Underdog Story of the Day - Pierre Omidyar

Underdog Story of the Day - Pierre Omidyar

Pierre Omidyar

Omidyar was born in 1967 in Paris. Early on in his high school career, he grew interested in computers, later receiving a job from the school principal to create library catalog cards, earning $6 per hour.

He ended up getting the opportunity to attend Tufts University, where he created the first software that helped programmers solve their computer memory issues.

After he graduated, he worked for Apple and soon after co-founded a start-up with 3 friends. He began working on an eShop that Microsoft ended up buying out. His knack for designing sites got the attention of many companies; Omidyar worked at General Magic, designing sites as a side hustle to earn some extra cash.

His billion-dollar idea actually came from the motivation to impress his girlfriend. His girlfriend, who collected Pez dispensers, often found it hard to attract an audience with the same hobby. Omidyar set out to solve her problem, coding an auction function online, so his girlfriend, Pamela, could buy and sell her Pez dispensers.

Omidyar officially launched Auction Web in 1995.

And the rest is history.

Omidyar and his business partners realized that the site was growing quickly, so they added a commission fee to every item that was sold. By the middle of 1996, the site was hosting a whopping 800,000 auctions every day, leading to a rebranding.

He changed the name to, you guessed it, eBay. After the rebranding, an effective marketing campaign was put into place and the Initial Public Offering was prepared. In September 1998, Omidyar and his business partner became instant billionaires when eBay went public.

Omidyar's net worth is now estimated at 13.1 billion.

WATCH: Pierre Omidyar's advice on having your own success


What we can learn from Pierre Omidyar is that passion will not just bring you wealth in money, but wealth in happiness and fulfillment. Since he was in high school he was passionate about programming and he never let 'real-life' get in the way of how he wanted to live his life. So why are you waiting to feel fulfilled in your life? Start that company you always wanted to start, travel to that place you always wanted to go to. As Vincent Van Gogh once said, "I would rather die of passion than of boredom." 

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