Jimmy Wales: Wikipedia Founder


Read The Native Influence Full Q&A

Inspiration for Wikipedia? I was watching the growth of the free software movement, or open source software as many people call it, and I saw programmers coming together to create all the really great software that runs the Internet using free licenses and collaborative techniques.  GNU/Linux, Apache, Perl, PHP, MySQL – all of these technologies and more were created mainly by volunteers sharing their work freely online. I realized that this kind of collaboration naturally started with programmers (because they could create the tools they needed for sharing their work) but that the concept could be extended to all kinds of
cultural works.  Hence, the idea for Wikipedia.

Career advice? Don’t waste too much time on a prior thinking.  Just get started.  Fail faster, which means: do small low-cost low-risk experiments to test your ideas and be ready to change quickly.