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Famous First Landing Pages (Updated)

If your startup is successful, no one will remember how ugly your product looked the day you launched. (And if it’s not successful, no one will care.)

When we think about successful companies like Google, Facebook, and Twitter, we tend to forget the modest beginnings from which they came. As Paul Graham recently wrote, “Think of some successful startups. How many of their launches do you remember?”

Well in celebration of modest beginnings, here’s a dose of reality: I recently came across the landing pages of some of the most successful companies we know. This is something everyone should to see.

The moral of the story: don’t name your company BackRub. Also, don’t worry about making something pretty, worry about making something people love. As Reid Hoffman once said, “If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late” (click here to tweet this quote).

(Credit goes to Phil Pickering for finding these)

 

Twitter’s first landing page:

original-twitter

Early Facebook screenshot:

original-facebook

 

Early Google homepage (from 1997):

google-original-homepage

 

The precursor to Google, BackRub: google-backrub

 

An even earlier Google homepage:

google-after-backrub

 

 

Yahoo!’s homepage in 1994:

original-yahoo

 

 

Early tumblr dashboard screenshot:

original-tumblr

 

 

Early Amazon homepage screenshot:original-amazon 

 

 

Updated: More landing page goodness

 

Apple circa 1997:

original-apple

 

 

AuctionWeb before it became eBay:

original-ebay 

 

 

Burbn (a Foursquare clone) before it pivoted to… Instagram:

original-instagram

 

 

The first ever prototype of Foursquare (shown at SXSW in 2009):

original-foursquare

 

 

Reid Hoffman’s original LinkedIn:

original-linkedin

 

 

And finally… Reddit (some things never change):

original-reddit

 

 

What stands out to you? How would you have designed things differently? Post your thoughts in the comments below.