated history provides just the right amount of detail to keep the reader engaged and connected to the stories of those involved...continued

Full Review Members Only (901 words).

(Reviewed by Chris Fredrick).

Media Reviews

Booklist
Along with profiling the internet's key players, from Bill Gates to Mark Zuckerberg, McCullough provides an entertaining and informative technological history which computer geeks and readers interested in everything from sociology to business and media will relish

Library Journal
Starred Review. Tech enthusiasts and students of business, marketing, and ecommerce will benefit from the detailed chronicling of the early Internet days. Readers will delight in being reminded of long-forgotten platforms and in understanding how Internet evangelists, Wall Street, and the moneyed elite have shaped our online lives.

Kirkus Reviews
Starred Review. A tasty, educational treat for tech heads and other web denizens.

Author Blurb Chris Anderson, head of TED
Brian McCullough vividly recounts the brilliant hunches, happy accidents, and fortuitous timing that converged to create the first 25 years of the internet era. Even for those of us who lived through it, it's astonishing to step back and realize the scale of the changes in human habits, communication, and society as a whole that have occurred in just one generation.

Author Blurb Richard Munson, author of Tesla: Inventor of the Modern
For those of us who've grown up with computers and the Internet, McCullough offers an insider's look at the unplanned and undirected romp that enabled the web to infiltrate our lives....How the Internet Happened is a fast-paced and enjoyable perspective on our lives, as well as a compelling exploration for how humanity and computers came together in profound ways.

Author Blurb Brian Merchant, author of The One Device: The Secret History of the iPhone
How the Internet Happened is destined to become the definitive text on how the web became big business - and came to dominate every facet of our lives, from communication to commerce. Painstakingly researched and deftly written, McCullough gives us a comprehensive guide to the startups and CEOs who ushered in the internet age.

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Beyond the Book

The Internet Era: Did You Know?

Jerry Yang and David Filo, creators of Yahoo, in 1994 while studying at StanfordIn How the Internet Happened, author Brian McCullough provides details about the visionaries and startups that created the modern iteration of the Internet, giving his account character and dimension and providing a more complete picture of Internet-era history. Here are a few such details:

  • The term "information superhighway" didn't originally refer to the Internet, but to interactive television. Early visionaries believed that all technologies would converge into a single device, but they believed that the device would be the TV.
  • The directory project that became Yahoo! was started by two Stanford Ph.D. students, Jerry Yang and David Filo, who were living in a trailer, eating lots of pizza and supposedly writing their ...

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