|Born||November 22, 1980
|Occupation||Rupture Founder & CEO|
Fanning was born in Brockton, Massachusetts. He worked summers at (uncle) John Fanning's Internet company, Chess.net, often sleeping on the couch. "I was just getting into programming, so I spent a lot of my time just fiddling with projects and hanging out." During this work, Shawn Fanning spent months writing the code for Napster, a program that could provide an easy way to download music.
After graduating from Harwich High School in 1998, Shawn enrolled at Boston's Northeastern University. Shawn rarely attended class and spent Christmas break working at the Hull, Massachusetts chess.net office with his uncle John, pushing himself to get the Napster system completed. The system was launched in early 1999. Later he appeared on the cover of Wired magazine and rose to fame. Soon after, however, Napster was the target of several music industry-backed lawsuits, which ultimately ended up causing the cessation of the service. Best Buy purchased Napster in a line of succession from companies such as Roxio, and Sony-BMG.
In 2003, Fanning opened a new company, Snocap, along with Jordan Mendelson and Ron Conway. The company aims to be a legitimate marketplace for digital media. That same year Fanning had a cameo appearance, playing himself, in the film The Italian Job (2003). In the film, Seth Green's character accused Fanning of stealing Napster from him while he was taking a nap. In December 2006, Fanning developed Rupture, a social networking tool designed to handle the task of publishing gamers' individual profiles to a communal space and facilitating communication between World of Warcraft players.