Here’s a small piece of Internet lore, a recount of the discussion between Venture Capitalist Tim Draper and HotMail founders Sabeer Bhatia and Jack Smith that is often credited as the birth of online “viral marketing”:

Draper asked, “How are you going to get the word out there?”

“We’ll put it up on billboards,” Bhatia said. He also mentioned radio advertising.

“God,” Draper replied, ” that’s expensive marketing and we’re giving this away?” He thought for a moment. “Can’t you just give it out to all those guys on the web?”

That would be spamming, Smith replied.

I guess spamming…

Rick Winfield

Entrepreneur and educator.

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