Building a Collaborative Internet

In just twenty short years, we’ve gone from dial-up and downtime to XR and AI. Technology has advanced at lightning speed, but one thing has stayed constant: The most powerful thing about the internet isn’t the technology it's built on; it’s the people building and using it.

I’ve seen firsthand how innovative and expressive the web’s creators can be. I’m always struck by the example of Wordle. What started as one creator building a charming word game for his loved one blossomed not just into millions of players enjoying the game, but thousands of coders around the world discovering that the power to remix the app and build delightful things that bring millions of people together was right at their fingertips. It’s particularly exciting to us that so much of that ingenuity happened on Glitch. That’s just one example among a plethora of open source technologies and communities that share the same vision: to make the internet a little better, a little safer, or a little more fun.

We can all learn from those word enthusiasts, those open builders. They demonstrate the incredible potential of building openly, transparently, and collaboratively. We built Glitch on these values – values that are pulled from the very earliest days of the internet and are kept alive in the open source community and among the web’s creators today.

When I think about these values, I think about how they can be applied not only to the way we build, but also the way we show up and operate in the world.

Building openly is not just about selecting the right license, or putting your source code on Glitch or GitHub. It’s also about welcoming everyone with open arms. It’s building and working with inclusive communities that care about each other and the world, who are focused on thinking about the big picture.

Transparency builds on that principle. Of course it means publishing your designs and specs, or inviting everyone to steering committees. But it also means giving people not only a seat, but a voice at the table. Transparency is vital — because when we show how and why decisions are made, and admit that others can make our ideas and decisions better, we operate with integrity.

When we talk about collaborative technologies, we mean interoperability, as in building technology systems that coordinate, or even competitive compatibility, technologies that work together despite competing in the market. And it also means teamwork — building systems for people that encourage collaboration, that incentivize community and kindness, that put individual agendas aside in favor of the success of the group, the technology ecosystem, and even society.

In some ways, the internet and the people who use and build it are more vulnerable than ever, despite the huge advancements our industry has made. At Fastly, we believe we should all be working toward making the internet better for everyone, and especially for vulnerable people. We fight for this – within our own walls and as part of our communities – because it’s the right thing to do. We use the power of our platform to build an internet that is free, open, safe (and fast!) for all. 

All of us have the power to make the internet a better place. In the coming days and weeks you’re going to be hearing about how Fastly is doing exactly that. It’s a great time for us all to work together to build an even better internet.

Anil Dash
VP Developer Experience

3 min read

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Anil Dash
VP Developer Experience

Anil Dash leads Fastly’s Developer Experience and Compute product teams, helping coder build on top of Fastly’s platform. He served as CEO of Glitch prior to its acquisition by Fastly in 2022. Honored by the Webby Awards with its lifetime achievement award in 2022, he was also an advisor to the Obama White House’s Office of Digital Strategy and a columnist for Wired.

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