In my lifetime, I can’t think of anything that has had a more transformative effect.
Think about it. The Internet has changed how we receive the news - and how quickly.
Facebook, YouTube and Twitter have redefined how hundreds of millions of people interact with each other.
The Internet has even brought change to one of the most change-resistant institutions in society - the educational system. Today there are accredited online college programs readily available to people who never could have seen a way to get higher education before.
With all this massive change, I thought it would be interesting to know where it all came from.
I finally found out. And I'd like to pay huge homage to a little-known engineer, a Polish immigrant to the United States, who dreamed up the idea that eventually led to the very network that allows you to read this blog post.
His name was Paul Baran, and he wrote a 24-page paper for a think-tank in 1960 that laid out the foundation for the Web we know and love (and sometimes hate and curse) today.
Mr. Baran died last year in Palo Alto at age 84.
Here's a guy who was a practical visionary, right up to his very last breath.
"... [S]itting in bed before he died, Paul Baran sketched out an idea and sent it to Wheeler [a friend a business partner] for a look. It was a detailed plan on how to run a better hospital.
If you're interested in how ideas become pervasive reality (and to me, that is one of the most important aspects of how copywriting ultimately works), see this terrific appreciation of Mr. Baran by Bloomberg Businessweek's Brendan Greeley.
And, on a personal note, thank you, Mr. Baran.
Publisher, World Copywriting Newsletter