“Necessity is the mother of invention”, this famous proverb portrays that a need, no matter how big or small, is the primary driving force behind most new inventions. Likewise, EarthLink, the internet service provider, came into existence when a 23-year-old youngster encountered the internet for the first time and learned its importance. After an 80-hour futile effort, Sky Dylan Dayton realised the need for a widespread network to help connect the expanding population. This motivated the youngster to co-found a new internet service provider EarthLink along with Reed Slatkin in 1994.
Date of Birth: August 8, 1971
Net Worth: $275 Million
On the occasion of his 51st birthday today, here is a collection of some interesting yet less-known facts about Sky Dayton and his entrepreneurship journey.
- Sky Dayton childhood: He came from an artistic background where his father was a sculptor and his mother was a poet and dancer. He spent some time with his maternal grandfather David DeWitt, an IBM Fellow, who significantly influenced Dayton’s interest in technology. At the young age of 9, he got his first computer Timex Sinclair ZX81 and began learning BASIC programming.
- As a toddler Sky Dayton created aeronautically inspired mural by virtue of his birth into the family of artists. Dayton also aspired to be an animator in one of his internships he aided creating an Elephant Man skeleton video for a Michael Jackson’s song “Leave Me Alone.”
- Sky Dayton soon after his high school applied for the prestigious California Institute for the Arts but got rejected and later he forgone the college education owing to his passion and interest to take up business. To get into the graphics department of a Burbank, California, an advertising firm he misinformed about his computer skills and it was his first job. Soon his skills helped him rose to the position of head of the department within three months. He left the company to take up his childhood dream project of candy shop the “Café Mocha.”
- In the early age of 19 years Dayton along with his friend raising $20,000 investment through family and friends to start a coffee house called Mocha gallery in Los Angeles that clubbed the art business also. Later it was called Café Mocha to appease the health inspector who initially opposed opening of the full fledged restaurant in the location and later he gave up the art business completely and transformed into a coffee house.
- His urge of being a part of entertainment industry persisted and he co-founded Dayton/Walker Design a Studio city in 1993 and succeeded in possessing some big clients like Disney, Sony Pictures, Fox Television, Warner Brothers, and Columbia Pictures. Soon he was exposed to internet and realizing the potential of the platform he created a GUI (Graphical User Interface) internet navigator to help common people to access internet.
- Dayton was starred as everyday frustrated customer of World Wide Web in the early years of 1990s when it was initiated. Soon he came up with the business plan for EarthLink to overcome the difficulty in accessing the internet. EarthLink serve as a new medium and propelled internet to enhance its reach to millions of customers at once. Initially, when he came up with the service it was difficult to find customers as none of the internet giants Amazon, eBay, Yahoo did not exist. All these great things done using internet remained in the heads of entrepreneurs he told in January 2002. Also, he founded the new wireless internet services Boingo Wireless in December 2001 and he connoted the term “Boingo” to usage of internet whenever you need and from wherever you are. EarthLink overcame the early glitches to establish itself as a company with market cap of $826.25 Million.
- As an active investor he had to his account 6 investments in 6 companies. Apart from Boingo Wireless service and EarthLink he sits on multiple boards including Artsy Inc and Diffbot.
“The internet is going to go from the wires, the ground, the poles, into the air. The internet is going to be as ubiquitous as oxygen,” told Sky Dayton and apparently it followed today as the world is transforming into a global village. On his birthday event we wish you healthy, successful and technical years to come.
The article is a part of the B’day Series where we celebrate the birthday of renowned personalities from across Industries, very frequently. The series includes Entrepreneurs, C-level Executives, innovators or a renewed leaders who moved the industry with his exponential skill set and vision. The intent is to highlight the person’s achievements and touch base the little known, but interesting, part of his life. You can see the list of all earlier celebrated tech personalities, including Mark Zuckerberg, Marrisa Mayor, Sean Parker, Andy Rubin, Julian Assange, by following this link or subscribe to your daily newsletter.
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