Jarkko Oikarinen, 1988

In August 1988 21-year-old Jarkko Oikarinen used his tech talents to create a chat program called IRC, or Internet Relay Chat. It was invented to support bulletin boards and discuss computer-related topics. But the first IRC users also enjoyed the social aspects of IRC chat and used it for personal stuff, sharing files and dating. However, IRC proved to be more than just a chat room and Trekkie dating service. During the Soviet coup and the Gulf War in 1991 it became the sole source of news for many users. Since that time, IRC has expanded to include several thousand networks and millions of chatters worldwide.