eBay / Amazon / Netscape / RealAudio / Domain Fees
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In the summer of 1995, Pierre Omidyar was having dinner at home in Campbell
with his fiancée, Pam Wesley. Wesley collected PEZ dispensers, and she mentioned
that she was having trouble finding fellow collectors with which to trade. He came to
Wesley's rescue by writing the code for what would one day become eBay. The
domain name ebay.com was registered in August 1995, the beginning of the
largest online person-to-person trading community.
Amazon, launched in Seattle by Jeffrey Bezos, was the first online bookstore
and is now the world's largest online-only retailer. Amazon's initial business
plan was unusual in that the company did not expect to turn a profit for four
to five years after it was founded. In retrospect the strategy was sound,
despite the dot-com collapse of 2000.
Marc Andreessen, the mastermind of Mosaic, founded his own company, Mosaic
Communications Corporation, which is now known as Netscape. Netscape took a
70% market share of the browser market virtually overnight.
Rob Glaser released RealAudio, the first Internet audio streaming software. This
was later followed by RealVideo and RealPlayer.
In 1995, a $50 annual fee was imposed on domains, excluding .edu and .gov domains,
which were still funded by the NSF. NSF announced that it would no longer allow
direct access to the NSF backbone and contracted with four companies that would
provide access to the NSF Backbone for a fee.