We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters. So who are these characters???

We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters. So who are these characters???

Peter Thiel, Photo: Wikipedia

It was Peter Thiel who said it, as we all know, and now it seems that at long last, we may well be on the verge of seeing flying cars. Or at least driverless hover-taxis will be taking off next year in Singapore. That could be a start. When we saw this article, we were reminded of Thiel’s quote and since we’re approaching the year’s end, when people and publications typically do their wrap-up “Best ofs,” “Worst ofs,” or “Top Ten Something or Others” lists, we decided that instead, it’s about time that someone attempted to identify those 140 characters that we’ve heard mentioned all this time.

Since we’ve personally been in the industry since the early days of Web 1.0 in New York and spent a considerable amount of time in Silicon Valley as well, we’ve decided to take it upon ourselves to do just that. Over the years, we’ve seen people and companies come and go. Some were bad timing. Many were simply bad ideas. Some were acquired for unbelievable amounts of money, only to disappear forever, leaving the then suddenly wealthy founders looking like geniuses. It was the Wild West, all right, and for the most part, a matter of too much money being thrown at too much youth and inexperience in those heady days of Web 1.0.

Some were true innovators who created platforms and software and devices that forged an entirely new industry. You may not be familiar with their names, but their contributions should never be forgotten.

Here is the first presentation:

We’ll be spreading the list out over the next few weeks, identifying some of the early pioneers and companies as well as latter-day luminaries. We know that you have no idea who else may be on that list, but please do feel free to email us with your feedback and suggestions. For now, without further ado and in no particular order, here are our choices for the first 40 out of those 140 characters. More to come…

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