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I joined Virgin Net

By Gavin, 15th December 1995

I joined Virgin Net as the 5th employee, in 1995.

2 weeks later they took the ex-Wired UK / Guardian PDU team wholesale, including Tony Ageh (now, in 2006, “Controller – Internet” at the BBC), Danny O’Brien (now EFF) and a rather fantastic bunch of other folks who change my, and everyone else’s, lives just a little.

Within a year I’d helped launch Virgin Radio, the Virgin Net ISP, Virgin Atlantic, and was designing the first Virgin Megastores online.

It’s a long story, but we built up “v-net” to 800,000 subscribers in the UK, “Best consumer ISP” awards, and a “dot-com value” of £1billion (wasn’t everything?).

We had all the usual channels (music, sport, listings, etc). I played a big part in many, not least creating the Listings service (we had the most accurate data in the UK), and most significantly webcasting V97, V98 and a truckload of other events from Skunk Anansie to Genesis to the Queen, from Branson’s round the world balloon trip to Chelsea FC to Film Premiers.
I’ll post a list up here one day…

Of course, they got greedy and messed it up like everyone, so most of the “startup team” left, myself included, in 1999.

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