From the Horse's Mouth

Leonard Kleinrock, Paul Baran, and Larry Roberts, photographed by Vanity Fair in 2008.

I'm pleased to share with the SIGCIS community a resource on Internet history that I was totally unaware of until a friend of mine sent me the link a couple of weeks ago: an oral history of the Internet compiled and edited by Vanity Fair magazine. It begins (as many Internet histories do) with packet-switching and Paul Baran, who (as some Internet histories are not) is realistic about his contribution:

I get credit for a lot of things I didn’t do. I just did a little piece on packet switching and I get blamed for the whole goddamned Internet, you know?

The bulk of the material, however, is from the 1990s and 2000s, including some choice material on the dot-com boom of the 1990s:

The hottest job title during the frothy days was—you’d see 25-year-olds who had the title of “vice president, business development.” It was like sales without the quota. I remember asking one of these V.P., biz-dev guys how his company was doing, and he says, “Oh, it’s great, we’re into our third round of financing.” And I said, Well, how about the revenue side? Are you profitable? He says, “We’re a pre-revenue company.”

I highly recommend checking it out! As a bonus, here's another link for those who enjoy more "hands-on" historical research: a set of links at the Internet Archive to several historically significant early websites in all their mid-1990s glory (sadly, many of the links are broken; even more sadly, no "under construction" GIFs or blinking text are evident).

Image Source: