In the beginning
The internet started out as a government initiative by DARPA, and was bascially a military program to keep communication alive if there ever was an attack. The beauty of the system is that it was designed to work if any point in the infrastructure was broken, giving it multiple pathways or routes to send data and information through.
Next, universities and research arms started getting involved with the internet, and building infrastructure around it to increase the amount and type of data that could be sent. The internet started growing at an exponential rate and soon started to become a very mature platform with wide reaching arms.
The World Wide Web
The web is what really changed the internet and started the revoltion in information technology that brings us to the internet as we know it today. The web revolutionized how we now share information and communicate with one another.
Tim Berners-Lee developed the internet based on his vision of a free exchange of information. At the time, he was working with CERN, the European Organization of Nuclear Research. The institution had established a web-like tool where people could work on many different projects in one central location. He used this basic concept in the creation of the World Wide Web.
Tim's first website described how web would function and he placed in on the very first server at info.cern.ch. Europeans had no real interest in the web at that time and chose not to back it. Universities in the United States were very interested in the idea and set up the initial servers. Tim created a dictionary, called the Virtual Library, where he included links to each of their servers.
The boom and bust of the 90's
In the 1990's, the web exploded with growth, startups started appearing everywhere, and investors couldn't pump enough money into them. These companies were so hyped up, that they didn't even need a good business model, or profit at all for people to deem worthy of investment. This of course all crashed in the late 90's and hundreds of companies went bankrupt.
After the bust
After all of the dust had settled from the dot-com bust, new companies started forming, and strong ones that survived flourished. Companies such as Google, Yahoo! Amazon, and Ebay just to name a few. The reach of the internet started to explode at an even greater rate than ever, making the internet, and the web, an embedded part of almost everybody's lives.