Why Isn’t Sir Tim Berners-Lee a Billionaire?
Think the person who came up with the idea for the World Wide Web is living large these days? Well, Sir Tim Berners-Lee is doing all right, but from the very beginning he knew that if he tried to charge users a fee for going online, the idea just wouldn’t have worked. His particular genius centered around the core communication protocols needed for transmitting webpages – the HTTP, or hypertext transfer protocol, and the language used to create them, HTML.
Berners-Lee used concepts well-known since the 1960s, blending them into what became the World Wide Web in 1989 while he was working at CERN nuclear research lab. Today, rather than becoming a tech billionaire, he dedicates his time to enhancing and protecting the future of the web as director of the World Wide Web Consortium.
The unassuming genius of Sir Tim Berners-Lee:
- The modest Berners-Lee says, "I was just taking lots of things that already existed and added a little little bit. The really exciting thing about it is that it was done by lots and lots of people, connected with this tremendous spirit."
- Berners-Lee did receive a $1.2 million cash prize in 2004 after winning the first Millennium Technology Prize. In addition, Berners-Lee, originally from Britain, was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II and named to Time magazine’s "100 Most Important People of the 20th Century."
- His recent work is the Semantic Web, a project that aims to standardize how information is stored on the Internet, bringing order to the mishmash of data now found on the web.
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