The Need for Speed, 23 Years Later

June 1, 2020

23 years ago, the internet was quite different from the one we use today. Google didn’t exist yet, fewer than 20% of U.S. households had internet access, and those who did were using a dial-up connection.



It’s no wonder that people complained about slow speeds on every website we tested back then, because the internet and the computers used to access it were painfully slow.



What is surprising is that, despite today’s much faster network speeds and computer processors, people using the internet today are still plagued by the exact same frustration: slow websites.


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If you’re in a group of people being chased by a bear, you only need to be faster than the slowest person in the group. But that’s not how websites work: being faster than at least one other website, or even faster than the ‘average’ website, is not a great achievement when the average website speed is frustratingly slow.
The Need for Speed, 23 Years Later

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