How many of you readers can imagine this present world without Wikipedia? Sounds horrendous ain’t it? Such has been its impact that people cannot imagine this world without this incredible website, which was launched in 2001.
Jimmy Wales, the co-founder of Wikipedia along with his partner in crime Larry Sanger, had no easy going yet their perseverance and self-belief took them to a level where only they are present. Where did it all begin for Jimmy Wales, what was his background, how many of you know that his father owned a grocery store? Let’s take a sneak into his life.
One day Jimmy Wales’ mother bought him a World Encyclopedia from a door-to-door salesman and his intense curiosity to know and learn things made him read more and more. Although he kept reading many books and encyclopedias, he felt there was something missing and the short-comings were palpable to him.
This created a strong will in Jimmy to create something which literally has everything in it. He received education from a one room school house owned by his mother and grand mother, where first standard children collaborated with fourth standard children and fifth standard children with eighth. After completing his 8th standard, Wales attended Randolph School, which was more of a University Preparatory.
After completing his education, he was hired by a company in 1994. During this period, the success story of Netscape inspired Jimmy a lot and during this time, he came across Larry Sanger. Both became great friends with time and started Nupedia, the free encyclopedia and Jimmy’s dream to create a free online encyclopedia had finally been accomplished.
But the slow growth of Nupedia and the lack of funds for came in as a huge blow for Larry and Jimmy. After attaining great experience with the failure of Nupedia, Larry Sanger came up with a refurbished version by the name “Wiki Project” and named their new website “Wikipedia”.
Though Larry wanted Wikipedia to assist Nupedia, things changed drastically over the course of time and Wikipedia became the source of information for every person who could access internet. Inspite of facing many ups and downs in his professional and personal life, Wikipedia’s success wouldn’t have been possible without the ever brilliant spirit of Jimmy Wales.
Jimmy Wales, and of course Larry Sanger stand in as a great inspiration to the youngsters of this generation and are a ray of hope for everyone who wish to create something big.