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Work at Home Moms > Online Auctions > Pierre Omidyar

Pierre Omidyar - The Man Behind Ebay

NEW! Learn how to start your own eBay Business with the Moms Talk Biz Guide to Making Money with eBay.

EBay is the success story of one man; it is a Pierre Omidyar’s success story. He once said, “I never had it in mind that I would start a company one day and it would really be successful. I have just been motivated by working on interesting technology.”

Let us go back to where it all started. Pierre Omidyar was born in Paris in 1967 and he moved to Baltimore as his father began his term of residence at John Hopkins. Pierre always had this fascination for computers even when he was in high school and skipped his gym classes to work on them. Seeing his interest, the principal asked him to work on a program that would produce catalog cards for the library. He was being paid $6 an hour for this job.

At Tufts University, Pierre assisted Macintosh programmers to resolve computer memory problems. In 1991, with three friends Pierre Omidyar created Pen-computing systems. Pen Computing was quite a failure but the e-commerce site called e-shop attracted and enticed Microsoft to buy the company. In 1994, Omidyar joined a software company called General Magic and at the same time worked as a freelance website designer.

At this time, his girlfriend Pamela Wesley complained to him about how difficult it was to find someone who could share the same passion and interest in her hobby on the Internet. Pierre opened a small online auction store on his personal website so that Pamela could contact other collectors and also buy and sell products. This was the start of E-Bay.

EBay - From Vision to Reality

EBay is short for electronic bay and relates to the San Francisco bay area. EBay became operational in the year 1995. It started out as a forum for people to sell and bid for various items. Three months after the start, Pierre had to ask his friend and programmer Jeff Skoll to help him. Initially Pierre started by charging a small amount to list an item and charged a small commission if the item was sold.

Soon, to his surprise, his website became a meeting place for people of common interests and he had to hire someone to handle the large number of checks being sent in. Soon he left his job and with Skoll decided to work on eBay’s structure and give it a shape. Within two years, eBay had 150 bidders putting almost 794,000 items on eBay everyday. Soon, a venture capitalist called Benchmark Capital paid $4.5 million for a 22% stake in the company. Margaret Whitham was placed as a CEO and under her supervision, eBay went public on 24th Sep, 1998. The stocks went up vertically from $18 per share to $300. This is the story behind a man’s vision and an e-commerce website’s rise to the hall of fame.

NEW! Learn how to start your own eBay Business with the Moms Talk Biz Guide to Making Money with eBay.



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