Jimmy Wales, the co-founder of Wikipedia, has said he doesn’t regret the website’s status as a non-profit despite the online encyclopedia to this day remaining one of the world’s most visited websites.
With Wikipedia celebrating its 15th birthday today, Wales told the Telegraph that he is not envious of the likes of billionaires Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates, who made fortunes from their contribution to the web.
He said: “I don’t regret it at all. My life is very interesting, I get to meet all kinds of people, I can do whatever I like.
“I do things in my life, like going to lobby government officials, and I find it all hugely fascinating. I’m not a very money motivated person.”
As a result, he chose not to monetise Wikipedia, retaining its status as a free online encyclopedia edited by impartial individuals with the careful sourcing and extrapolation of data. Instead it is funded largely by donations from readers.
He concluded he is not “opposed to people making money”, marking his admiration of Gates and Zuckerberg.
Still, with Wikipedia racking up 15bn page views a month, one can only imagine the income Wales decided to pass on in order to truly provide the world with a free knowledge portal.