Pierre was born in Paris, France and attended a bilingual school so he was able to speak English when his family moved to the United States when he was six. Pierre’s family lived in the Washington, D.C. area for most of his schooling. Although his parents were separated when he was about 2 years old they stayed in close contact and Pierre felt loved and valued. Even though living with his mother, he spent many weekends with his father who was a surgeon. Pierre enjoyed tagging along on his father’s rounds, “We would spend maybe 45 minutes in the car going from one hospital to the next and we'd have some great conversations. That's one of my fond childhood memories.” Pierre was raised with the belief that he could do anything he wanted to do, and this gave him confidence in himself from an early age.

Pierre’s love affair with computers started in the third grade. He would cut gym class in order to play on the school’s computer, which was hidden in a closet between classes. Unafraid to try new things, Pierre was soon writing computer programs. The first program he designed was for printing out cards for the high school library’s card catalog (he charged $6 an hour). In 10th or 11th grade (he isn’t sure which); he wrote software that helped schedule classes. “I resisted the temptation to put in some code in there to make sure I never had classes on Friday, because I wouldn’t have been able to get away with it, but I thought about it.”

Not surprisingly, Pierre majored in computer science in college. One of the classes designed to weed out students was a C programming class called “Data Structures.” Pierre excelled in the class and went on to teach himself how to program the Macintosh (Apple) computer. The summer before graduating from college, Pierre took a summer job in California working at a software company for Macintosh.
“I was just pursuing what I enjoyed doing. I mean, I was pursuing my passion. . . the ability to create software that could have a benefit or an impact on people that was what was driving me. . . And so, like people have said, it is not really work, you know, if you are having fun, it’s not work so that was the case with me.”

In 1995, Pierre’s fiancée (who had a master’s degree in molecular biology and was working as a management consultant) was having trouble finding other collectors of Pez candy dispensers – her favorite hobby. The web was still in its infancy (having been created in 1993) but Pierre was intrigued with the idea of using it as a way to help Pamela. He created a page on his personal website as a way to help the collectors connect with each another. After a short period of time, visitors started posting offers and requests for other items. “It was just an idea I had, and I started it as an experiment, as a side hobby basically, while I had my day job. And it just kind of grew.” He named the site Auction Web. In 1997, he incorporated the enterprise and named it eBay.

Pierre based the entire enterprise of eBay on members treating one another with honesty and courtesy and offering them a Forum with which to communicate and rate each other. “It’s all about treating one another the way you want to be treated yourself so you can do business with one another.”

Pierre’s main belief is that a person must pursue his or her passion. “If you’re passionate about something and you work hard, then I think you’ll be successful.” He believes that all entrepreneurs should be about making the world a better place, “I want people to be entrepreneurs, but I want them to do it for the right reasons, because they think they can change the world, because they think they have got something of value to give to the world. Not because they think they can make a lot of money. That is the wrong way to do anything.”

Pierre and Pamela Omidyar are now in the process of giving away all but one percent of their income. Their goal is to help people get involved with their communities and change the world by doing so.

Passion – integrity – respect – optimism – generosity – these are virtues that made Pierre Omidyar successful. Add to those, belief in yourself and not being afraid to try something new, and you’ve got the formula to not only help yourself, but help others and change the world in the process. I know that if you and I believe that as we live, then we too will change our lives and the world we live in!

Author's Bio: 

Ginny Dye, Sandi Valentine & Suess Karlsson are a team of writers who all share a passion to empower and motivate everyone who they touch through their writing. Their stories are a gift to the world! Learn how to create the success you dream of, overcome obstacles and challenges, and live a life of grace and love. Please visit us at http://www.firefliesfortheheart.com