Bill Gates Was Mocked For Believing Internet Was Next Big Thing In 1995 Interview


Who’s laughing now

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In a recently discovered 1995 interview, Bill Gates was made fun of for thinking the internet would be the next big thing.

The tech guru is shown in the old clip discussing the internet while it was still in its infancy as a crowd bursts into laughing, mocking him for his prediction.

Well, it’s obvious that Gates won the joke given that you’re reading this on the internet right now.

The video – now nearly 30 years old – resurfaced when Elon Musk shared it to his Twitter account back in 2021.

The short clip, which was posted by the This Week In Startups TikTok account, sees Jason Calacanis watching the old clip from The David Letterman Show.

In the clip, Gates is asked: “What about this internet thing? Do you know anything about that?” To which he replies: “Sure.”

The audience then started to chuckle as Letterman asked: “What the hell is it exactly?”

Gates explained: “Well, it’s become a place where people are publishing information so everybody can have their own homepage, companies are there, the latest information…it’s wild what’s going on. You can send electronic mail to people.”

If only he had known what the internet would eventually do…

“It is the big new thing,” the tech expert claimed.

However, Letterman didn’t seem to be persuaded and acknowledged that he didn’t entirely understand the whole thing.

Letterman replied: “Yeah, but you know it’s easy to criticise something you don’t fully understand, which is my position here. “But I can remember a couple of months ago, there was, like, a big breakthrough announcement that on the Internet, or on some computer deal, they were going to broadcast a baseball game.”

He continued: “You could listen to a baseball game on your computer and I just thought to myself, ‘Does radio ring a bell?'”

At this point, the mid-90s audience broke out into laughter as Gates attempted to explain the difference between the two, adding: “It’s not a huge difference, but you can listen to the baseball game whenever you want, too.”

Letterman then asked if it’s ‘stored in one of your memory deals’, which Gates confirmed was the case.

The TV host then asked: “Do tape recorders ring a bell?” Barely, mate, if I’m being honest.

Billionaire Musk shared the TikTok video on his Twitter account while asking: “Given the almost unimaginable nature of the present, what will the future be?”

And it’s fair to say the clip has certainly got people thinking – sharing the tweet, one person wrote: “I think about this every time. This was just 26 years ago.”

Another said: “It stuns me that all of this has happened in less than a lifetime. We went from no internet to this massive connectivity and opportunity in less than a lifetime.”

A final Twitter user added: “Never take anybody that doubts human ingenuity seriously. Human beings can do anything.”

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