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Louis popularized cyberspace. He took it out of the hands of an elite few and made it conceptually accessible to anyone who might want to participate.

THE ORACLE (Paul Saffo)

Louis Rossetto

The Buccaneer

"The online services would like to believe they are content providers. Wrong. They have hosted content providers (and alienated a lot of them by not appreciating their contribution to increasing the service's user base), but they themselves are not content providers. It's like theater owners thinking they are operating studios. Media is not so easy."

Louis had spent the late '80s living in Amsterdam running Electric Word, a magazine founded in 1986 and concerned with information processing, before returning to the United States in 1991 armed with a business plan for a new magazine. But he and his partner, Jane Metcalfe, met with a very quiet reception. It took a full year and countless rejections before they scored their first investor-Nicholas Negroponte, who personally invested the $75,000 they needed to get started. In the four years since, the runaway success of Wired has spawned associated ventures: HotWired, a commercial Web site; HardWired, the publisher of this book; The Netizen Web site and TV show; and numerous international projects run under the umbrella of Wired Ventures, Inc.

LOUIS ROSSETTO is editor and publisher of Wired and HotWired, and cofounder and CEO of Wired Ventures, Inc.