A response to How answering a movie fan's question turned into IMDb

A lovely message from Col Needham + 3 great movie recommendations.

To all of the Fact of the Day 1 readers,

First, thanks to Danny for allowing me to do a little follow-up here.

The past 30 years with IMDb have surpassed my wildest expectations.  Thanks to our customers, team members, and passionate fan base, I get to spend my time building and working with some of the most creative people in the world.

We also owe a debt of thanks to Will Smith

In 1996, we needed to buy our first server. It was time to move on from borrowed capacity at colleges around the world. We put the server purchase on a personal credit card.  Before the bill was due, we managed to sell our first piece of advertising for three times the cost of the server, helping IMDb to (accidentally) become one of the first profitable web sites. A few months later, we sold our first movie ad campaign to Twentieth Century Fox for Independence Day which was my cue to quit my day job and become IMDb’s first paid employee.  Will Smith was amused when I had the opportunity to relate this story to him at The Cannes Film Festival some 21 years later. 

In 1998, when we first sat down to talk about a possible acquisition with Jeff Bezos, we wanted to understand how IMDb would fit within the larger Amazon company.  Jeff explained how IMDb could retain our web site and brand, where the information would continue to be optimized for search, browse, and contribution, while Amazon.com would build the world’s best video store using IMDb’s information -- and that’s exactly what happened.

Today, IMDb content is integrated into some of Amazon’s most-loved devices and services, including Amazon Fire TV, Alexa, and X-Ray on Prime Video.

Looking for a movie recommendation? I’ve watched a few in my time, as Danny mentioned.  I made an IMDb list, naturally, of my favourite movies from each of the last 30 years -- here are the three most recent:

All of life’s riddles are answered in the movies,” is a quote from the 1991 film Grand Canyon, and best sums up the power of film to entertain, educate, and change the world.  If you do not believe this, then you simply have not yet seen enough movies!




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