Celeb Rookie: Pierre Omidyar

Pierre Omidyar isn’t a famous musician, actor, or athlete.  But in the tech world though he’s considered a major celebrity.  Buyers, sellers, collectors, and flippers, use his creation on a daily basis.  I’m talking about eBay.

On September 3, 1995 Pierre Omidyar launched AuctionWeb.  At first it began as part of another site he ran.  A broken laser pointer became the first item to be sold.  One thing led to another and it quickly became the first online auction site which allowed person-to-person transactions.

Two years after it’s founding the company’s name was changed to eBay.  The story that eBay was created to help Pierre Omidyar’s fiancée buy/sell Pez dispensers is a complete fabrication.  eBay’s PR Manager came up with that story and the media outlets just ate it up.

Thanks to the popularity of Beanie Babies during the 90’s, eBay saw incredible growth.  I don’t know if eBay would exist today if it weren’t for Beanie Babies.  It probably would.  The site would’ve had a slower start though.  After eBay went public in 1998, Pierre Omidyar became an instant billionaire.

eBay held their first eBay Live! event in Anaheim, CA in 2002.  This was a get together of buyers, sellers, and various eBay employees.  Among the t-shirts, stress balls, and pins handed out there was also a 32-card set.  Each card in the set represents something or someone important to eBay.  A majority of the set consists of cards representing each major category on eBay at the time.

Card #26 is of eBay’s founder Pierre Omidyar.  Like all of the cards in this set, its an animation.

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