1998: I was working on the final project in the programming course. We were a team of seven people. Thanks to my famous Microsoft Word prowess i was in charge of writing the documents that were part of the project, but the other team members also had to update them and it was quite troublesome. So i told my friend El’ad an idea i had: “How nice would be it be if i could collaborate with my team members – if we could write the same document simultaneously. It would be a nice startup!” El’ad told me that it seemed rather useless to him.
Some time later El’ad told me about his own idea for a startup: “Let’s say that you have some files on your computer, for example music or images, and these files may be interesting to other people on the web that you don’t even know, and you want to share them and help people find them…”
To which i replied: “Who on Earth would want to do such a thing? That’s what websites and FTP are for.”
A few months later all the websites were buzzing about Napster’s fucking up the music business and El’ad told me that they implemented that idea of his.
2007: I went to Catalonia for a week and didn’t go online for all that time. When i came back, all the websites were buzzing about Radiohead’s fucking up the music business further with “In Rainbows”.
2009: I haven’t used the web since Thursday morning. Today i went online and every website was buzzing about Google Wave.
Google Wave is a combination of a word processor, an email program and an instant messaging program that is written in HTML. We’ll have to wait and see whether this will fuck up Microsoft’s business model, but the important parts for me are that it has a very cool spell checker, and more importantly – that it allows several people to edit the same document simultaneously.
Take a look at the video: Google Wave Developer Preview at Google I/O 2009. At 00:35 you’ll see exactly the thing i envisioned in 1998. It even has Hebrew there.
So, El’ad, you can say that you had your revenge on me. But i’m still quite proud – i envisioned an idea that took many more years to implement.