Yet another hierarchical officious oracle… #history


Excerpt from The PC Pioneers

On this day in 1995 Yahoo! was launched

David Filo and Jerry Yang were pursuing doctorates in Electrical Engineering at Stanford when they decided to try to keep track of interesting stuff they found on the Internet.  Not for them the ubiquitous PC garage, they started in a trailer.

In February 1994 they maintained a catalogue on their student workstations that they had named after Sumo wrestlers, Akebono and Konishiki.  Like the wrestlers the catalogue grew to an enormous size, forcing them to group material under categories and subcategories.

This was launched as Jerry and David’s Guide to the World Wide Web while they looked around for a snappier title.  They liked the dictionary definition of ‘yahoo’, a word created by Jonathan Swift in Gulliver’s Travels; meaning rude, uncouth and unsophisticated – Yahoo! was born.  Its original url was /yahoo.  Its name was retrospectively justified as meaning ‘yet another hierarchical officious oracle’.

The idea attracted others at such a pace that by autumn that year they were already achieving a daily rate of one million hits, some one hundred thousand unique visits.


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