Artifact Details


Akamai's Co-Founder & CEO Tom Leighton in Conversation with Museum CEO John Hollar

Catalog Number



Moving image




Hollar, John C., Moderator
Intel, Sponsor
Leighton, Tom, Speaker


Computer History Museum

Place of Publication

Mountain View, California





Copyright Holder

Computer History Museum


"Our customers are located in 192 different countries, and Akamai allows us to deliver a fast experience wherever they might be. Akami has been a very important partner for us to scale Airbnb."
- Nathan Blecharczyk
CTO and Co-Founder, Airbnb

Akamai's beginnings lie in a challenge posed by World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in early 1995. The father of the Web foresaw the congestion that is now very familiar to Internet users, and he challenged colleagues at MIT to invent a fundamentally new and better way to deliver Internet content.
MIT Professor of Applied Mathematics Tom Leighton, who had an office down the hall from Dr. Berners-Lee, was intrigued by the challenge. Dr. Leighton, a renowned expert on parallel algorithms and architecture, recognized that a solution to Web congestion could be found in applied mathematics and algorithms. He solicited the help of graduate student Danny Lewin, and several other top researchers, to tackle the problem.

The company launched commercial service in 1999 and announced that one of the world’s most trafficked Web properties, Yahoo!, was a charter customer. Now, its customers include the top 30 media and entertainment companies, the top 60 ecommerce companies, all branches of the U.S. military and all major sports leagues. Akamai delivers between 15 to 30% of all Web traffic, and delivers over 2 trillion daily Internet interactions. Its cloud platform contains 147,000 servers in 92 countries, within over 1,200 networks.

Join us as John Hollar navigates an in-depth conversation with Tom Leighton about his distinguished career, and get a peek under the hood at one of the world's leading Internet infrastructure companies.

We are very pleased that KQED Radio will be recording this program for broadcast on Wednesday, August 20 at 8pm.

This event is part of the Museum's acclaimed Revolutionaries speaker series, featuring renowned innovators, business and technology leaders, and authors in enthralling conversations often with leading journalists. Our audiences learn about the process of innovation, its risks and rewards, and failure that led to ultimate success.



Collection Title

CHM lecture collection

Series Title

CHM Presents Revolutionaries


Computer History Museum

Lot Number