Brad Feld

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Early Search Fun

Mar 05, 2008

I’m at TechStars for a Day watching my partner Ryan McIntyre give a presentation on Excite where he was a founder.  Each time he gives this presentation, it reminds me of the very first web spider – at least that I’m aware of.  Can you name it?

It’s the World Wide Web Wanderer (also known as W4 – which created the Wandex index.)  The creator was Matthew Gray which was one of the co-founders of NetGenesis – my first angel investment.  Matthew was one of the gang (including my close friend Raj Bhargava – now the CEO of StillSecure) who showed me the web (and Freshman Fishwrap) for the first time at an Athena Cluster in the Student Center at MIT in 1994. 

Ah – nostalgia.  Matthew has some great old stats up on his old MIT page, including a summary of web growth.  According to Wandex, on 6/93 there were 130 web sites.  130.  A year later on 6/94 there were 2,738.  By 6/95 the web was up to 23,500 and by 6/96 it was 230,000.  Oh the way we were.

It’s amazing what has occurred in the past 15 years.