10 years ago on Nov 23, 2019 I launched Shodan:
The idea was simple: create a repository of metadata about public devices on the Internet and make it searchable. And in terms of business use-case, I imagined companies using Shodan's data to see who's using their products, where they're deployed and other related information. My bachelors degree from college was in bioinformatics and aside from a personal interest in network security it wasn't something I was ever involved with at a professional level. I still don't know how but some people in the security community on Twitter discovered my tweet and since then the website has grown beyond anything that I imagined.
What started as a website running off of a refurbished Dell Vostro from my bedroom closet has turned into a platform that looks at more than 1,500 ports using a crawling infrastructure that's spread out across all continents. The solo hobby project turned into a company with employees. We own hundreds of servers storing Petabytes of data and have more than 3 million registered users. Users are trusting us to monitor more than 27 million IPs and send them notifications if something unexpected shows up. We've built better interfaces for browsing images, looking around on a map or feeling like you're back in the 80s.
The use cases for Shodan have also grown as more devices get connected to the Internet. We do the obvious network monitoring, help detect transaction fraud, calculate 3rd-party risk, and we're even doing some market intelligence - the original use case that I thought Shodan would be useful for ("Netcraft for Everything"). With those new use cases, the data collection has grown from simple banner grabbing into attaching vulnerability information, SSL testing, checking for new standards (ex. security.txt) and performing additional service-specific interactions to get a complete picture of services.
I feel very lucky and grateful to the security community that I've been able to make a living for myself and others working on something I love. Thank you to everybody that has supported Shodan over the past decade! Here's to 10 more years :)