The Hotmail email service was launched on 4th July 1996 by Sabeer Bhatia and Jack Smith. It was one of the first free web-based (webmail) email services in the world along with Four 11’s RocketMail. The name was chosen because it had the four letters H, T, M and L in sequence. In fact, in the original logo the letters were in caps as in HoTMaiL.
In less than 2 years, Microsoft, the industry giant decided to buy the service for a staggering $400 million. The two founders became millionaires and the talk of the silicon valley. In contrast, Yahoo! had bought Four11 a few months before for $just 92 million.
IMDb.com was created by Col Needham in 1990 and sold to Amazon.com in 1998. [more...]