In 1979, Emmit McHenry and a few associates started an engineering company which they named Network Solutions. For 16 years, he and his partners toiled away and built a solid company. They could not get money from any financial institutions so they mortgaged their properties and maxed out their credit cards.
They were good engineers who were awarded with many contracts but the gem within Network Solutions was a contract with the National Science Foundation to create the U.S. Government’s and World first domain name addressing system for the Internet. This was back when the Internet was just a government project, and its commercial potential hadn’t been realized.
Emmit McHenry created a complex computer code whereby ordinary people can now surf the web or have e-mails without studying computer science. He created what we know today simply as .com.
On Dec. 31 1992, Network Solutions got the contract that would make the company a legacy. After the government reviewed several company proposals, The National Science Foundation Department selected Network Solution as manager of domain names registration service for the Internet.
The contract was for $1 million a year for five years. Network Solution had the sole authority to develop and issue Internet system for Web addresses. Network Solution developed .com, .net, .edu, and. gov. so people could communicate on the Internet.
At the time Network Solutions already was handling other sensitive engineering projects for the government. To keep up with the demands the company needed to hire more workers and buy new equipment, but the fixed $1 million a year contract proved to be a constrained because no matter how many names the company registered, it could not charge more.
Over the years demand for domain names increased and the company staff grew to 400 employees. Emmit applied to the government to charge directly for the domain names as the request for names continued to increase by the thousands. The government refused and continued to pay the company $1 million a year for as many requested domain names.
Emmit went to wealthy high profile Blacks and they all refused to invest in his company. He tried the financial institutions and Wall Street and they also said no. In the meantime the government kept insisting if he could not keep up with the volume they would break the contract.
In 1995 Emmit sold Network Solutions to Science Applications International Corp (or SAIC) for 4.8 million plus personal and business debt. In a few months the government gives SAIC the rights to charge $70.00 per year for each domain name plus royalty on any other created domain names, the same request Emmit made and was refused.
With millions of people and companies requesting domain names there was a bidding war to buy the new cash cow SAIC had just acquired. A Wall Street Company called VeriSign, Inc. was the winner. SAIC flipped the newly purchase 4.8 million company to VeriSign, Inc. for $21 Billion within a year.