Showing posts with label Pierre Omidyar. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pierre Omidyar. Show all posts

Jul 17, 2015

Five More Internet Firsts

Computer-to-computer email started when Bolt Beranek and Newman was hired by the United States Defense Department to work on ARPANET, the precursor to the Internet.  Employee Ray Tomlinson started working on an experimental file transfer protocol that could send a message from one computer to another. He also came up with the “@” symbol to connect the user and network, simply because it made the most sense to him. It would include the user’s name and the host where it should be sent. In July of 1971 Tomlinson sent the first email to the computer next to his, which read, “QWERTYIOP”.

Pierre Omidyar was thinking that the web might make for a great marketplace, specifically utilizing an auction format for fair pricing on items. He launched the website AuctionWeb (which became eBay) on September 3, 1995. The first item to sell was a broken laser pointer, which went for $14.83. He was confused by someone paying for that much for a defective item and discovered the buyer collected broken laser pointers. He thought it was interesting that collectors were so passionate about ordinary items.

The first book sold on Amazon in July of 1995 was Fluid Concepts And Creative Analogies: Computer Models Of The Fundamental Mechanisms Of Thought, by Douglas Hofstadter.

The first Internet single released by a major label happened during 1993, when Geffen Records released the single “Head First” by Aerosmith.

During October 27, 1994, Joe McCambley, who ran a small digital advertising company, created the first banner ad for AT&T. The all-text ad, which said “Have you ever clicked your mouse here?” appeared on, the first digital magazine. Forty four percent of Hotwired’s visitors clicked the ad, and some even shared it with friends. Today, only about 0.0004 percent of website visitors click on banner ads.

Jun 19, 2015

What's in a Name, eBay

When it was first created, eBay was called AuctionWeb. The original look for the site was very similar to Craigslist. AuctionWeb was one of four sites Pierre Omidyar ran under his eBay Internet, a domain he purchased before coming up with AuctionWeb. He originally wanted to call this “EchoBay,” but the domain was already taken by a Canadian mining company, so he shortened it. The other things you could find under the eBay umbrella were a page on the Ebola virus, a small travel agent site, and a personal shopper site. Within seven months of launching AuctionWeb, revenues coming in were out earning Omidyar’s day job at General Magic, so he quit to devote himself full time to his side project. About a year and a half later, general users and many in the press had been calling it “eBay,” instead of AuctionWeb, so he switched the name. In September of 1997, he also switched the look of the site to be much more graphically based.

When eBay went public with a suggested price of $18 per share (but surged to $53.50 on the first day), the 30 employees of the company at the time did a conga line around the office. The biggest recipients of that public offering were Omidyar, who today is worth about $8.7 billion, and the first CEO of the company, Meg Whitman, who has a net worth of just under $2 billion today.

The section eBay 'Deals' is a part of eBay where it highlights the best deals at a given time on eBay, saving you the effort of sifting through to look for them. It also breaks up the deals in various categories, such as Technology Deals, Fashion Deals, Home Deals, etc.