Douglas Englebart was a key person in the development of hypertext, and as such was an important person in the development of the modern web. He also was a key figure in the development of human computer interaction (HCI). He developed the first prototype computer mouse. He believed computers should be used to solve the world’s increasingly complex problems. He was one of the first people to envision ‘knowledge workers’ using computer terminals in the manner we are familiar with today. His early career as a radar technician convinced him that this was possible.
Englebart got his PhD and went to work in Stanford Research Institute. This area today is at the heart of Silicon Valley where many of the internet companies of the last few years started out – Google’s first office was in Menlo Park.
He also worked on ARPANET, which was a primitive computer network that connected four universities. This was the predecessor to the modern web. Two of the 20th centuries most important discoveries – the computer mouse and the web happened because of Douglas Englebart.