howard rheingold

chief a-ha! officer

In the beginning...

I was a writer. With a typewriter. I stared at the blank page all day long. After a decade, I got an ELECTRIC typewriter! Wheee! Whoa! It looked like a 52 Chevy. It was the IBM office model *before* the Selectric. Most of you webbersnappers don't even know from Selectric. Trust me, an electric typewriter is a big help. But nowhere near as fun as using a computer to write with! I talked myself into a gig at Xerox PARC in the very early 1980s, where they had these cool machines called Altos. The removable hard disk was 3 feet across! I drove 45 minutes each way because it was, like, new paradigm-land. Eventually I got a personal computer. And then I plugged into a modem and away I went. First it was a habit, then I cleverly turned it into a vocation. HAHAHAHAHA! Too much fun!

Then suddenly...

In the fall of 1993, Dale Dougherty showed me the Web and what was to become GNN. A few months later, Joi Ito showed me how to make a zine. I flipped. I WANNA DO THIS! After a false start at HotWired, I went home and got sucked into updating my home page on a daily basis. It's hard to have more fun than that!

And finally...

I got really nuts and started dreaming about getting my friends in on it, and even paying them. Which meant a business plan and investors and now, TADA: Electric Minds. I hope this is my intellectual home for a long long time.

photo by Marcellus Amatangelo

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