Anytime something new is invented or launched on the internet, someone has to be the first to do it, use it, or buy it -or else it will never flourish. Of course, at the time, no one knew which of these “firsts” would be important in the long run, because what if the invention died out? But eventually, Facebook, Twitter, email, Amazon, streaming video, etc. became big and new users eventually wondered how it all started. For example, eBay ran tests of its process. That’s when they made their first sale.
In 1995, back when eBay was called AuctionWeb, its owners set out to test the new website by listing a broken laser pointer for sale. Much to their surprise, the laser pointer was quickly purchased by someone for $14.83. Confused, the owners asked the customer if they knew that the laser was broken. When the customer replied, “I’m a collector of broken laser pointers,” they knew they were onto something big.