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“If you can overcome the initial mistrust that is often felt towards strangers, then you will create wonderful things”. The emotional intelligence of billionaire Pierre Omidyar

"If you can overcome the initial mistrust that is often felt towards strangers, then you will create wonderful things". The emotional intelligence of billionaire Pierre Omidyar
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Source: handelsblatt.com

 

Co-founder of eBay Pierre Omidyar, a billionaire and philanthropist with a net worth of $ 18.6 billion, is widely regarded as an entrepreneur with high emotional intelligence. He builds trusting and long-lasting relationships, is distinguished by an extraordinary level of self-awareness, is endowed with empathy and has a personal influence on his employees.

Pierre Omidyar left the eBay board in September last year as part of a reorganization of the company, but he still calls and personally congratulates colleagues on the holidays and important dates. They are always in touch.

A significant part of Pierre Omidyar’s net worth is a 6% of PayPal’s stocks, bought by eBay. But he considers human values ​​to be his main wealth — love, friendship, hope. Actually, his surname is translated as “the favorite of hope”.

 

TO RUN THE CLOCK OUT

 

Actually, the success of the eBay auction among buyers is partly in the ability to communicate with other people around the world, leave reviews, thank each other and “make friends with lots” via the Internet.

It was a weekend of some summer month in 1995. To kill time, 28-year-old Pierre Omidyar, the son of Iranian expatriate scholars, began writing the code for an online auction. He conceived it as a simple and understandable platform: there is a lot, there is a group of things, there is an initial bid. The developer made the possibility of writing clarifying questions on the lot, communication between the seller and the buyer as the advantages of an online auction.

 

Philanthropy is also a business idea

 

Pierre Omidyar

 

“When I started eBay, it was a hobby, an experiment in which I wanted to see if people could use the Internet to gain access to an efficient market,” Pierre Omidyar later said. “I didn’t really think about it in terms of social consequences. ЕBay was going to help people to unite around their area of ​​interest to do business”.

On September 3rd, Pierre Omidyar launched the first AuctionWeb online auction on eBay. The auction was ignored all day long, but soon the first purchase took place. Someone bought one of the lots — a developer’s broken laser pointer for $13.83. Pierre Omidyar was bursting with a whole spectrum of feelings: joy, inspiration, misunderstanding. Who needs the spoiled thing? Or is it a wrong purchase?

Fortunately, he took into account the possibility of feedback. It turned out that the first lot found its buyer — a collector of broken laser pointers. Pierre Omidyar was genuinely  surprised — it turned out that any thing in the world can be needed by someone. Isn’t this a huge opportunity for business ideas?

 

"If you can overcome the initial mistrust that is often felt towards strangers, then you will create wonderful things". The emotional intelligence of billionaire Pierre Omidyar
First home page of AuctionWeb created in 1995 / codica.com

 

OVERCOMING MISTRUST

 

After testing eBay and its potential, the future billionaire soon made three important discoveries: most people trust each other and justify the trust of others; people, communicating with each other, become a little better and change the world for the better; each of the auction participants make their own contribution to its development.

“We believe that people are mostly good. We believe that everyone can contribute. We encourage you to treat others the way you would like to be treated. If you can overcome the initial mistrust, which is often felt towards strangers, then you will create wonderful things”,  — this statement of Pierre Omidyar became in some way a vector of development of the eBay platform.

 

What makes eBay successful? EBay’s real value and real power is the community. Buyers and sellers come together and shape the market

 

Pierre Omidyar

 

The entrepreneur did not set himself the goal of getting rich. He created the ability to buy and sell what you want at the best price, thereby making people happier. Therefore, people who are temporarily unemployed, collectors of the most amazing things in the world and many others are grateful to him.

Pierre Omidyar says, “I am a technical person, and I used to study at the technical faculty. Path for myself, I constantly strived to use technology to improve the world”.

Three years after its founding, eBay placed its stocks, and Pierre Omidyar woke up to be a billionaire at the age of 31.

 

"If you can overcome the initial mistrust that is often felt towards strangers, then you will create wonderful things". The emotional intelligence of billionaire Pierre Omidyar
EBay is headquartered in San Jose, California. Photo: Coolcaesar / wikimedia.org

 

FOLLOW YOUR PASSION

 

In 1999, eBay began to pursue a series of failures: systems failed, the problems with logistics and infrastructure occured, the media wrote about the imminent collapse of the company. But the eBay team, led by Pierre Omidyar, rolled their sleeves up and worked overtime trying to fix things.

“We did not solve the problems quickly, it took almost a year. But we felt the very rule on ourselves: “what does not kill us makes us stronger”. And now I can say that it is true. When you solve problems, you will learn what will help you avoid them in the future,” Omidyar recalls that period.

And 20 years ago, the online auction became the leader in the list of IT companies with 25 million sellers and 157 million buyers. It was possible to buy absolutely everything there.

 

Whatever future you create, don’t try to programme everything

 

Pierre Omidyar

 

“If something is not on eBay — just think about, does this thing even exist?” — this phrase may properly characterize the well-known platfrorm.

Having managed to rally a united team around him, Pierre Omidyar came up with his own formula for success! “You must follow your passion. If you are passionate about something and work hard, I think you will be successful.

If you are starting a business because you are going to make a lot of money, then it probably will not be successful because that is the wrong reason to start a business. You have to truly believe in what you are doing, have a passion for what you do, despite the hours of exhausting work”.

Nowadays, Pierre Omidyar is focused on his other projects: Omidyar Network, First Look Media, Luminate. He is still faithful to his passion and follows it.

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