Reid Hoffman Co-Founder and Executive Chairman, LinkedIn (Since 2003)

“Build a compact piece of work with the right leverage, and you can solve a very big problem”

“When you write a scholarly work, it tends to be understood by very few people, and has one publication point over time,” he said. “But when you build a service, you can touch millions, to hundreds of millions of people directly”

“Data will be foundational in the next wave of mass applications that go to hundreds of millions of people”

Reid Hoffman is a leading modern pioneering entrepreneur of 21st century and an angel investor (he has invested in some 114 tech startups since 1995, including juggernauts like Facebook, Flickr, Groupon and Zynga, both on his own and as a partner in the venture firm Greylock Partners). He is a creator of strategic products and organizations that would help the society to explore and adapt themselves to the changes in the future business arena. He had deeper insights of global financial structures and models, latest technology and a sharp acute vision to achieve synchronization between them. He became the major voice and navigator for the entrepreneurship, after he co-founded and took up the responsibility as Executive Chairman of LinkedIn, the most popular and the world’s largest professional networking site in the year 2003.

Reid Hoffman strongly believes that knowledge sharing through professional networks is one of the best ways of learning. This belief resulted in starting of LinkedIn. Under the strong leadership and vision of Hoffman, the company spread its wings and is serving more than 100 million users (44 million from U.S and 56 million from outside U.S), with the help of 1,700 employees, across 200 countries around the world, with a market capitalization of about 7.9 billion dollars as of now. The revenue comes from diversified areas of operations such as subscriptions, advertising, and software licensing. The company went public 8 months ago and the stock price of the company nearly doubled.

This fastest growing revolutionary professional networking site allows its registered members to create business contacts, search for jobs, and find potential clients. Your professional network is how you stay competitive as a professional: sharing tips on work practices, benchmarks and key tools. Your professional network is how you stay up to date on your industry: key trends, information and transformations. Your professional network is how you get the best opportunities: a job, a client, a consulting contract, or other business connections. LinkedIn helps you collaborate with your network on productivity, information and success. LinkedIn differs from other fun based social networking sites, as it takes control of your economic destiny and improves the way you operate as a professional and how you can develop a competitive advantage. These are fundamentals for achieving quality of life.

Individuals can create their own professional profile that can be viewed by others in their network, and view the profiles of their own contacts thus changing the lives of millions of people. This was all possible due to the envisioned dream of an entrepreneur to connect millions of people to share professional knowledge. Reid Hoffman stands exemplary and inspires many upcoming entrepreneurs. LinkedIn winning two Webby awards in 2007 for services and social networking is a milestone of Reid’s success as an entrepreneur.

On philanthropic front, Hoffman serves on the boards of social organizations,, micro-lending platform, hybrid infrastructure organizations such as Mozilla or Creative Commons and Endeavor Global, an international non-profit development organization that finds and supports high-impact entrepreneurs in emerging markets.

Educational and Career Outlook
Before finding LinkedIn, Little Reid was a Californian kid who was fond of playing games. In spite of scoring B’s and C’s in middle school, Reid was a highly focused and bright kid. He attended his high school at “The Putney School”. Reid Hoffman graduated in symbolic systems, the study of relationship between computing and human intelligence, with distinction, in 1990, from Stanford University. Reid took his masters in Philosophy in the year 1993 from Oxford University and he was winner of Marshall Scholarship.

After his Masters, Reid had a gut feeling that “Social Media” going to be monumental in future as many social networks including gaming companies had social media as their soul for operations. As a part of his checklist to start, he joined in Apple and kick started his career as a pure software developer. Later he went to Fujitsu for product management and the business side.
In the summer months of 1997, he forayed into social media by starting a company called “Social Net”, which mainly laid its focus on online dating and matching up people with similar interests, but ended up as a flop company.

By the flop of Social Net, Reid was a bit frustrated. However, soon he realized that a product or a service should have a potential to touch millions of people. With the lesson learnt, Reid left Social Net in 1999 and joined Mr.Thiel at PayPal. Thiel was also co-student and his friend at Stanford. At that point of time, PayPal was struggling through many challenges regarding Visa and Master Cards. Reid Hoffman took up the responsibility of Executive Vice President of PayPal and turned around the company. His key role was to manage external relations of the company. He was jam packed with meetings to manage all business relationships such as business development, corporate development, international, government relations, and banking/payments infrastructure etc. He managed to convince and persuade credit card companies and regulators. He evolved as a strong and higher order strategist and a great connector at PayPal. PayPal survived and went public in 2002, making Reid and many of his colleagues multimillionaires. During his stance at PayPal, Hoffman was instrumental in acquisition by eBay and was responsible partnerships with Intuit, Visa, MasterCard and Wells Fargo.

Reid Hoffman’s graduation from Stanford in 1990

After his Masters, Reid had a gut feeling that “Social Media” going to be monumental in future as many social networks including gaming companies had social media as their soul for operations. As a part of his checklist to start, he joined in Apple and kick started his career as a pure software developer. Later he went to Fujitsu for product management and the business side.
In the summer months of 1997, he forayed into social media by starting a company called “Social Net”, which mainly laid its focus on online dating and matching up people with similar interests, but ended up as a flop company.

By the flop of Social Net, Reid was a bit frustrated. However, soon he realized that a product or a service should have a potential to touch millions of people. With the lesson learnt, Reid left Social Net in 1999 and joined Mr.Thiel at PayPal. Thiel was also co-student and his friend at Stanford. At that point of time, PayPal was struggling through many challenges regarding Visa and Master Cards. Reid Hoffman took up the responsibility of Executive Vice President of PayPal and turned around the company. His key role was to manage external relations of the company. He was jam packed with meetings to manage all business relationships such as business development, corporate development, international, government relations, and banking/payments infrastructure etc. He managed to convince and persuade credit card companies and regulators. He evolved as a strong and higher order strategist and a great connector at PayPal. PayPal survived and went public in 2002, making Reid and many of his colleagues multimillionaires. During his stance at PayPal, Hoffman was instrumental in acquisition by eBay and was responsible partnerships with Intuit, Visa, MasterCard and Wells Fargo.

Reid Hoffman and his PayPal counterparts make millions selling to eBay in 2002

Reid started LinkedIn in 2003 and in spite of boom in social networking, at the beginning, it was not very clear that LinkedIn would survive. The response for the first year was dismal. At that time, Friendster was the most popular social network and LinkedIn was the first of the kind of site based on business and professional connections and looked faded. Reid steered the company towards profits with unwaivered determination after a long struggle of 5 years. Sequoia Capital, an early backer of Google, invested $4.7 million in LinkedIn in the year 2003 and one of its partners, Mark Kvamme, joined the board of LinkedIn.

Things took different turns, Kvamme and Reid had some debate of thoughts and relationships got disturbed. Reid was a person who was least bothered about corporate spending and margins and viewed the world in a broader perspective.

In 2008, as the economy of the world was badly affected, more people joined LinkedIn for its premium job and recruiting services. Mr. Hoffman led the company as the Executive Chairman and focused on his strengths like product and high-level strategy. It also helped him to accept a job at Greylock. Even today, Reid invests his time between Greylock’s offices on Sand Hill Road in Menlo Park, California and LinkedIn’s headquarters at Mountain View.

He feels that a new Web is stirring and social media redefined the Internet and there is another paradigm shift. Hoffman believes that 21st century would be pivotal on data and works on manipulating data in various interesting ways and mostly invests in data-driven companies. LinkedIn, too, has been trying to leverage the data on its site by, for example, making it more searchable, data-intensive, straightforward and useful.

Reid joined Greylock Partners in 2009. His areas of focus include consumer Internet, enterprise 2.0, mobile, social gaming, online marketplaces, payments and social networks. Reid is passionate to work with products that can reach hundreds of millions of participants and businesses that have network effects. Reid also has held management roles in significant technology companies, including Fujitsu Software Corporation and Apple. In addition to LinkedIn, Reid serves on the Board of Directors for SixApart,, and Mozilla Corporation.

More about Reid Hoffman
Born                                 :Reid Hoffman
                                         August 5, 1967(age 44)
                                         Stanford, California, U.S.
Country of Citizenship      :United States
Alma mater                      :Stanford University, B.S
                                        Degree in Symbolic Systems
                                        Oxford University,
                                        Master in Philosophy
Occupation                      :Entrepreneur and investor

Young Reid with his Father

The great American entrepreneur and venture capitalist was born in Stanford, California, on August 5, 1967. He was brought up in Berkeley, California. Reid’s father, William Hoffman, recalls that he used to read a book for young Reid during bedtime, when he was five and whenever he picked the book, the bookmark moved further and further ahead faster.

Reid had a great obsession and indulgence for games; specifically he was fascinated with multiplayer game mechanics and the way that social systems come together. Young Reid at the age of 12, arrived unannounced one Friday at offices of Chaosium, the game maker behind RuneQuest, the fantasy role-playing game first published in 1978. He marked his suggestions in the game manual with red ink and put it in the hands of game developer. The man who went through the suggestions of young Reid was impressed and asked him if he wants to do anything else. Reid told he wanted to work and reported at work the immediate Monday and received his first paycheck of $127, a few weeks later.
Awards and Honors
Reid Hoffman deserves to be honored for bringing perfect blend of talents and vision to Silicon Valley and the world of the internet, creating off-the-charts success.
1 Reid Hoffman has been named, the Ernst & Young National Entrepreneur of the Year 2011.
1 Reid Hoffman receives VC Taskforce’s 2011 Innovation Catalyst Award.
1 The 2011 Endeavor Gala honored Reid Hoffman, Founder & Chairman, LinkedIn, for
his high-impact entrepreneurship.
1 In 2010, Reid was the recipient of an SD Forum Visionary Award.
1 In 2010, Reid was named, a Henry Crown Fellow by The Aspen Institute.
1 Tech America’s highest award, the David Packard Medal of Achievement, named
Reid Hoffman as Entrepreneur of the year for 2010.
Reid Hoffman’s ten rules of Entrepreneurship
LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman spells some golden words about how entrepreneurs can “invent the future”. He tells the 10 commandments of entrepreneurship, which may have a little change according to the change in time and technology, at present these rules hold good for entrepreneurs.
Try to create “disruptive change”
“It’s got to be something that changes an industry.” As one rule-of-thumb on how to judge whether your idea is disruptive enough, Hoffman said it should take $10 revenue and replace it with $1 of revenue, because that’s creating opportunities for new ecosystems.
“Aim big”
Hoffman argued that it usually takes the same amount of work to run a small company as it does a big company (except that if you sell the small company early, the work ends sooner). With that in mind, he said entrepreneurs try to build big companies that revolutionize their industry rather than create a startup they “flip” after a couple of years.
Build a network to amplify your company
That network includes investors, advisors, employees, customers, and others.
“Plan for good luck”
Sometimes entrepreneurs are surprised when something good happens, and they must take advantage of it by changing their plans. For example, he noted that PayPal (where he worked) started as an encryption product on mobile phones and then pivoted to a number of other products before the founders noticed that it was being widely used at eBay. At first, the team wondered, “Why are these eBay people using us? This is terrible,” then they realized that PayPal could become a payment tool for online merchants.
“Maintain flexible persistence”
“The art is knowing when to be persistent and when to be flexible and how to blend them.”
“Launch early enough that you’re embarrassed by your 1.0 product release.”
Hoffman said that “unless you’re Steve Jobs,” entrepreneurs are probably at least partially wrong about their product, and they won’t find out what they’re wrong about until people are using it. He added that when he launched LinkedIn, his co-founders wanted to wait until they launched the “contact finder” feature, but it turns out that wasn’t necessary. LinkedIn still hasn’t added that feature eight years later.

“Always keep your aspirations and aim high, but don’t drink your own Kool Aid.”

“Having a great idea for a product is important, but having a great idea for product distribution is even more important.”

“Pay attention to your culture and your hires from the very beginning.”

“These rules of entrepreneurship are not laws of nature. You can break them.”
-After all, the nature of entrepreneurship is that you’re doing something for the first time. 
Inspiring quotes by Reid Hoffman
1 “People will be discovering that the Internet helps their career. One of my theses is that every individual is now a small business; how you manage, your own personal career is the exact way you manage a small business. Your brand matters. That is how LinkedIn operate”
1 “Try to get as much intelligence as you can from your network on both the entrepreneurial process and the specifics of the business that you're thinking about. The network is not just the people you know -- it's whom your network knows. Iterate constantly”
1 “Entrepreneurship and innovation is how we change the world”
1 “A networker likes to meet people. I don't. I like accomplishing things in the world. You meet people when you want to accomplish something”
1 “Entrepreneurship is throwing yourself off a cliff and building a plane on the way down”
1 “If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late”
1 “Be persistent and hang on to your vision. And at the same time, be flexible”
1 “The value of being connected and transparent is so high that the road bumps of privacy issues are much lower in actual experience than people’s fears”

Jimmy Wales President of Wikia, Inc (2004-till date), Wikimedia Foundation

“Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge. That's what we're doing”. “Make an edit! Make several edits! After all, that's what Wikipedia is all about”.

Jimmy Wales is a pioneering internet entrepreneur of 21st century, an excellent and outstanding radical thinker, dynamic leader; empowering the humanity with tons of knowledge, and executioners of the on going huge social initiative of knowledge sharing under one roof (for all the people living under this sky around the world). This greatest idea of knowledge sharing, lot more worthy than philanthropy, brain-child of Jimmy Wales took different forms and moulds and finally got metamorphosed into “Wikipedia the free Encyclopedia”; where people around the world could access free and open information about any topic they need instantaneously without any research, in what ever language (more than 300 languages) they prefer. This is really a major milestone for Collaboration of human knowledge, creativity and innovation.

Jimmy Wales enthusiastically played different roles in promoting and designing the ongoing project Wikipedia, the world’s largest and free encyclopedia, which started in 2001, grew tremendously and became highly acceptable and cancerously popular around the globe. Jimmy is active president of Wikia, Inc since 2004 until date, Chairman of Wikimedia Foundation from 2003-2006, Chairman of Emeritus from 2006 until date. On the contrary to other commercial social networks like Google, Yahoo, Facebook etc with hell lot of servers, employees and advertisements, Wikipedia under the great envisioned leadership of Jimmy Wales, unbelievably works with only 400 servers and a very low head count of 73, with no place for advertisements on the page. Today Wikipedia stands fifth on the web and serves 454 million cross-cultured viewers every month and with billions of page view count. There is no irony in saying that Wikipedia became a part of decision making to millions of people and numerous organizations of various domains; giving them timely and quick access to the information they really need.

Access to information anywhere, any time and any topic, free and open on the web is the unique, revolutionary, history creating way of giving back to the society, which neither was done by any entrepreneur nor would be done in the future. The great visionary Jimmy Wales, who successfully executed his idea after many years of hardwork, made this possible. He is the living legendary social entrepreneur, who stands role model for the human kind.

Educational and Career Outlook

Wales astonishingly received his early education in a one-room school house run by his mother Doris and his grandmother Erma, where there were only 3 to 4 children in each grade and so 1-4 grades & 5-8 grades were clubbed together. It is in his early schooling that he had a deep understanding of the ‘Montessori Method and Philosophy’ of education, which motivated Jimmy to turn a vehement reader with intense intellectual curiosity. He got involved in the ‘Britannica’s and World Book of Encyclopedias’, spending lots and lots of his time.

Later after eighth grade, Wales went to Randolph School, a highly expensive university preparatory school at Huntsville, which was not at all affordable to his parents, but continued there until his graduation at the age of sixteen, because of his family’s passion to educate their children. Wales did his Bachelor’s in Finance, from Auburn University. He received his masters in finance, from the University of Alabama. He entered into PhD finance at Indiana University, though he taught at both the universities during his post graduation, he could not write dissertation required for a Ph.D., the reason for which he stated as boredom.

As a person, he strongly believed that traditional approach to knowledge and learning is a strong base for a good life. Wales was critical opponent of government treatment of the schools with political influence, beurocracy and constant interference. Leaving his Ph.D. incomplete, Wales took up a job in finance and after some time he took up the responsibility as research director from 1994-2000, in Chicago Options Associates, a futures and options trading firm, in Chicago. Wales along with two other partners founded, a male-oriented web portal, featuring entertainment and adult content, named Bomis, in 1996. Initial funding for the free peer-reviewed free encyclopedia Nupedia from 2000-2003, and its successor Wikipedia that was launched in 2001, was provided by Bomis. In 2004, he co-founded Wikia, a for-profit wiki-hosting service.

Born                              : Jimmy Donal Wales
                                       August 7, 1966(age 45)
                                       Huntsville, Alabama, U.S.

Residence                      :St. Petersburg, Florida, U.S.

Country of Citizenship    :United States

Alma mater                    :Bachelors in Finance, Auburn University
                                      Masters in University of Alabama

Occupation                   :Formerly a financial trader
                                     Currently internet entrepreneur

Marital Status               :Married

Children                       :One daughter

Jimmy Wales with his second wife Christine

The great American internet entrepreneur was born in Huntsville, Alabama in the year 1966, August 7. His father Jimmy worked as a grocery store manager. His mother, Doris, along with his grandmother, Erma, ran a small in-house private school, where Wales and his three siblings received their early education.

On personal front Wales married Pam, a co-worker at a grocery store, in Alabama, at a very young age of 20. He happened to meet his second wife, Christine Rohan, while she was working as a steel trader for Mitsubishi. The couple later married in 1997, in Monroe County, Florida and had a daughter before they parted. Wales moved to San Diego in 1998 and information says that he stayed at St.Petersburg, Florida from 2002-2007. Later back in 2008, Wales had a brief relationship with a Canadian columnist Rachel Marsden, who approached Wales in the context of her Wikipedia biography. Later Wales claimed that the relationship would not influence Wikipedia and that it constituted conflict of interests.

Honors and Rewards
Wales appearing as a member of the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees on a panel at Wikimania 2007.

Jimmy Wales receiving the Quadriga award on October 3, 2008

Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge. That's what we're doing.

Wales deserve to be honored, for his ongoing work of enlightenment of human rays by sharing free and open content.

Wales has received a Pioneer Award, the Gottlieb Duttweiler Prize in 2011.  

Wales received ‘the Monaco Media Prize’ in 2011. 

Wales received the 2009 Nokia Foundation annual award. 

Wales was accredited with the Business Process Award at the seventh Annual Innovation Awards and Summit by the Economist, in 2009.

Wales received the 2008 Global Brand Icon of the Year Award.   

Wales was honored on behalf of the Wikimedia project, the Quadriga award of Werkstatt Deutschland for A Mission of Enlightenment, in 2008.
The World Economic Forum named Wales as one of the "Young Global Leaders" of 2007.  

Time magazine named Wales in its 2006 list of the world’s most influential people.  

Wales was listed in the "Scientists & Thinkers" section of the Time 100 in 2006 and number 12 in Forbes


Wales serves on the Board of Trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation, the non-profit charitable organization he helped establish to operate Wikipedia, holding its board-appointed "community founder”. He was chosen a fellow of Harvard Law School's Beckman Center for Internet and Society in mid-2005 and in October 2005 joined the Board of Directors of Social text, a provider of wiki technology to businesses.

Few Inspiring Quotes by Jimmy Wales

“I have always liked the idea of going to print because a big part of what we are about is to disseminate knowledge throughout the world and not just to people who have broadband”.

“I have always viewed 123the mission of Wikipedia to be much bigger than just creating a killer website. We're doing that of course, and having a lot of fun doing it, but a big part of what motivates us is our larger mission to affect the world in a positive way”.

“My original concept was to provide a free encyclopedia for every single person in the world”.

“Wikipedia is first and foremost an effort to create and distribute a free encyclopedia of the highest possible quality to every single person on the planet in their own language. Asking whether the community comes before or after this goal is really asking the wrong question: the entire purpose of the community is precisely this goal”.

“We are Wikipedians. This means that we should be: kind, thoughtful, passionate about getting it right, open, tolerant of different viewpoints, open to criticism, bold about changing our policies and cautious about changing our policies. We are not vindictive, childish, and we don't stoop to the level of our worst critics, no matter how much we may find them to be annoying”.

“I think that argument is completely morally bankrupt, and I think people know that when they make it. There's a very big difference between having a sincere, passionate interest in a topic and being a paid shill ... Particularly for PR firms, it's something they should really very strongly avoid: ever touching an article”.

Larry Sanger

 Larry Sanger

American philosopher and Internet Web Developer

Co-founder of Wikipedia

Founder of Citizendium

“Want to change the way world thinks, for one thing (knowledge sharing)”

“I call myself an "Internet Knowledge Organizer." I started,, and, among others. Now I am lucky enough to be able to work full-time on creating free materials for early education, which I am using with my two little boys and sharing with you”.

Larry Sanger is an American Philosophical entrepreneur, a well-known Objectivist, with a profound interest in philosophy, a mysterious art, the history of which shows full of confusion, doubt, and disagreement in existence of state of things, that needs higher level of careful and methodical thinking, which would probably challenge one’s intellectual capabilities. He pin pointed his focus and worked extensively on a rare field ‘Epistemology’, which means theory of Knowledge. He was the most envisioned leader and a matchless strategist of his own kind, who brought about accountability to the internet encyclopedia model. He worked on processes of assembling and development of articles led the Wikipedia’s early committee and blessed the humanity by launching Wikipedia in most easy to use method. His outstanding work is a boon to humankind, stands role model for upcoming Philosophical entrepreneurs.

Educational and Career Outlook

He spent most of his formative days of school in Anchorage, Alaska, where he excelled in his learning, from the age of 7yrs. He had keen interest in Philosophy. In 1986, he graduated from high school and went to Reed College majoring in Philosophy, to receive his ‘Bachelor of Arts degree’ in 1991. He received both his ‘Masters in arts’ in 1995 and later ‘Doctor of Philosophy’ in 2000, in the stream of Philosophy from Ohio State University, where most of his work was on Epistemology.

As a part of his learning and knowledge, he got interested in the publishing abilities of the internet, which later helped him to realize the benefits of internet by using ‘Wiki’ for an online encyclopedia. He attempted his learning execution, with a list server as a medium, to help students and tutors in ‘expert tutoring’, it even acted as a forum to hold discussions of tutorials, best tutorial methods, merits of free network of individual tutors and students helping each other via internet, for sharing knowledge outside the traditional university setting. From 1998 to 2000, he ran a website called "Sanger's Review of Y2K News Reports", a resource for Y2K watcher.

He made his intensive contributions in various online encyclopedia projects. He played a role of former Editor-in-chief of Nupedia, and Chief Organizer of Wikipedia from 2001-2002. He was key person in assembling and developing processes for articles and proposed the use of Wiki and directly led to creation of Wikipedia, which was initially complementary to the Nupedia Project. He established many original policies of Wikipedia and led its early community. He played main role in alternative wiki-based project, Citizendum.

He left Wikipedia in 2002, as Wikipedia has least respect for professionalism and expertise, and since then has been a critic of the Wikipedia project. After leaving Wikipedia, he rendered his services in teaching Philosophy, his favorite subject, in Ohio State University and authored “Encyclopedia of Earth”. Citizendum was publicly announced in 2006, and was launched in 2007, and its activities ranged from creating credible and free access encyclopedia, with more accountability. He is at present working on design and development of different educational projects for individuals and programs to help children, how to read, know and learn and acquire knowledge. He started blogging on various subjects. He is also a part-time writer, speaker and consultant on topic of Collaborative web communities.

Born                     :Lawrence Mark Sanger
                             July 16, 1968 (age 43)
                             Bellevue, Washington, U.S.

Alma mater         :Bachelors in Arts, Reed College
                             Masters and Doctorate in Philosophy, Ohio State University

Occupation         :Internet project Developer

Marital Status    :Married

Children              :Two

The great American Philosopher, Larry Sanger, was born on July 16, 1968, in Bellevue, Washington, Seattle. He spent most of his childhood days in Anchorage, Alaska.

Not much is known about Sanger’s family, but some sources say that he was raised purely Lutheran and that after annoying family members and pastors, he turned into typical agnostic philosopher and a rational believer. He said that, his family has substantial amount of English, German, and French blood, but he is not a Jewish.

He met his wife online and got married in 2001, later had two children.

The Peaking Controversy on “Co-founder” of Wikipedia
Jimmy Wales has started Wikipedia with the help of Larry Sanger and others in 2001.

As the company became very popular in the public through out the world, Jimmy Wales got busy and was mostly playing the roles of a promoter and spokes person, so it is not mentioned clearly, about the aspect “who found Wikipedia?; Resulting in high controversy.

Historically Jimmy Wales is cited as a co-founder of Wikipedia, though he has disputed the "co-" designation, declaring himself the sole founder. Wales has been omitting the ‘co’ part of co-founder in his own biography for some years now, though on Wikipedia’s own Wikipedia page, Larry Sanger is listed as his co-founder and, indeed, Sanger has pulled together a comprehensive list of online resources to back-up his claims to co-founder status.

No doubt, Sanger has played a key role in development of Wikipedia and provided full-fledged guidance for the project in its early phase, but the core idea in broader perspective is ascribed to Wales. Sangers said, "The idea of an open source, collaborative encyclopedia, open to contribution by ordinary people, was entirely Jimmy's, not mine, and the funding was entirely by Bomis", adding, "The actual development of this encyclopedia was the task he gave me to work on”. Sanger promoted both the Nupedia and Wikipedia projects until Bomis discontinued funding for his position in February 2002; Sanger resigned as editor-in-chief of Nupedia and as "chief organizer" of Wikipedia on March 1 of that year.

If at all you type the name “Larry Sanger” in the google, the search engine would suggest; Jimmy Wales may be the ‘face’ of Wikipedia, but you may not know that the online encyclopedia also has a co-founder in the form of Larry Sanger, who helped develop the project, but left in 2002 shortly after it was launched.

Ascent of Wikipedia

Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger  –  Driving force behind Wikipedia

Wales with two other partners founded Bomis, a male-oriented web portal featuring entertainment and adult content, in 1996 and the initial funding for the peer-reviewed, free encyclopedia, Nupedia from 2000-2003 and its successor Wikipedia was made by Bomis. Bomis struggled hard for money, but supplemented Wales with money to carry on his lifetime ambition of an ‘online open encyclopedia’.

Wales came across Larry Sanger in early 1990’s, while holding an online discussion group that was mostly devoted to the ‘philosophy of objectivism’. Wales was debating with Larry Sanger online, a skeptic of the philosophy, both were deeply immersed in the debate on the subject and eventually met face-to-face to continue the debate and incidentally became friends, as they were like-minded people ‘sailing in the same boat of knowledge sharing’.

Later, after Wales tentatively decided upon pursuing the project of Wikipedia, Wales needed a credential academic to lead the project. Wherein, he called in Mr. Sanger, to be its editor-in-chief, when Larry was pursuing doctorate in philosophy, at Ohio State University. Eventually after that, the peer-reviewed; open-content encyclopedia, The Nupedia was launched, in 2001. The main theme of Nupedia was to have entries of variety of topics written by experts and paralleling advertising along with the entries, to make some profit. Peers extensively reviewed the articles in order to achieve quality comparable to professional encyclopedias.

The progress of Nupedia was too slow (simply not growing faster), because of its bottleneck, onerous submission process. Wales was looking around for other ways of speeding up the process, probably needed more people to contribute. Jimmy Wales already spent all the money he had set aside for Nupedia, which was not making him any money and he did not want to spend any more money on software. In early summer of 2000, the first change Larry and Wales made was to change the existing email only system, to a software system, which could not solve the problem either.

Later in January 2001, Kovitz, an extreme computer enthusiast, introduced Sanger, with concept of ‘wiki’. ‘Wiki’ did not need any programming and the model allowed editors to contribute simultaneously and incrementally through out the entire project, which cleared the bottle neck of Nupedia. Jimmy and Larry created Nupedia wiki, on January 10, 2001. The Wiki project initially started as a collaborative project, where public could write articles, which would be reviewed by, Nupedia’s expert volunteers. The experts who had nothing to do with this project, had a fear, that the amateur content with professionally researched and edited content would degrade the credibility of encyclopedia. Therefore, just after five days after its creation; wiki project was dubbed as “Wikipedia”, by Sanger, and went live at separate domain. Within a couple of weeks, Wikipedia gained its momentum, and more articles that are detailed were made live and soon it has surpassed Nupedia.

Wales identified the potential in “Wikipedia”, and thought that it would reach all the people and realize his dream of online, free, open encyclopedia. Wales initially feared that, the concept of open editing, where anyone can edit the encyclopedia would produce “total trash content”. However, to his surprise the small group of editors’ synchronized well to create a robust, self-regulating community that has proven conducive to the growth of the project. Sanger left Wikipedia in 2002. Wales serves on the Board of Trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation, the non-profit charitable organization he helped establish to operate Wikipedia, holding its board-appointed "community founder" seat. In 2004, he co-founded Wikia, a for-profit wiki-hosting service. Wales’ role in creating Wikipedia was instrumental, which has become the world’s largest encyclopedia. Ten years on from Wikipedia’s launch, the online encyclopedia recently surpassed 420m unique monthly visitors, and there are now over 20 million articles across almost 300 languages. Times magazine named Wales in its 2006 list of the world’s most influential people.

The great mission was a result of hard work of the two highly intellectual leaders, Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger, a boon to humans.

Pierre Omidyar Founder and Chairman, eBay Inc

“I started eBay as an experiment, as a side hobby basically, while I had my day job”

Unbelievable fact: “The first item ever auctioned on eBay was a broken laser pointer; Omidyar had bought for $30. Within two weeks, he was amazed to find someone who was willing to pay $14 for it”.

Pierre Omidyar is an all time innovative young iconic entrepreneur of the current decade, seamless technologist, philanthropist, a real definer of the e-commerce, with a hobby of experimenting new ideas, the man behind eBay, took up the reigns of eBay in 1996, as Founder, Chairman, and CEO. Later by 1998, he relinquished all his positions one by one, with Margaret Whitman as his successor CEO; she in turn was replaced by John Donahoe 10 years later, in 2008. Omidyar remains Chairman of eBay. He successfully executed his great ideas, driven by determination and an obsession, to solve the problems of mankind and give them equal opportunity without any differentiation and discrimination, for business transactions of buying and selling on one platform i.e. internet. He is the creator of internet market place for the people around the world. It just resembled the old “Barter System” of exchanging goods for money, the only difference being the media.

A decade down the line after going public, eBay quickly spread around the world like an epidemic, setting its operations in nearly 30 countries, majoring its presence in China and India. Today the company hires more than 15,000 persons to provide full –fledged integration and services to astonishingly resonating broad user base, approximately 90 million active users. users worldwide trade $1,877 worth of goods on the site every second. Today eBay enjoys a market capitalization of approximately $40 billion. The stock price of eBay has been consistently growing at the rate of 10% a year, every year. In 2010, eBay's marketplace trading volume amounted to nearly $62 billion in transactions and its payments processing volume amounted to some $92 billion in payments. According to SEC filings, eBay's revenue in 2010 amounted to some $9 billion with approximately $2 billion of operating income. As of September 2011, Forbes states the net worth of Omidyar to be nearly 6.2 billion. This was all possible by the empowering leadership of Omdiyar and his human collaboration initiative with e-commerce, which made him a role model for the young strategists and entrepreneurs.

Omidyar stood beside Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, pledging to giveaway not all but 1% of his income for next twenty years. He and his wife Pam have contributed more than $1 billion to programs spanning a range of causes, from poverty alleviation to human rights to disaster relief. Omidyar Network, the philanthropic investment firm he founded with his wife in 2004, is involved in efficient and effective philanthropic practices until date. The Omidyar Network has committed more than $270 million to for-profit and nonprofit organizations that foster economic advancement and encourage individual participation. His unique strategy on philanthropy has earned him a reputation as "the Radical Philanthropist”. Pierre serves on the Board of Trustees of Tufts University, The Santa Fe Institute and The Omidyar Foundation. In November 2005, the couple announced their gift of $100 million to endow the Omidyar-Tufts Microfinance Fund, which was the largest gift in the history of Tufts University at that time. The fund, administered by the Board of Trustees of Tufts University, invests in international microfinance initiatives designed to empower people in developing countries to lift themselves out of poverty.

The Highest eBay sale price yet

A Gulfstream II Jet

A Gulfstream II Jet that sold for $4.9 million in 2001 is the all time highest, of eBay record sale price until date. The record sales price was more than three times the previous known eBay record of $1.65 million. The jet was sold by Tyler Jet (now, Tyler Jet Motorsports), the world’s largest business jet dealer at the time

Education and Career Outlook

Pierre attended Potomac School, in Washington Dc, where he grew up. His profound interest in computers was cherished in the labs of Punahou School, Honolulu, Hawaii, while he was in 9th grade. He spends much of his time there, trying new things out and interacting with kids to learn from them. He wrote his first computer program at a very young age of 14 to catalog books for the school library. Later he attended St. Andrew’s Episcopal School at Potomac, Maryland, and graduated there in 1984. He got his Bachelor’s in Computer Science in 1988 from Tufts University.

Equipped with his computer’s degree, he began his first job at Claris, a computer subsidiary of Apple Computers Inc, where he developed software called MacDraw, for the Macintosh. Later in 1991 Omidyar, along with three of his friends, co-founded Ink Development Corp, a pen-based computing startup and worked there until 1994 as a software engineer. The company worked on an Internet shopping segment and was renamed eShop later and in 1996, the company was sold to Microsoft. After eShop, Pierre had his career shift to a mobile communication platform company named General Magic, where he worked as developer services engineer.

However, Omidyar remained puzzled and fascinated by the challenges faced by the e-commerce at that time. The creation of his auction site was quite incidental, it started as a help to his wife Pam, to trade and collect Pez candy dispensers. Omidyar encountered many technical problems to establish an online venue for auction of collectible items, person- to- person. Therefore, he created a simple prototype on his personal web page, and launched an online service called Auction Web back in 1995, on Labor Day weekend, for which he acted as a sole proprietor.

First item sold on eBay
Broken Laser Pointer
Seller: Pierre Omidyar

Surprisingly, the first item sold on the site was a broken laser pointer of Pierre, which was bought at $30 and was sold for $14.83, to a buyer deliberately collecting broken laser pointers. There was an unbelievable outburst of business, as many people started registering a huge spectrum of trade goods. In 1996, Omidyar started charging a small fee based on the final sale price of each sale transaction, with which he expanded the site, and incorporated the enterprise.

The pace, at which the revenues showered the following four months, soon surpassed his salary at General Magic. Omidyar decided to leave General Magic for good and pay full time attention to the new enterprise. At the beginning, the business expanded through word of mouth. The Auction site quickly expanded by and large from collectibles into a vast range of saleable items, including furniture, electronics, home appliances, cars, and other vehicles, and Omdiyar stuck a licensing deal to offer airline tickets online. The same year eBay recruited its first employee, Chris Agarpao and first company president, Jeff Skoll, and the company boasted to have 41,000 registered users and a total merchandise sale of $7.2 mn.

In 1997, Omdiyar began to advertise the service aggressively, and the company managed to secure $5mn from venture capitalists and the employee head count grew to 41. The registered users grew from 41,000 to 341,000 and the company carried out 200,000 auctions per year. The gross sales per annum exceeded $95mn. A feedback form was added to the Auction Web, through which buyers and sellers mutually interacted directly with each other and rated themselves, for honesty and reliability. The name Auction Web was replaced by its domain name eBay.

In 1998 Omdiyar relinquished all the positions he served (CEO, President, Chairman of Board since incorporation) one by one, Margaret Whitman was hired as the new CEO, who launched “My eBay” that allowed both the buyer and seller manage their own accounts. In the same year, the company went public; the share price tripled the very first day, turning Omidyar and Skoll into billionaires. The count of registered users grew to 2.1mn.

In 1999, the company went International; eBay was first launched in Germany, followed by UK and Australia. The company suffered numerous service interruptions some times lasting 22 hours, due to terrific expansion of eBay’s traffic, which was a matter of concern. Omdiyar took up many initiatives like, the company made 10,000 phone calls to the site's top users to apologize for the interruption, and to regain the user’s confidence the company assured them that everything possible would be done to keep the site up and running in the future. EBay also introduced an online payment gateway called, Billpoint.

The company had a consistent growth and prosperity, in spite of the dot com bust in 2000 and became no one e-commerce site. In the years 2000-2001, numerous eBay sites were launched in various countries like Canada, France, Austria, Taiwan, Ireland, Italy, Korea, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland etc. The employee count rated to 1900, with 22mn potential registered users. EBay reached one of the top eight auction sites. EBay acquired Pay Pal in 2001; later on in 2002-2003 has now become the No1 online payment gateway, with the option of buyer protection. If your purchase item is different from the listing description or not arriving at all, PayPal protects you and you could appeal to PayPal and get your money back.

The company diversified its services in many ways to add value to both the buyers and sellers to avail the benefits of fixed-price and "best offer" sales, and conventional auctions. In 2004, eBay unveiled a technology development centre in China to foster innovation. The company came up with eBay Developers Program, which allows Software Developers to create applications that integrate into the site. In 2005, eBay unveiled a category for purchasing and selling surplus industrial machinery and business equipment. Today eBay is extending its support to many big companies, to set prices for their products and services. The growth continued and in 2009, eBay has revenue reported as $8.7bn. Pierre wanted to come up with new initiatives and innovations that would help humanity. It is due to hard work of Omidyar eBay made its way to fortune 500 companies.

 Born                                 :Pierre Omidyar
                                            June 21, 1967 (age 44)
                                            Paris, France.

Citizenship                        :United States of America

Residence                         :Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.

Alma mater                       :Bachelors in Computer Science, Tufts University

Occupation                       :Founder and Chairman, eBay Inc

Marital Status                  :Married

Children                           :Three

Pierre with his wife Pam

The great entrepreneurs of 21st century, Pierre Omidyar was born in Paris, France, to a couple of Iranian origin on June 21, 1967. It is when his physician father began his residency at Johns Hopkins University, Pierre moved to Maryland in Seattle along with his family. Perrie mostly spend his childhood in Washington D.C, where he did his schooling.

While Pierre pursued his career in San Francisco, Bay Area, he happened to meet Pamela Wesley, a biology graduate and married her. Later she shifted her career to management consultancy. It is his wife Pamela, behind the idea of Pierre to start an online auction site to help his wife, trade and collect Pez Candy Dispensers, which later transformed into eBay.

Awards and Honors

This born ideologist with a passion to solve problems of other people, deserve many honors and awards. Here are few mentioned below:
  • Pierre Omidyar received Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy in 2011.
  • He received an Honorary Degree from Tufts University, Doctor of Public Service, honors causa in 2011.
  • He was honored as Forbes, World's 7 Most Powerful Philanthropists in 2011.
  • Pierre was Barron’s 25 Best Givers in 2009-2010.
  • Business Week honored him as The Top Givers for the period 2003-2008.
  • Chronicle of Philanthropy honored him as Most Generous Donors for the period 2002-2007.
  • The Slate 60, Slate for the period 2002 – 2007
  • Pierre Omidyar was honored with, Peter Samuelson Award for Innovation, Starlight Children’s Foundation in 2007.
Lessons from Pierre Omidyar of eBay

After a decade of innovation, Omidyar provides some valuable inputs for the upcoming entrepreneurs.

Psych Yourself Up Not Out

“I was raised with the notion that you can do pretty much anything you want,” says Omidyar. “I always kind of just went ahead and tried things.”

On that fateful Labor Day in 1995, when eBay was launched, Omidyar was doing exactly that – trying something new. eBay was nothing more than an experiment and a side hobby for the budding software engineer. “What would happen within a marketplace if everyone had equal access to information and tools?” Omidyar wondered. “Would a level playing field enable individuals to compete alongside big businesses? What if members managed their own transactions and accountability?” He didn’t know the answers to these questions, but he wanted to find out.

Omidyar wanted to help people to do business directly with one another over the Internet, but there were few who believed his vision would ever work. How people could trust each other enough to do business, wondered his critics. How could they develop relationships with each other when they were relatively autonomous? “I thought that was silly,” recalls Omidyar. “It was a silly concern because people are basically good and honest. Therefore, that was very motivating”. It wasn’t until Omidyar began earning more from this ‘experiment’ than his day job that he realized his trial had paid off, precisely this trial and error process that Omidyar seeks out.

The Path to Success is to Pursue Your Passion

“I was just pursuing what I enjoyed doing. I mean, I was pursuing my passion,” says Omidyar. “It is not really work if you are having fun. that was the case with me.”

“Like most software people, it is very much passion more than anything else,” says Omidyar. “The ability to create software that could have a benefit or an impact on people that used it was what was driving me.” Once he made the switch to computer science, he began to refine his focus, teaching himself C, and from there, how to program a Macintosh. “I was just very excited about learning everything I could about it,” he says.

Omidyar says don’t. “You should pursue your passion,” he urges. “If you’re passionate about something and you work hard, then I think you will be successful.” On the other hand, Omidyar suggests that if you start a business motivated by money, success will be hard to attain.

“You have to really believe in what you’re doing, be passionate enough about it so that you will put in the hours and hard work that it takes to actually succeed there, and then you’ll be successful,” he says.

Nice Guys Can Finish First

In creating eBay, Omidyar began with five basic values: “We believe people are basically good; we believe everyone has something to contribute; we believe that an honest, open environment can bring out the best in people; we recognize and respect everyone as a unique individual; we encourage you to treat others the way you want to be treated.”

Omidyar’s astounding success with eBay is evidence of the fact that nice guys can finish first in the often-cutthroat business world, where they are normally presumed to be eaten alive. How often does one find a billionaire entrepreneur who, when asked how he achieved his success, recites advice his mother gave him about the necessity of treating people how he would want to be treated in a crowded world. It was that attitude that formed the underlying premise of eBay. “I founded the company on the notion that people were basically good,” says Omidyar, “and that if you give them the benefit of the doubt you’re rarely disappointed.”

Learn to Expect the Unexpected

“Whatever future you’re building, don’t try to program everything,” says Omidyar. “Five Year Plans never worked for the Soviet Union – in fact, if anything, central planning contributed to its fall. Chances are, central planning won’t work any better for any of us.”

When Omidyar first launched eBay, he needed to find a way to make it a self-sustaining system. It was after all just a side hobby, and most of his time had to be dedicated towards his actual paying job. Today, eBay is able to adapt to its user needs with relatively little intervention from the company itself. It was thus almost accidental that eBay was readily suited for rapid growth, but in preparing for the unexpected, Omidyar could come to expect success.

“By building a simple system, with just a few guiding principles, eBay was open to organic growth – it could achieve a certain degree of self-organization,” says Omidyar. “Build a platform – prepare for the unexpected. you’ll know you’re successful when the platform you’ve built serves you in unexpected ways.”

Today, Omidyar believes that the Internet is making it even more necessary for entrepreneurs to be flexible. “The Internet is changing everything, and has changed the world in such a short period of time, and will continue to change things in very positive ways that we have yet to anticipate,” he says. “I’m very excited by the prospect of what we haven’t seen yet.”

Every Business Needs its Cheering Bull

“You'll fail at some things – that’s a learning experience that you need so that you can take that on to the next experience,” says Omidyar. “What you learn from those challenges and those failures are what will get you past the next ones. I was the pretty consistent bull and the cheerleader on eBay actually.”

In mid-1999, it suffered a number of significant public failures. In one instance, the company’s system was down for 22 hours, followed soon after by another eight hours. Both service interruptions were actually caused by the very rapid growth of the company. By that point, eBay had become a relatively large community – so large in fact that CNN satellite trucks positioned themselves in the company’s parking lot to cover the breaking national news. The world was watching and most commentators believed the crisis marked the end for the young company. Customers were upset; many of them had become dependent on the income generated by their sales on eBay.

However, Omidyar refused to give up and he acted quickly to regain his customer’s confidence. The company immediately made 10,000 phone calls to eBay’s top users, apologizing to them for the disruption and assuring them that the site would be up and running again as soon as possible.

“I think failure of that magnitude, or a challenge of that magnitude, is really important and I’m glad that we faced it so early in our evolution,” he says, after which time the company “really woke up to the fact that infrastructure and technology was critical and just really built that organization out.” It took as many as six to nine months, but Omidyar had seen the potential that lay behind eBay and throughout all the challenges, maintained his unwavering faith in the company. He fought for his vision and rallied his troops around it. “I just knew that there’s just nothing that can happen that can make it go away.”

Inspiring quotes by Pierre Omidyar of eBay

“I was just pursuing what I enjoyed doing. I mean, I was pursuing my passion”.
“I've got a passion for solving a problem that I think I can solve in a new way. And that maybe it helps that nobody has done it before as well”.
“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.”

“What makes eBay successful? The real value and the real power at eBay is the community. It's the buyers and sellers coming together and forming a marketplace”.
“We have technology, finally, that for the first time in human history allows people to really maintain rich connections with much larger numbers of people”.
“We believe that business can be a tool for social good ... Microfinance has already shown that enabling the poor to empower themselves economically can be good business”.
“Give the individual the power to be a producer as well as a consumer”.
“One of the things that I repeat probably every day here is that our success is built on our community's success”.

“To truly prepare for the unexpected, you’ve got to position yourself to keep a couple of options open so when the door of opportunity opens, you’re close enough to squeeze through”.

“You’re able to accomplish anything you set out to accomplish”.
“Be an enzyme - a catalyst for change. As a slogan, I don't know if that's ever going to be right up there with Ich Bin Ein Berliner, or "I Have a Dream," but there's a lot of truth to it”.
“I think it is exciting to see what kinds of ideas they will come up with, things the world has never seen before. That is what I’m waiting for”.

Jack Dorsey Creator, Co-founder, Executive Chairman (2008-till date), Twitter

The CEO of the hit micro blogging service aims to take Twitter mainstream and find a business model. However, Twitter won't ever replace newspapers, he says. "We will always need a medium that carries more words."

Dorsey reminded his Twitter followers that the company's name was based on the definition of "twitter" in the Oxford English dictionary: "a short inconsequential burst of information, chirps from birds."

Jack Dorsey
is a young imaginary American Entrepreneur, an optimistic and inspiring leader, Computer programmer and architect, a full time innovator with great vision who was instrumental in sparking revolution to share personal expression. Jack’s vision also proved to have a dramatic and immediate impact on human connections, literally making the world a much smaller place to live in and making the world more empathetic. Jack’s vision essentially created a real-time system for tracking the pulse of a global community and the experiences of people day-to-day. Jack took the reins as CEO of the company in 2006 and stepped down in October 2008 and since then he is holding the responsibility as Chairman of the company.

Jack Dorsey is very well known, as the creator of Twitter, a social media tool that uses short messages to share personal expression. Twitter was a transformed version of a computer program that started in 2006, March 13. Amidst of controversies like being ego-centric and shallow, Twitter gained popularity, as it was used by major organizations and as a powerful platform for political, social, and personal campaigns. Today more than three million people use it to send out less than or equal to 140-character updates, called "tweets" through Twitter's website or by text message over mobile devices. Twitter started out as a "side project", and rapidly evolved as a vibrant communication platform used by millions worldwide to update friends, family and colleagues about news and views, or to canvas opinion. As of 2011 the service gained tremendous popularity with over 300 million users, handling approximately 1.6 billion search queries a day, with revenues of nearly 140 million per annum, and is widely described as “SMS of the Internet” . This was all possible by the envisioned idea of a born innovator, Jack Dorsey.

In this context, Jack says, “The more we share what’s happening around us, the more we understand how someone lives their life. The greater the understanding we have, the more empathy we have for each other thus reducing conflicts. When you have an understanding of how someone else lives, the less likely it is that you conflict with them”. Jack also says that with hard work and tenacity “Sky would be the limit”. This inspires young and upcoming entrepreneurs with agile ideas, right from the gut.

Jack Dorsey’s first Tweet

It has been already five years, that Jack Dorsey made his first tweet (21 March 2006).

Twitter was born and since that, Dorsey has been making his way, along with his associates Biz Stone and Evan Williams. When Twitter co-founder, Jack Dorsey, (aka @jack) sent his first tweet it was pretty simple and straight forward.

Educational and Career Outlook

Jack Dorsey has enormous interest in computer communications and started programming right from his high school days, in Bishop DuBourg High School. He was taken away by the technological challenge of coordination and real-time communication between the taxi drivers, delivery vans and for that reason any fleet of vehicles; and this is when little Dorsey was just 15yrs old, wrote a dispatch software to solve the problem of the cab drivers that is  used by few taxicab companies even today.

He enrolled himself at Missouri University of Science and technology, and after a brief tenure there, he transferred to New York University, but dropped out of the college without receiving degree, like other computer entrepreneurs like Mark Zuckerburg, Bill Gates, the late Steve jobs etc, where he found himself busy in designing dispatch software for taxi companies.

After leaving the New York University, he moved to California, a hub for technology start-ups in 2000, and approached a company called Odeo, where he met Biz Stone, who was working on the idea of a communication service that helped friends keep in touch through status updates. Odeo, a podcasting company was co-founded by Evan Williams, founder of Blogger, which was sold to Google, and Evan eventually left Google to start up Odeo. Evan wanted to work with Dorsey, so Dorsey took up a job at the podcasting company though not much interested. The next big consequence after Dorsey joined the company was; Apple has announced free podcasting through iTunes, and this resulted in Odeo losing business.

The Trio Jack Dorsey, Biz Stone, Evan Williams did not have any clue, about what they would do. In 2006, as the usage of SMS messaging was at its peak, Jack revisited his previous idea of doing updates and realized for the first time that there was every possibility of the idea to click, and SMS messages could be send across different carriers. Dorsey managed to convince Evan, and Dorsey and Biz together got involved in making working prototype of Twitter, within a short period of two weeks. Later all the cofounders, family, and friends were invited to try the system and this was how the Twitter was born. The SMS message had 140-character limit and it just worked the same way until today. They brainstormed about how, when you get an update, your phone would vibrate and they wanted to play around words that conveyed a message off that feeling. Finally, they came across the word Twitter in the Oxford Dictionary with one definition of “a short burst of inconsequential information” and felt that it was perfect. They bought the domain for roughly $7,000 and the rest was history.

Eventually Jack happened to leave Twitter in 2008, he got connected with his first boss, Jim Mckelvey, with whom he was in touch for all the past years. Jim was a glass artisan and explained Dorsey that he incidentally lost business of $2,000, as the customer did not have cash and he did not have a way to accept credit card. Jack thought that his friend Jim would lose thousands of dollars if this continues. Jack thought about it and how both of them had iPhones, basically high tech computers next to their ears, and yet in this day and age, there was no easy way for them to accept credit card payments even with these astonishing devices in their pockets. With that in mind, together with Jim, they decided to build a solution.

The Company Square, founded by Jim McKelvey and Jack Dorsey in 2009, is headquartered in San Francisco with additional offices in Saint Louis and New York City. Jack Dorsey's mobile payment company Square allows anyone to accept credit cards through their iPhone or Android Phone. A new free app, called "Register" makes it affordable for small businesses to accept credit cards, automate checkouts, and measure and manage everything they sell. Square's also introducing an app called "Card Case" to make it easier for customers to shop. It allows iPhone and Android users to pay with their phones and track their purchase history. Customers can set up a "tab" at retailers they frequent, like a coffee shop or hardware store. When they walk- in they can pay instantly with their phone by just asking the store to put it on their tab, without even pulling out their wallet.

Jack is currently Chairman at Twitter and playing an active role there again while running Square as CEO.

More about Jack Dorsey

Born                               : November 19, 1976(35 yrs)
                                         St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.A
Residence                       :San Francisco, California, U.S.A
Country of Citizenship     :American
Alma mater                     :Drop out of New York University, Computer Science.
Occupation                     :Software Designer and Entrepreneur

The born computer programmer, the creator of great social tweeter “The Twitter” was born on November 19, 1976, in St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.A, where he grew up.

Awards and Honors

The great innovator Dorsey, who succeeded in connecting people, companies and news instantaneously; deserves many honors and here are few mentioned below
arrow     In 2011, Jack Dorsey, of Twitter and Square fame, was honored with INFORUM’s 21st Century Visionary award, to find more about the technologist who thinks differently.
arrow     The New Company of the Year Award went to Square, the mobile payments startup founded by Twitter Co-Founder Jack Dorsey.
arrow     Jack Dorsey stands youngest to receive DuBourg award in 2010, the Distinguished Alumnus Award is the highest honor that can be bestowed upon an alumni and is a reflection of many of his many other accomplishments.
arrow     Jack Dorsey, co founder of Twitter was honored with CNN Hero’s: “An All-Star Tribute,” to spotlight everyday people who are changing the world and are heroes to others through their continuing commitment to public service, in 2010.
arrow     In 2008, Jack was named to the MIT Technology Review TR35 as one of the top 35 innovators in the world under the age of 35.

Potential users of Twitter

Twitter, the five-year-old free micro blogging site that is racking up high-profile enthusiasts, who deem the site to be both a “hyper grapevine” and good news resource and an innovative business tool for great customer service.

Among its high profile users, the company has The New York Times, Huffing ton Post, Com cast, General Motors, You Tube, and U.S. presidential candidates. Twitter is good at supporting massively shared experiences like the U.S. election. The biggest user at this moment is Barack Obama; his campaign has been very quick with new technologies on twitter. The Obama campaign frequently uses Twitter and usually updates from Obama are done once or twice a day, pointers to speeches and positions on policies.

U.S President Barack Obama using Twitter

Rick Sanchez was using Twitter for Hurricane Gustav updates. CNN is going to be featuring a Twitter screenshot and will just watch the timeline go by live to point out what's happening in the world right now.

Major companies like; Dell, Southwest Airlines, Virgin America are using Twitter as a promotional and marketing tool. How they are entering into conversations with consumers and using Twitter for customer service and market research is a surprising fact.

JetBlue is tracking all mentions with the word "JetBlue" in updates and reaching out directly to people to respond to complaints or questions. Moreover, they're very fast about it. Such an activity makes the customer feel good about a product or brand.

“Twitter” Vs “Other Social Networks like Facebook, Google etc?”

Because of its immediacy and easy mechanism to push out information, people have very quickly embraced twitter. It is not hard to think and is very very simple, transparent and easily accessible. The more powerful capability of Twitter is, it gives a kind of report “what’s going on” from any where on the globe right away. One such amazing example of Twitter’s immediacy is, Twitter provides a great man-on-the-street account of what's happening right now. The minute the Los Angeles earthquake struck, in July 2008; there was an update on Twitter, which was followed by thousands of more updates, until nine minutes later the first reports came out on the AP wire. Twitter is very good at immediacy.

Twitter is an eruption in new form of communication, where you just follow the updates from the accounts which you find interesting, immaterial of the accounts are of people, companies or topics. In Twitter the principal focus revolves around the magical question "What are you doing?” that can be interpreted in numerous ways, depending on the context that the reader brings and how you make use of it. For example, people who are not known to us may bring variant context to our updates than our next desk colleagues. Twitter always requires a medium that carries, more words and profoundly explore a topic to a most specific detail. Twitter may not replace traditional blogging, newspapers, journalistic research, video, and images; but best complements them.

One more important feature that Twitter carries is that the text messages carry only a maximum of 140 characters. This is because Jack Dorsey is a strong believer of “constraint inspiring creativity”. Dorsey says when you put boundaries around something you tend to get a lot more creative. We're not asking users to type out four paragraphs of text; we're asking them to take just a moment and write something, whatever they want. Limiting yourself to 140 characters tends to make you focus in on a more off-the-cuff manner that naturally allows for directness.

Twitter has potential for different moneymaking paths; best among them is that emerges organically. The company observes how people use Twitter and establish patterns around that. By considering that they make those patterns more convenient and potentially charge for those. The company noticed that Twitter has a lot of commercial usage, which is very interesting. Twitter has many people asking questions, which is also very interesting. Twitter also has many people providing answers, some of which are commercially driven. Therefore, these are all things that the company takes into consideration. However, Twitter did not want to force any particular model onto the user base until the organization is comfortable doing that.

Jack Dorsey’s future plans for Twitter

Dorsey says that they are focusing on building up the technology as a utility, something that is so trustworthy that it becomes a natural mainstream activity. In the future they’ll have more and more ways to interact with this technology so that it becomes a much richer tool to immediately get a sense of what's happening right now, what's happening in the world, what's happening in your city, what's happening in your workplace, what's happening in your family. Something like that has not really been seen before.

During a visit to the School of Journalism at Columbia University, Dorsey known for his penchant for website design lays stress on user interface, and it’s only natural to believe he’s going to have something to say about twitter. In general, he wants to make the site easier to navigate while also finding a way to harness “what’s most relevant and most meaningful” to the individual user – and to do it in real time. Dorsey wants to create “a cohesive user experience,” in the same breath mentioning his interest in Tweet Deck’s multicolumn format.

Dorsey said, "They have a lot of mainstream awareness, but mainstream relevancy is still a challenge," the Twitter inventor, as a product leader stated, one of Dorsey's major hurdles will be to turn Twitter into a more efficient mode of consumption for its users. Dorsey said that Twitter's "value" could be measured by the immediacy with which it allows users to connect and share information. His goal, he told his audience, will be to "refocus on that value" rather than on Twitter's "brand."

Dorsey also commented on the site's recent call for third party developers to stop building client apps. Dorsey also provided a little insight into Twitter’s recent change of policy towards developers. “It’s up to any good platform company to really guide its developers in the right way, to inspire them to create interesting and useful applications. The interesting products out on the internet aren’t building significantly new technologies. They’re combining technologies,” he said.

Few inspiring quotes from the Trio of the Twitter “Jack Dorsey, Biz Stone, Evan Williams”
  • “Our problem wasn't that it blew up and was impossible to scale, but there were some bad choices made. One of the biggest lessons time after time was to focus. Do fewer things”.
  • “To deliver tweets that are interesting and relevant to you that you didn't know you wanted to see till you saw them”.
  • “It will always be about providing access to a communication network through the lowest common denominator. Rudimentary communication creates flocking behavior”.
  •    “Creativity comes from constraint”.
  • “Our goal is to change the world, and we're going to build the best company we can to realize that goal, reach Twitter's potential. At some point going public may make the most sense. We're nowhere near thinking of that. At one time I might have said ‘that's ridiculous', but I don't say that any more. We can be more creative than IPO or being acquired”.
  • “It's pretty cool to invent a technology with its own set of descriptive terms”.
  • “There's a lot we can learn from smart people out in the world. One of the things I like so much about President Obama is his global vision that it's not a zero-sum game, where one country is going to win the game of earth. We have to work together”.
  • “I love that philosophy, and it fits with Twitter because we work with so many companies. The variety, the openness, and believing very basically that the open exchange of information is something that can impact the world in a positive way, from that belief, so many decisions are made easier”.
  • “Previous companies I'd done before I left, I left because I didn't really like where the culture was going and I wanted to leave. I was too young to realize that I could have an impact on changing it; if I didn't like it I could work harder”.
Lessons from the Twitter Trio

After years of focus on their new invention Twitter, the Trio shares with us few lessons of entrepreneurship with us.

“Creativity comes from constraint”

Jack Dorsey is a strong believer of “constraint inspiring creativity”. Dorsey says when you put boundaries around something you tend to get a lot more creative. We're not asking users to type out four paragraphs of text; we're asking them to take just a moment and write something, whatever they want. Limiting yourself to 140 characters tends to make you focus in on a more off-the-cuff manner that naturally allows for directness.

“So what if it’s just fun?”

"We were working at Odeo, but we weren't as passionate about the podcasting service as we should have been," recalls Stone. "We weren't using it, and that was a problem. Twitter got started because Evan gave us some freedom to think along different lines." That freedom meant that Stone and Dorsey had two weeks to build a demo of their new idea. "Build it, try it out over the weekend. If it sticks we may keep working on it," recalls Stone. "I was ripping out carpeting during a heat wave and then my phone vibrated in my pocket, and it was Evan. Moreover, it said he was sipping pinot noir. I realized I was totally engaged in this product. So we decided we should keep working on it."
Once the prototype was completed, the trio thought they had something compelling. "Early on someone said ‘Twitter is fun but it isn't useful,” recalls Stone. "Evan said, ‘neither is ice cream.' So what if it's just fun?"

“There is something healthy about friendly competition”

"There's a lot we can learn from smart people out in the world," says Stone. "One of the things I like so much about President Obama is his global vision that it's not a zero-sum game, where one country is going to win the game of earth. We have to work together."
"I love that philosophy, and it fits with Twitter because we work with so many companies," he says. "The variety, the openness, and believing very basically that the open exchange of information is something that can impact the world in a positive way - from that belief, so many decisions are made easier."

The co-founders of Twitter have taken a unique approach to their operations. They are choosing collaboration over competition, the promotion of open information exchange where once it might have been blocked, and instilling that culture throughout their company.

“We focus a lot on culture”

"Watching Evan really sink his teeth into the role of CEO, take it very seriously," says Stone. "He very genuinely wants to innovate - not just from a product or technology standpoint, but from a company standpoint. For me, I've learned about what it means to focus on a culture, to build social responsibility and the idea of a company as a super-organism." Stone, Williams, and Dorsey are doing just that - trying to build Twitter into more than just a microblogging service, but into a super-organism, into a company that cultivates a healthy work environment and culture as much as it does technological innovation.

"We focus a lot on culture specifically...we don't want to end up like the child actor who found success early and grew up all weird and freaky," says Stone. "We want to remain ok; just because we found success early and in many ways got lucky doesn't mean we're all a bunch of geniuses. It means what it means."

“We’re holding on to the ship with our fingernails,”

"I remember Evan going home one weekend and coming back with this genius plan for Odeo, and he asked me to read it," recalls Stone. "It was this whole plan for how we could make it a successful business. I thought wow this is genius, but then again so is podcasting. Then slept on it. Do we want to be kings of podcasting? We were constantly gut checking." Once the trio committed themselves to Twitter, there was no turning back. From being at the receiving end of harsh criticism to turning down lucrative buyout offers, Dorsey, Williams, and Stone refused to step back from their baby.

"Fun, trivial, someone called it the ‘Seinfeld' of the Internet," recalls Stone of how Twitter was described in its early days.

"People were asking why you are filling the web with all of this crap?" adds Williams. "I went for years defending blogging."