Microsoft Corporation is an American multinational technology company with headquarters in Redmond, Washington. It develops, licenses and sells computer software, consumer electronics, personal computers, related services, its best known software products are the Microsoft Windows line of operating systems, the Microsoft Office suite, the Internet Explorer and Edge web browsers. Its flagship hardware products are the Xbox video game consoles and the Microsoft Surface lineup of touchscreen personal computers; as of 2016, it is the world's largest software maker by revenue, one of the world's most valuable companies. The word "Microsoft" is a portmanteau of "microcomputer" and "software". Microsoft is ranked No. 30 in the 2018 Fortune 500 rankings of the largest United States corporations by total revenue. Microsoft was founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen on April 4, 1975, to develop and sell BASIC interpreters for the Altair 8800, it rose to dominate the personal computer operating system market with MS-DOS in the mid-1980s, followed by Microsoft Windows.
The company's 1986 initial public offering, subsequent rise in its share price, created three billionaires and an estimated 12,000 millionaires among Microsoft employees. Since the 1990s, it has diversified from the operating system market and has made a number of corporate acquisitions, their largest being the acquisition of LinkedIn for $26.2 billion in December 2016, followed by their acquisition of Skype Technologies for $8.5 billion in May 2011. As of 2015, Microsoft is market-dominant in the IBM PC-compatible operating system market and the office software suite market, although it has lost the majority of the overall operating system market to Android; the company produces a wide range of other consumer and enterprise software for desktops and servers, including Internet search, the digital services market, mixed reality, cloud computing and software development. Steve Ballmer replaced Gates as CEO in 2000, envisioned a "devices and services" strategy; this began with the acquisition of Danger Inc. in 2008, entering the personal computer production market for the first time in June 2012 with the launch of the Microsoft Surface line of tablet computers.
Since Satya Nadella took over as CEO in 2014, the company has scaled back on hardware and has instead focused on cloud computing, a move that helped the company's shares reach its highest value since December 1999. In 2018, Microsoft surpassed Apple as the most valuable publicly traded company in the world after being dethroned by the tech giant in 2010. Childhood friends Bill Gates and Paul Allen sought to make a business utilizing their shared skills in computer programming. In 1972 they founded their first company, named Traf-O-Data, which sold a rudimentary computer to track and analyze automobile traffic data. While Gates enrolled at Harvard, Allen pursued a degree in computer science at Washington State University, though he dropped out of school to work at Honeywell; the January 1975 issue of Popular Electronics featured Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems's Altair 8800 microcomputer, which inspired Allen to suggest that they could program a BASIC interpreter for the device. After a call from Gates claiming to have a working interpreter, MITS requested a demonstration.
Since they didn't yet have one, Allen worked on a simulator for the Altair while Gates developed the interpreter. Although they developed the interpreter on a simulator and not the actual device, it worked flawlessly when they demonstrated the interpreter to MITS in Albuquerque, New Mexico. MITS agreed to distribute it, marketing it as Altair BASIC. Gates and Allen established Microsoft on April 4, 1975, with Gates as the CEO; the original name of "Micro-Soft" was suggested by Allen. In August 1977 the company formed an agreement with ASCII Magazine in Japan, resulting in its first international office, "ASCII Microsoft". Microsoft moved to a new home in Bellevue, Washington in January 1979. Microsoft entered the operating system business in 1980 with its own version of Unix, called Xenix. However, it was MS-DOS. After negotiations with Digital Research failed, IBM awarded a contract to Microsoft in November 1980 to provide a version of the CP/M OS, set to be used in the upcoming IBM Personal Computer.
For this deal, Microsoft purchased a CP/M clone called 86-DOS from Seattle Computer Products, which it branded as MS-DOS, though IBM rebranded it to PC DOS. Following the release of the IBM PC in August 1981, Microsoft retained ownership of MS-DOS. Since IBM had copyrighted the IBM PC BIOS, other companies had to reverse engineer it in order for non-IBM hardware to run as IBM PC compatibles, but no such restriction applied to the operating systems. Due to various factors, such as MS-DOS's available software selection, Microsoft became the leading PC operating systems vendor; the company expanded into new markets with the release of the Microsoft Mouse in 1983, as well as with a publishing division named Microsoft Press. Paul Allen resigned from Microsoft in 1983 after developing Hodgkin's disease. Allen claimed that Gates wanted to dilute his share in the company when he was diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease because he didn't think he was working hard enough. After leaving Microsoft, Allen lost billions of dollars on ill-conceived or mistimed technology investments.
He invested in low-tech sectors, sports teams, commercial real estate. Despite having begun jointly developing a new operating system, OS/2, with IBM in
Salesforce.com, Inc. is an American cloud-based software company headquartered in San Francisco, California. Though the bulk of its revenue comes from a customer relationship management product, Salesforce sells a complementary suite of enterprise applications focused on customer service, marketing automation and application development. Salesforce was ranked first in Fortune's 100 Best Companies to Work For in 2018; the company was founded in 1999 by former Oracle executive Marc Benioff, Parker Harris, Dave Moellenhoff, Frank Dominguez as a company specializing in software as a service. Harris and Dominguez, three software developers at consulting firm Left Coast Software, were introduced to Benioff through a friend and former Oracle colleague Bobby Yazdani. Harris and team wrote the initial sales automation software, which launched to its first customers during Sept-Nov 1999. In June 2004, the company's initial public offering was listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the stock symbol CRM and raised US$110 million.
Early investors include Larry Ellison, Magdalena Yesil, Halsey Minor, Stewart Henderson, Mark Iscaro, Igor Sill of Geneva Venture Partners, as well as Nancy Pelosi. In July 2012 Salesforce applied to trademark the term "Social enterprise" in the US, EU and Jamaica where the term was in widespread use to describe businesses with a social purpose; this was challenged by a campaign called #notinourname, launched by Social Enterprise UK resulting in Salesforce.com withdrawing their trademark application and agreeing not to use the term in their future marketing. In October 2014, Salesforce announced the development of its Customer Success Platform to tie together Salesforce's services, including sales, marketing, analytics and mobile apps. In October 2017, Salesforce launched a Facebook Analytics tool for B2B marketers. In September 2018, Salesforce partnered with Apple intended on improving apps for businesses. For the fiscal year 2018, Salesforce reported earnings of US$127 million, with an annual revenue of US$10.480 billion, an increase of 24.9% over the previous fiscal cycle.
Salesforce's shares traded at over $131 per share, its market capitalization was over US$102.5 billion in October 2018. Salesforce ranked 285 on the 2018 Fortune 500 list of the largest United States companies by revenue. Salesforce.com's customer relationship management service is broken down into several broad categories: Commerce Cloud, Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Data Cloud, Marketing Cloud, Community Cloud, Analytics Cloud, App Cloud, IoT with over 100,000 customers. Salesforce is the primary enterprise offering within the Salesforce platform, it provides companies with an interface for case management and task management, a system for automatically routing and escalating important events. The Salesforce customer portal provides customers the ability to track their own cases, includes a social networking plug-in that enables the user to join the conversation about their company on social networking websites, provides analytical tools and other services including email alert, Google search, access to customers' entitlement and contracts.
Community Cloud provides Salesforce customers the ability to create online web properties for external collaboration, customer service, channel sales, other custom portals in their instance of Salesforce. Integrated to Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, App Cloud, Community Cloud can be customized to provide a wide variety of web properties. Work.com Rypple, is a social performance management platform that helps managers and employees improve work performance through continuous coaching, real-time feedback, recognition. It is marketed as a solution for sales performance, customer service, as a service that can be employed by human resource departments. Work.com known as "Rypple", was founded by Daniel Debow and David Stein, who wanted to create a simple way of asking for feedback anonymously at work. The company was formed in May 2008 and their client list included Mozilla, LinkedIn and the Gilt Groupe. Rypple "'reverses the onus on the demand for more feedback' by getting employees to build and manage their own coaching networks".
In September 2011, Rypple announced that they had hired Bohdan Zabawskyj as its Chief Technology Officer. In 2011, Rypple developed a more formalized management methodology called OKR
Instagram is a photo and video-sharing social networking service owned by Facebook, Inc. It was created by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, launched in October 2010 on iOS. A version for Android devices was released a year and half in April 2012, followed by a feature-limited website interface in November 2012, apps for Windows 10 Mobile and Windows 10 in April 2016 and October 2016 respectively; the app allows users to upload photos and videos to the service, which can be edited with various filters, organized with tags and location information. An account's posts can be shared publicly or with pre-approved followers. Users can browse other users' content by tags and locations, view trending content. Users can "like" photos, follow other users to add their content to a feed; the service was distinguished by only allowing content to be framed in a square aspect ratio, but these restrictions were eased in 2015. The service added messaging features, the ability to include multiple images or videos in a single post, as well as "Stories"—similar to its main competitor Snapchat—which allows users to post photos and videos to a sequential feed, with each post accessible by others for 24 hours each.
After its launch in 2010, Instagram gained popularity, with one million registered users in two months, 10 million in a year, 800 million as of September 2017. In April 2012, Facebook acquired the service for US$1 billion in cash and stock; as of October 2015, over 40 billion photos had been uploaded to the service. Although praised for its influence, Instagram has been the subject of criticism, most notably for policy and interface changes, allegations of censorship, illegal or improper content uploaded by users; as of 14 January 2019, the most liked photo on Instagram is a picture of an egg, posted by the account @world_record_egg, created with a sole purpose of surpassing the previous record of 18 million likes on a Kylie Jenner post. The picture has over 50 million likes. Instagram began development in San Francisco, when Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger chose to focus their multi-featured HTML5 check-in project, Burbn, on mobile photography; as Krieger reasoned, Burbn became too similar to Foursquare, both realized that it had gone too far.
Burbn was pivoted to become more focused on photo-sharing. The word Instagram is a portmanteau of instant telegram. On March 5, 2010, Systrom closed a $500,000 seed funding round with Baseline Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz while working on Burbn. Josh Riedel joined the company in October as Community Manager, Shayne Sweeney joined in November as an engineer, Jessica Zollman joined as a Community Evangelist in August 2011. Kevin Systrom posted the first photo to Instagram on July 16, 2010; the photo shows Systrom's girlfriend's foot. On October 6, 2010, the Instagram iOS app was released through the App Store. In February 2011, it was reported that Instagram had raised $7 million in Series A funding from a variety of investors, including Benchmark Capital, Jack Dorsey, Chris Sacca, Adam D'Angelo; the deal valued Instagram at around $20 million. On April 3, 2012, Instagram was released for Android phones, it was downloaded more than one million times in less than one day. In March 2012, The Wall Street Journal reported that Instagram was raising a new round of financing that would value the company at $500 million, details that were confirmed the following month, when Instagram raised $50 million from venture capitalists with a $500 million valuation.
The same month, Facebook bought Instagram for $1 billion in cash and stock, with a plan to keep the company independently managed. Britain's Office of Fair Trading approved the deal on August 14, 2012, on August 22, 2012, the Federal Trade Commission in the U. S. closed its investigation. On September 6, 2012, the deal between Instagram and Facebook was closed; the deal, made just prior to Facebook's scheduled IPO, cost about a quarter of Facebook's cash-on-hand, according to figures documented at the end of 2011. The deal was for a company characterized as having "lots of buzz but no business model", the price was contrasted with the $35 million Yahoo! paid for Flickr in 2005. Mark Zuckerberg noted that Facebook was "committed to building and growing Instagram independently", in contrast to its past practices. According to Wired, the deal netted Systrom $400 million based on his ownership stake in the business; the exact purchase price was 23 million shares of stock. In November 2012, Instagram launched website profiles, allowing anyone to see users' feeds from their web browsers.
However, the website interface was limited in functionality, with notable omissions including the lack of a search bar, a news feed, the ability to upload photos. In February 2013, the website was updated to offer a news feed, in June 2015, the website was redesigned to offer bigger photos. On October 22, 2013, during the Nokia World event held in Abu Dhabi, Systrom confirmed the upcoming release of the official Instagram app for Windows Phone, after pressure from Nokia and the public to develop an app for the platform; the app was released as a beta version on November 21, 2013, was lacking the ability to record and upload video, though an Instagram spokesperson stated that "We're not finished, our team will continue developing the Windows Phone app to keep releasing features and bringing you the best Instagram possible". In April 2016, Instagram upgraded the app to Windows 10 Mobile, adding support for video and direct messages, followed by updates in October 2016 that
Forbes is an American business magazine. Published bi-weekly, it features original articles on finance, industry and marketing topics. Forbes reports on related subjects such as technology, science and law, its headquarters is located in New Jersey. Primary competitors in the national business magazine category include Fortune and Bloomberg Businessweek; the magazine is well known for its lists and rankings, including of the richest Americans, of the world's top companies, The World's Billionaires. The motto of Forbes magazine is "The Capitalist Tool", its chair and editor-in-chief is Steve Forbes, its CEO is Mike Federle. It was sold to Integrated Whale Media Investments. B. C. Forbes, a financial columnist for the Hearst papers, his partner Walter Drey, the general manager of the Magazine of Wall Street, founded Forbes magazine on September 15, 1917. Forbes provided the money and the name and Drey provided the publishing expertise; the original name of the magazine was Forbes: Devoted to Doings.
Drey became vice-president of the B. C. Forbes Publishing Company, while B. C. Forbes became editor-in-chief, a post he held until his death in 1954. B. C. Forbes was assisted in his years by his two eldest sons, Bruce Charles Forbes and Malcolm Stevenson Forbes. Bruce Forbes took over on his father's death, his strengths lay in streamlining operations and developing marketing. During his tenure, 1954–1964, the magazine's circulation nearly doubled. On Bruce's death, his brother Malcolm Stevenson "Steve" Forbes Jr. became President and Chief executive of Forbes and Editor-in-Chief of Forbes magazine. Between 1961 and 1999 the magazine was edited by James Michaels. In 1993, under Michaels, Forbes was a finalist for the National Magazine Award. In 2006, an investment group Elevation Partners that includes rock star Bono bought a minority interest in the company with a reorganization, through a new company, Forbes Media LLC, in which Forbes Magazine and Forbes.com, along with other media properties, is now a part.
A 2009 New York Times report said: "40 percent of the enterprise was sold... for a reported $300 million, setting the value of the enterprise at $750 million". Three years Mark M. Edmiston of AdMedia Partners observed, "It's not worth half of that now", it was revealed that the price had been US$264 million. In January 2010, Forbes reached an agreement to sell its headquarters building Fifth Avenue in Manhattan to New York University; the company's headquarters subsequently moved to the Newport section of downtown Jersey City, New Jersey, in 2014. In November 2013, Forbes Media, which publishes Forbes magazine, was put up for sale; this was encouraged by minority shareholders Elevation Partners. Sale documents prepared by Deutsche Bank revealed that the publisher's 2012 EBITDA was US$15 million. Forbes sought a price of US$400 million. In July 2014, the Forbes family bought out Elevation and sold a 51 per cent majority of the company to Integrated Whale Media Investments. Apart from Forbes and its lifestyle supplement, Forbes Life, other titles include Forbes Asia and fifteen local language editions.
Steve Forbes and his magazine's writers offer investment advice on the weekly Fox TV show Forbes on Fox and on Forbes on Radio. Other company groups include Forbes Conference Group, Forbes Investment Advisory Group and Forbes Custom Media. From the 2009 Times report: "Steve Forbes returned from opening up a Forbes magazine in India, bringing the number of foreign editions to 10." In addition, that year the company began publishing ForbesWoman, a quarterly magazine published by Steve Forbes's daughter, Moira Forbes, with a companion Web site. The company published American Legacy magazine as a joint venture, although that magazine separated from Forbes on May 14, 2007; the company formerly published American Heritage and Invention & Technology magazines. After failing to find a buyer, Forbes suspended publication of these two magazines as of May 17, 2007. Both magazines were purchased by the American Heritage Publishing Company and resumed publication as of the spring of 2008. Forbes has published the Forbes Travel Guide since 2009.
On January 6, 2014, Forbes magazine announced that, in partnership with app creator Maz, it was launching a social networking app called "Stream". Stream allows Forbes readers to save and share visual content with other readers and discover content from Forbes magazine and Forbes.com within the app. Forbes.com is part of Forbes Digital, a division of Forbes Media LLC. Forbes's holdings include a portion of RealClearPolitics. Together these sites reach more than 27 million unique visitors each month. Forbes.com employs the slogan "Home Page for the World's Business Leaders" and claimed, in 2006, to be the world's most visited business web site. The 2009 Times report said that, while "one of the top five financial sites by traffic off an estimated $70 million to $80 million a year in revenue, never yielded the hoped-for public offering". Forbes.com uses a "contributor model" in which a wide network of "contributors" writes and publishes articles directly on the website. Contributors are paid based on traffic to their respective Forbes.com pages.
Forbes allows advertisers to publish blog posts on its website alongside regular editorial content through a program called BrandVoice, which accounts for more than 10 pe
Aardvark (search engine)
Aardvark was a social search service that connected users live with friends or friends-of-friends who were able to answer their questions known as a knowledge market. Users submitted questions via the Aardvark website, email or instant messenger and Aardvark identified and facilitated a live chat or email conversation with one or more topic experts in the'askers' extended social network. Aardvark was used for asking subjective questions for which human judgment or recommendation was desired, it was used extensively for technical support questions. Users could review question and answer history and other settings on the Aardvark website. Google acquired Aardvark for $50 million on February 11, 2010. In September 2011, Google announced it would discontinue a number of its products, including Aardvark. Aardvark was developed by The Mechanical Zoo, a San Francisco-based startup founded in 2007 by Max Ventilla, Nathan Stoll, Damon Horowitz and Rob Spiro. A prototype version of Aardvark was launched in early 2008 with an alpha launch in October 2008.
Aardvark was released to the public in March 2009, although new users had to be invited by existing users. The company did not release usage statistics; the name Mechanical Zoo was chosen in homage to the machine-like aspect of its applications, including Aadvark and other animal-named products that were intended for future release. When a user joined Aardvark, aardvark was added to the user's IM buddylist. Users submitted questions by email or IM. Aardvark guided the user through the question process by providing messages that confirmed receipt of the question and explained any actions required of the user. IM users were able to use a variety of "IM commands"—one word messages that could be used to fine-tune the question parameters, invite new users, or get help. There were two main interaction flows available in Aardvark for answering a question; the primary flow involved Aardvark sending a message to the user asking if the user would like to answer a question. Periodically, Aardvark contacted users via email or IM when it believed they were well-suited to answer another user's question.
Aardvark searched through friends' friends also. Instead of sending the question to every friend it found, it searched a person's profile to see if there were information related to the question; when Aardvark sent a question to the user, if the user responded affirmatively, Aardvark relayed the question as well as the name of the questioner. The user could simply type an answer to the question, a friend's name or email address to refer to someone who may know the answer or type in "pass" to pass on the request. Aardvark sent such requests for answers less than once a day to a given user. Aardvark supported Google Talk, Windows Live Messenger, AOL Instant Messenger and Yahoo! Messenger. A secondary flow of answering questions was more similar to traditional bulletin-board style interactions: a user sent a message to Aardvark or visited the "Answering" tab of the website, Aardvark showed the user a recent question from the user's network which had not yet been answered and, related to the user's profile topics.
This mode involved the user initiating the exchange when the user was in the mood to try to answer a question. In all of the interfaces, wrappers around messages from another user included information about the user to facilitate trust: the user's real name, gender, the social connection between the two users, a section of topics the user had expertise in, summary statistics of the user's activity on Aardvark; the Mechanical Zoo was held, prior to acquisition by Google. Initial funding was with $750,000 in convertible debt from angel investors; this was followed by a series A funding round of $6 million, led by August Capital, in October 2008. Human search engine
Fortune is an American multinational business magazine headquartered in New York City, United States. It is published by Fortune Media Group Holdings, owned by Thai businessman Chatchaval Jiaravanon; the publication was founded by Henry Luce in 1929. The magazine competes with Forbes and Bloomberg Businessweek in the national business magazine category and distinguishes itself with long, in-depth feature articles; the magazine publishes ranked lists, including the Fortune 500, a ranking of companies by revenue that it has published annually since 1955. Fortune was founded by Time co-founder Henry Luce in 1929 as "the Ideal Super-Class Magazine", a "distinguished and de luxe" publication "vividly portraying and recording the Industrial Civilization". Briton Hadden, Luce's business partner, was not enthusiastic about the idea – which Luce thought to title Power – but Luce went forward with it after Hadden's sudden death on February 27, 1929. In late October 1929, the Wall Street Crash of 1929 occurred, marking the onset of the Great Depression.
In a memo to the Time Inc. board in November 1929, Luce wrote: "We will not be over-optimistic. We will recognize that this business slump may last as long as an entire year." The publication made its official debut in February 1930. Its editor was Luce, managing editor Parker Lloyd-Smith, art director Thomas Maitland Cleland. Single copies of the first issue cost US$1. An urban legend says that Cleland mocked up the cover of the first issue with the $1 price because no one had yet decided how much to charge. In fact, there were 30,000 subscribers who had signed up to receive that initial 184-page issue. By 1937, the number of subscribers had grown to 460,000, the magazine had turned half million dollars in annual profit. At a time when business publications were little more than numbers and statistics printed in black and white, Fortune was an oversized 11"×14", using creamy heavy paper, art on a cover printed by a special process. Fortune was noted for its photography, featuring the work of Margaret Bourke-White, Ansel Adams, others.
Walker Evans served as its photography editor from 1945 to 1965. During the Great Depression, the magazine developed a reputation for its social conscience, for Walker Evans and Margaret Bourke-White's color photographs, for a team of writers including James Agee, Archibald MacLeish, John Kenneth Galbraith, Alfred Kazin, hired for their writing abilities; the magazine became an important leg of Luce's media empire. From its launch in 1930 to 1978, Fortune was published monthly. In January 1978, it began publishing biweekly. In October 2009, citing declining advertising revenue and circulation, Fortune began publishing every three weeks. Fortune is published 14 times a year. Marshall Loeb was named managing editor in 1986. During his tenure at Fortune, Loeb was credited with expanding the traditional focus on business and the economy with added graphs and tables, as well as the addition of articles on topics such as executive life and social issues connected to the world of business, including the effectiveness of public schools and on homelessness.
During the years when Time Warner owned Time Inc. Fortune articles were hosted at CNNMoney.com. In June 2014, after Time Inc. spun off from its corporate parent, Fortune launched its own website at Fortune.com. On November 26, 2017, it was announced that Meredith Corporation would acquire Time Inc. in a $2.8 billion deal. The acquisition was completed on January 31, 2018. On November 9, 2018, it was announced that Meredith Corporation was selling Fortune to Thai billionaire Chatchaval Jiaravanon for $150 million. Jiaravanon is affiliated with the Thailand-based conglomerate Charoen Pokphand Group, which has holdings in agriculture, telecommunications, retail and finance. Fortune publishes ranked lists. In the human resources field, for example, it publishes a list of the Best Companies to Work For. Lists include companies ranked in order of gross revenue and business profile, as well as business leaders: There have been 17 top editors since Fortune was conceived in 1929. Following the elimination of the editor-in-chief role at Time Inc. in October 2013, the top editor's title was changed from "managing editor" to "editor" in 2014.
Fortune Battle of the Corporate Bands, an annual music competition for amateur company-sponsored bands List of United States magazines James S. Miller, "White-Collar Excavations: Fortune Magazine and the Invention of the Industrial Folk," American Periodicals, vol. 13, pp. 84–104. In JSTOR Official website Fortune Latinamerica Fortune India Fortune China Fortune Turkey List of 100 Best Companies to Work For "Fortune Data Store". Fortune. Time.. Complete downloadable list of Fortune 500/1000 Companies – 1955–2008
EBay Inc. is an American multinational e-commerce corporation based in San Jose, California that facilitates consumer-to-consumer and business-to-consumer sales through its website. EBay was founded by Pierre Omidyar in the autumn of 1995, became a notable success story of the dot-com bubble. EBay is a multibillion-dollar business with operations in about 30 countries, as of 2011; the company manages the eBay website, an online auction and shopping website in which people and businesses buy and sell a wide variety of goods and services worldwide. The website is free to use for buyers, but sellers are charged fees for listing items after a limited number of free listings, again when those items are sold. In addition to eBay's original auction-style sales, the website has evolved and expanded to include: instant "Buy It Now" shopping. EBay offered online money transfers as part of its services; the AuctionWeb was founded in California on September 3, 1995, by French-born Iranian-American computer programmer Pierre Omidyar as part of a larger personal site.
One of the first items sold on AuctionWeb was a broken laser pointer for $14.83. Astonished, Omidyar contacted the winning bidder to ask if he understood that the laser pointer was broken. In his responding email, the buyer explained: "I'm a collector of broken laser pointers."Reportedly, eBay was a side hobby for Omidyar until his Internet service provider informed him he would need to upgrade to a business account due to the high volume of traffic to his website. The resulting price increase forced him to start charging those who used eBay, was not met with any animosity, it resulted in the hiring of Chris Agarpao as eBay's first additional employee to process mailed checks coming in for fees. Jeffrey Skoll was hired as the first new president of the company in early 1996. In November 1996, eBay entered into its first third-party licensing deal, with a company called Electronic Travel Auction, to use SmartMarket Technology to sell plane tickets and other travel products. Growth was phenomenal.
The company changed the name of its service from AuctionWeb to eBay in September 1997. The site belonged to Echo Bay Technology Group, Omidyar's consulting firm. Omidyar had tried to register the domain name echobay.com, but found it taken by the Echo Bay Mines, a gold mining company, so he shortened it to his second choice, eBay.com. In 1997 the company received $6.7 million in funding from the venture capital firm Benchmark Capital. Meg Whitman was hired by the board as eBay president and CEO in March 1998. At the time, the company had 30 employees, half a million users and revenues of $4.7 million in the United States. The repeated story that eBay was founded to help Omidyar's fiancée trade Pez candy dispensers was fabricated by a public relations manager, Mary Lou Song, in 1997 to interest the media, which were not interested in the company's previous explanation about wanting to create a "perfect market"; this was revealed in Adam Cohen's book, The Perfect Store, confirmed by eBay. After eBay went public, both Omidyar and Skoll became instant billionaires.
EBay's target share price of $18 was all but ignored as the price went to $53.50 on the first day of trading. The Pez dispenser myth generated enormous amounts of publicity and led to some of eBay's most explosive early growth among toy collectors; however at the time, Beanie Babies were the leader in the toy category and was the most difficult brand to find in retail stores. Beanie Babies became the dominant product on eBay accounting for 10% of all eBay listings in 1997. While still a held company, eBay's growing market share was contributed by two major factors: The growing collectibility of Beanie Babies in the mid-1990s – collectors internationally were trying to complete their collection of Beanie Babies Ty producing the first business-to-consumer Web site - the original Ty Web site contained an online trading post where people could trade their Beanie Babies, however the trading post was overwhelmed with unsortable listings creating a legitimate demand for a more efficient online system to buy and trade Beanie Babies in the secondary marketAs a result, eBay provided a user-friendly interface to search for specific Beanie Babies that collectors were searching for.
On September 21, 1998, eBay went public. In the risk factors section of the annual report filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission in 1998, Omidyar notes eBay's dependence on the continued strength of the Beanie Babies market; as the company expanded product categories beyond collectibles into any saleable item, business grew quickly. In 2000, eBay had 12 million registered users and a cyberinventory of more than 4.5 million items on sale on any given day. In February 2002 the company purchased iBazar, a similar European auction web site founded in 1998, bought PayPal on October 3, 2002. By early 2008 the company had expanded worldwide, counting hundreds of millions of registered users as well as 15,000 employees and revenues of $7.7 billion. After nearly ten years at eBay, Whitman decided to enter politics. On January 23, 2008, the company announced that Whitman would step down on March 31, 2008, John Donahoe was selected to become president and CEO. Whitman remained on the board of directors and continued to advise