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I don't think there's anyone in my age group who hasn't used Yahoo or doesn't know what Yahoo is (I'm 25). We take this wonderful Internet tool for granted, often without knowing how it all started and not really caring how it did. But the history of Yahoo is really fascinating.
Yahoo was originally founded by David Filo and Jerry Yang, Stanford university students, and it started as a student project, a hobby. The two (electrical engineering) students, Filo and Yang, developed the original Internet guide to help them keep track of things that they liked on the Internet. Since they liked more and more things on the Internet their guide was growing in size, eventually, becoming so large that they had to break the subjects down and group them into categories and subcategories.
This was, essentiaally, the concept behind Yahoo.
The first website that Yang and Filo started was called: "Jerry's Guide to the World Wide Web" and with time the site was rechristened Yahoo. The meaning of the word according to wikipedia's (a free on-line encyclopedia) definition is: "In Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift, a yahoo is a vile and savage creature, filthy and with unpleasant habits, resembling human beings far too closely for the liking of Lemuel Gulliver, who finds the calm and rational society of the Houyhnhnms far preferable. Hence the term "yahoo" has become a general term of insult, much along the lines of "cretin".
The founders insist that the meaning is a number of different things, it is an acronym, it is also a meaning of someone rude… it is their creation.
After some time hundreds of people started to access their website guide, beyond fellow students at Stanford and once the word spread around Yahoo! gained a huge following and an audience reaching thousands of visitors.
Because of its popularity the founders realized that they had a business on their hands and in 1995 the duo incorporated their business and met with some Silicon Valley businessmen. Eventually they connected with Sequoia Capital (Apple Computer, Atari, Oracle) who agreed to fund Yahoo!
Today Yahoo! Is a leading search engine that offers network services to more than 232 million people, monthly..
Headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif., Yahoo! has offices in Europe, Asia, Latin America, Australia, Canada and the United States.