The World Wide Web and its role in building businesses

The internet has done wonderful things for entrepreneurs, and given them tools our predecessors could only dream about.

As I’m sure you’re all aware, this week marked the 25th anniversary of the creation of the World Wide Web – by Britain’s very own Tim Berners-Lee while a scientist at CERN.

Since that day in 1989 when Berners-Lee wrote his proposal, the internet has undergone a transformation which could never have been predicted by its founder and the bright minds that surrounded him then.

World Wide Web creator Tim Berners-Lee

Tim Berners-Lee has used the 25th anniversary to call for a web bill of rights

It has spread into homes, offices and now handheld devices the world over and flipped on its head the way we go about our day-to-day lives. From email replacing letters and faxes to services such as Skype rendering landlines redundant, we now have a powerful set of tools at our fingertips.

One of the biggest benefactors of the online world are entrepreneurs. Whereas prior to 1989 and Berners-Lee’s vision there were major barriers to entry and time-consuming processes associated with accounting, billing and marketing, we now exist in a more democratised market.

Internet-based tools such as accounting platforms, file-sharing services, CRM, creative suites and now the vast array of social media zones are all vital. They allow budding and existing entrepreneurs to develop an idea and take it to market in a speed that would not be possible without the World Wide Web.

More on web entrepreneurs:

From the dotcom boom era till now, the internet has helped spawn some of the most influential business builders of the past quarter decade – the Google founders, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and YouTube’s Steve Chen to name but a few.

Google chairman Eric Schmidt

Google’s Eric Schmidt, alongside Sergiy Brin and Larry Page, have led the internet age

Businesses, which would only before have been able to market to a national or local customer base, suddenly had their wings unclipped and given access to a new community – the world.

We now take for granted what we can access by booting a computer up, unlocking a smartphone or, nowadays, turning a TV on. The processing power of today’s machines makes the simple arithmetic done by early computers and basic encrypted messages sent in the early days of the World Wide Web seem laughable. But it’s worth noting that the internet would not look like it does today were it not for the brilliant minds around the world who have use it to help it grow.

So next time you send an email or simply type a phrase into Google, take a moment to reflect on the creation that was the World Wide Web – a British invention at that!

World Wide Web window

What is your favourite part of the World Wide Web?

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter was the Editor for from 2012 to 2014, before moving on to Caspian Media Ltd to be Editor of Real Business.

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