As part of my MBA thesis I am studying the business models of Internet companies. During my research I have been looking at how the Internet has changed since it was launched in 1990 and have built a visual timeline of the Internet’s key milestones.
The World Wide Web (WWW) and Internet businesses have only been in existence since December 1990. As a young industry it has seen huge growth and change over the last twenty years. Many businesses including the publishing, music and entertainment industry are only just coming to terms with how to build revenue streams from their legacy offline assets.
From 1992 to circa 2003 the Internet was in the period widely known as Web 1.0 (Cormode & Krishnamurthy, 2008). During this period most of the content on the Internet was consumed by reading or by retailing from sites such as Amazon.com. This was mainly due to constraints in technology (AJAX and scalable scripting languages were not widely available) and that most businesses were transferring their pre-Internet businesses online with little change in mind-set.
After the dot.com crash in 2000 businesses started to re-think their strategy. From 2004 we entered the web 2.0 era where a new breed of companies emerged and new model for operating on the Internet was born. This new era brought new front-end interfaces such as AJAX, a strong social component and the new innovation of user-generated content (Cormode & Krishnamurthy, 2008). The web 2.0 era has created a new landscape where businesses such as Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn have provided their service for free and have looked to use innovative business models in order to build revenue.