Articles by Chris Saccheri
Cinco de Mayo has always been one of our favorite days at LinkedIn, and not just because we love any excuse to eat tacos and drink margaritas. It’s because May 5th was the day we first launched LinkedIn back in 2003.
Eight years is a long time, but in the technology world, it can seem like an eternity. Facebook, Flickr, YouTube, Twitter… none of them existed in May 2003. Neither did the iPhone or Android. Internet Explorer 6 ruled the web; Safari was in beta, Firefox was still Firebird, and Chrome was a few years away. And Justin Bieber was just another precocious Canadian nine-year-old.
Cinco de Mayo holds a special place in our hearts here at LinkedIn. In addition to being an excuse to down margaritas and tacos, it marks the fifth anniversary of the day we launched LinkedIn: May 5, 2003. The web was a different place back then; Friendster was the hottest site around, terms like “Web 2.0″ and “AJAX” hadn’t yet been coined, web pages were still in black and white… Okay, maybe it wasn’t that long ago.
As both a company and a tool, LinkedIn has changed dramatically. Here’s a quick “then and now” comparison of LinkedIn ’03 and LinkedIn ’08:
This weekend, LinkedIn celebrates two milestones: first, after outgrowing our current Palo Alto digs, we’re moving to our fifth office (not counting Reid’s living room). We’ll be back in Mountain View, just down the road from the office where we originally launched LinkedIn — an office that we once shared with Friendster.
The other milestone is the fourth anniversary of LinkedIn’s launch on May 5, 2003. I remember “Cinco de LinkedIn” fondly: it started with the founding team signing up, connecting to each other and then inviting the first wave of users to LinkedIn. My wife (then girlfriend) was our first non-employee user so, for about ten minutes, I actually had more connections than Reid! (That didn’t last.)