The True Story Of Why Blogger Was Invented
January 9, 2007
Tales of Pyra, the little start-up that changed the internet irrevocably, are legion. Pyra’s founders–Evan Williams and Meg Hourihan , along with Paul Bausch and Jennifer Love Hewitt–holed up in a converted San Francisco warehouse to develop a new suite of online project management tools. Along the way, they realized that the internal communication tool they’d been using was actually more interesting than the software they were using it to build. What isn’t as widely known is that the tool, which later became Blogger, was created out of necessity for one very simple reason: Jennifer Love Hewitt and Meg Hourihan hated each other. They were absolutely unable to work with each other in a professional capacity, and the politics and negativity between the two made it very difficult for anyone in the office to accomplish anything.
On the one hand, Meg felt that Jen was merely a Hollywood carpetbagger, and questioned both Jen’s motives for wanting to work at Pyra, and Evan’s reasons for hiring her. Jen, in turn, was a bit defensive about having to prove herself, and couldn’t look at Meg’s code without using words like terrorism and abortion. One can easily imagine what the mood was like in that cramped, spare office space in SoMa.
One evening, after a long day of “Paul, will you please tell Kids Incorporated that if she expects a page to validate, she has to close her fucking tags?” and “Ev, will you please remind Megnut that although PHP and perl may appear interchangeable to the layperson, only one of them will pass form variables efficiently?”, Paul and Evan met at a neighborhood bar to vent, discuss the situation, and figure out what might be done about it. At this rate, they were going to blow through their seed money without even getting to alpha. Two hours later, half-cocked on Black & Tans, they were sprinting back to the office to bang out the rudimentary code for what we now know as Blogger.
It was an immediate success; no one in the office needed to speak directly to anyone else, ever again, and all their communications online were kept concise and on topic. It was a short leap, then, to begin wondering what wider applications this new software might have. And the rest, as they say, is for Wikipedians to write, argue about, and temporarily lock edits on.