Pierre Omidyar
FameRank: 8

"Pierre Morad Omidyar" is a French-born Iranian-American entrepreneur and philanthropist. He is the founder and chairman of the eBay auction site. He became a billionaire at the age of 31 with eBay's 1998 Initial Public Offering (IPO). Omidyar and his wife Pamela are well-known philanthropists who founded Omidyar Network in 2004 in order to expand their efforts beyond nonprofits to include for-profits and public policy. Since 2010, Omidyar has been involved in online journalism as the head of investigative reporting and public affairs news service Honolulu Civil Beat. In 2013, he announced that he would create and finance First Look Media, a journalism venture to include Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras, and Jeremy Scahill.

More Pierre Omidyar on Wikipedia.

You know, what we used to say around here was that it's a different company every three months. And that's really the Internet business. It's so fast moving that three years, it might as well be 30 years in any other industry. So it has been very, wild ride.

People were doing business with one another through the Internet already, through bulletin boards. But on the Web, we could make it interactive, we could create an auction, we could create a real marketplace. And that's really what triggered my imagination, if you will, and that's what I did.

The interesting thing was, I started eBay off as a hobby so it was free of charge.

A little bit of the ponytail about it.

People naturally gravitate towards eBay because it's the largest marketplace. We're the original. We've been around the longest and so far, we've been able to hold our own.

One of the things that I repeat probably every day here is that our success is built on our community's success.

It's a challenge to invest as much as we want.

The personal wealth that's coming is absolutely secondary to the stories that I hear about our users who have given themselves some financial independence as well by starting businesses, and all the lives we've touched positively.

Give the individual the power to be a producer as well as a consumer.