Mosaic Communication renamed itself Netscape. And for about 2 years it owned the Web. Virtually 100% of all Web users started with Netscape’s browser.
For a time in 1996 everybody else on the Web who wanted to be seen (including search) paid Netscape to be a search choice in its browser.
What Netscape failed to realize was a revolutionary business model to go with its technology.
Netscape played it safe.
Defined itself as a ‘software’ company.
The guys in the suits who the venture capitalists hired convinced everyone it was so.
Until the software business model couldn’t dethrone Microsoft.
Netscape was never a software company. Instead, it was an enabler of all commerce and communication on the Web.
It could have been bigger than Amazon or Google. Both combined. Much the way Alibaba and Tencent in China are much bigger than mere search. These are entire ecosystems.
Granted, the Chinese entrepreneurs had the advantage of copying and then surpassing American ways of business. They also benefitted from widespread broadband which opened up pervasive access.
But they showed their pioneering counterparts a thing or two about business. The Chinese innovated many business models around mobile and Web services that even today the Americans and Europeans lack.