Where Wizards Stay Up Late: The Origins Of The Internet -- Katie Hafner
January 7th, 2019
200 word book reviews
Very fun book to read. In line with a lot of the "here is how this ground-breaking technology was invented" books that I've read of late.
I've noticed a few consistent themes across the types of projects that these books are about:
- A large quantity people aren't required to invent a world changing technology. Instead, it's optimal to unite a small group of exceptionally talented people that get along with each-other.
- The inventors of ground breaking technologies can rarely state in advance the end impact of the technology.
- Often the biggest end benefit is widely divergent from what the initial thesis was (in the case of this book, email being the first big win as opposed to shared computer resources)
I love reading these types of books. I find them to be inspiring. Anytime I read about people who are willingly working through the night, not for monetary rewards or for recognition, but because they're just passionate about what they're doing -- that gets me excited.
The one unexpected aspect was that the technology to invent the internet wasn't even that complicated. Instead, the coordination of disparate groups, the standardization of protocols and the will to try were the primary impediments.