35 Incredible Tim Berners-Lee Quotes

Sir Tim Berners-Lee is an English computer scientist and is also known as the inventor of the World Wide Web. As the founder and director of the World Wide Consortium (W3C), he oversees the mission, freedom, and openness of the Web. Here is a collection to some of the most incredible Tim Berners-Lee quotes from his life.

“Any enterprise CEO really ought to be able to ask a question that involves connecting data across the organization, be able to run a company effectively, and especially to be able to respond to unexpected events. Most organizations are missing this ability to connect all the data together.”

“Anyone who has lost track of time when using a computer knows the propensity to dream, the urge to make dreams come true and the tendency to miss lunch.”

“Celebrity damages private life.”

“Data is a precious thing and will last longer than the systems themselves.”

“I basically wrote the code and the specs and documentation for how the client and server talked to each other.”


“I don’t know whether machine translation will eventually get good enough to allow us to browse people’s websites in different languages so you can see how they live in different countries.”

“I hope we will use the Net to cross barriers and connect cultures.”

“I think in general it’s clear that most bad things come from misunderstanding, and communication is generally the way to resolve misunderstandings, and the Web’s a form of communications, so it generally should be good.”

“I think IT projects are about supporting social systems – about communications between people and machines. They tend to fail due to cultural issues.”

“If you use the original World Wide Web program, you never see a URL or have to deal with HTML. That was a surprise to me – that people were prepared to painstakingly write HTML.”

“I’m very aware there are lots of other people who are just bright and working just as hard, with just the same dedication to make the world a good place.”

“Imagine that everything you are typing is being read by the person you are applying to for your first job. Imagine that it’s all going to be seen by your parents and your grandparents and your grandchildren as well.”

“Innovation is serendipity, so you don’t know what people will make.”

“It is the the duty of a Webmaster to allocate URIs which you will be able to stand by in 2 years, in 20 years, in 200 years.”

“It’s amazing how quickly people on the internet can pick something up, but it’s also amazing how quickly they can drop it.”

“It’s difficult to imagine the power that you’re going to have when so many different sorts of data are available.”

“Legend has it that every new technology is first used for something related to sex or pornography. That seems to be the way of humankind.”

“Now, if someone tries to monopolize the Web, for example pushes proprietary variations on network protocols, then that would make me unhappy.”

“Physicists analyze systems. Web scientists, however, can create the systems.”

“Sites need to be able to interact in one single, universal space.”

“The amount of control you have over somebody if you can monitor internet activity is amazing.”

“The Domain Name Server (DNS) is the Achilles heel of the Web. The important thing is that it’s managed responsibly.”

“The Google algorithm was a significant development. I’ve had thank-you emails from people whose lives have been saved by information on a medical website or who have found the love of their life on a dating website.”

“The original idea of the web was that it should be a collaborative space where you can communicate through sharing information.”

“The Web as I envisaged it, we have not seen it yet. The future is still so much bigger than the past.”

“The Web is now philosophical engineering. Physics and the Web are both about the relationship between the small and the large.”

“The world’s urban poor and the illiterate are going to be increasingly disadvantaged and are in danger of being left behind. The web has added a new dimension to the gap between the first world and the developing world. We have to start talking about a human right to connect.”

“There was a time when people felt the internet was another world, but now people realise it’s a tool that we use in this world.”

“They may call it a home page, but it’s more like the gnome in somebody’s front yard than the home itself.”

“We can’t blame the technology when we make mistakes.”

“We need diversity of thought in the world to face the new challenges.”

“Web pages are designed for people. For the Semantic Web, we need to look at existing databases.”

“Web users ultimately want to get at data quickly and easily. They don’t care as much about attractive sites and pretty design.”

“When it comes to professionalism, it makes sense to talk about being professional in IT. Standards are vital so that IT professionals can provide systems that last.”

“You affect the world by what you browse.”

Check out the following video for an insightful interview with the inventor of the World Wide Web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee. Marking the 25th anniversary of his invention, Berners-Lee discusses what he calls the global digital ‘Bill of Rights’ to protecting users of the internet to maintain free access and control.