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Never judge a book by its cover

July 20th, 2021

At age 10, I remember flicking through books with excitement. Once a year, at school, a 'book shop' would unpack hundreds of books onto tables usually reserved for school lunches.

I recall finding this day, which happened only once a year, exciting - not because I was a great reader (I'm wasn’t), nor because I was one to regularly choose to sit down with a book (even now, a book has to grab me in the first few pages for me to see it through) - but because of the possibility hidden behind the range of covers. 

You don’t need to tell me that you should ‘never judge a book by its cover’, but if I’m honest, I often did. And still do.

At ten years old I was captivated to pick up and purchase; The Incredible Internet by Michael Fox.

It's filled with short stories of the origins of the internet, viruses, how websites work, and a whole chapter about how companies worldwide were making vast amounts of money, quickly.

This weekend when visiting my parents, I re-discovered this dusty book, hidden away in a cupboard. Flicking through the pages, I was transported back to various standout moments, dotted throughout my childhood and teenage years, where I became passionate about digital and the future we could create online.

I remember tinkering with phpBB, Drupal, Dreamweaver and serif web plus. When I discovered these tools, I couldn't believe that by typing, copying others' examples, and uploading through FTP, you could create websites that would be live on the actual internet.

A few years later, I started building the occasional website and reselling web hosting through my Heart Internet reseller plan to friends I had made through various forums.

The rest is history; a range of tech jobs, a couple of startups, and today I’ve landed running Steadfast Collective (alongside a couple of ventures projects).

Growing up, I always had a fascination with computers and the idea that with code, you could build something from nothing. 

Now, as I browse through this seriously outdated book, I realise that perhaps a lot of my passion came from judging a book by its cover and picking it up.