100 Inspirational Pierre Omidyar Quotes [Founder Of Ebay]

100 Inspirational Pierre Omidyar Quotes [Founder Of Ebay]

Pierre Omidyar is a French-American billionaire technology entrepreneur, software engineer, and philanthropist.

He is the founder of eBay where he served as chairman from 1998 to 2015.

Forbes ranked Omidyar as the 24th-richest person in the world. He co-founded Ink Development, a pen-based computing startup that later was rebranded as an e-commerce company and renamed eShop Inc.

We've put together an incredible collection of Pierre Omidyar quotes to read.

Here they are:


List of Inspiring Pierre Omidyar Quotes

I always kind of just went ahead and tried things… Pierre Omidyar

It is not really work, you know, if you are having fun… Pierre Omidyar

Reward experimentation and risk-taking rather than punish failure. Pierre Omidyar

People are basically good. We all try to do a good job. We all try to do our best. Pierre Omidyar

You know, I didn’t set out to create a company or anything like that. I had a day job. Pierre Omidyar

We were profitable from day one, actually, from the moment we started charging. Pierre Omidyar

Here’s the crazy thing, is that it is an incredibly simplistic and simple model. I mean, it is simple and simplistic. Pierre Omidyar

I knew that if I built the company to a certain level, that I was not the one to take it sort of to the next level… It needed a professional CEO. Pierre Omidyar

What I really tried to do was learn as much as possible from the people that came before me… Pierre Omidyar

[On defining philanthropy.] Philanthropy really defined in its original sense… is… a lot of humankind and trying to make the world a better place. Pierre Omidyar

[On focusing on philanthropy.] I saw the opportunity to try to bring all sectors of society together and solve… big problems. Pierre Omidyar

Translate a vision into reality. Pierre Omidyar

Empower the individual. Pierre Omidyar

I'm particularly inspired by problems that seem easily solvable. Pierre Omidyar

I'll just do it. I'll just show them. Pierre Omidyar

[On the initial growth of eBay’s revenue.] Within six months it was earning revenue that was paying my costs. Within nine months the revenue was more than I was making on my day job… Pierre Omidyar

You have to build trust before you will enter into a transaction. Pierre Omidyar

You can't predict growth and success… Pierre Omidyar

A lot of people don't just go ahead and try things. Pierre Omidyar

Don't let them tell you it can't be done, because often they will tell you it can't be done, and it's just because they don't have the courage to try. Pierre Omidyar

I think nice guys can make it. Pierre Omidyar

A little bit of disrespect of the elders, of what came before you, I think is important. Pierre Omidyar

I think respecting your elders is not a bad thing… Pierre Omidyar

When you give people the tools they need to be successfully by, you’re basically creating opportunity for them to make success however they define it. Pierre Omidyar

What you learn from… challenges and… failures are what will get you past the next ones. Pierre Omidyar

I didn’t sit down and say, ‘Hey, I’m gonna be innovative today.’ I really was trying to experiment with new tools. Pierre Omidyar

I am a software engineer. Pierre Omidyar

The great thing about the web – you know, especially in those days and still today – is that once you put something out there, you started getting feedback right away from people. Pierre Omidyar

By August of ’96, I had found somebody to help me build the company. And we both quit our day jobs and devoted ourselves full time to building that company. Pierre Omidyar

During that first two-year period we were growing 20 to 50 percent every month, every single month. And some months were 70 percent. But on that – for two years – sustained growth like that, I don’t think anybody’s, you know, ever done that. Pierre Omidyar

If somebody does something nice for you, wouldn’t it be nice in this world if we could actually start recognizing that? Pierre Omidyar

It’s very gratifying yourself to be able to give praise to somebody else. Pierre Omidyar

There’s something about an entrepreneur that is somewhat is sort of anti-establishment, somewhat disrespectful of the previous generation. And although that can grate people the wrong way a little bit, that’s really an important element, actually. Pierre Omidyar

You need to be passionate about what you want to work on… Pierre Omidyar

Don’t take no for an answer when people out there are giving you advice and saying, ‘No, this will never work.’ Pierre Omidyar

Look at eBay – the idea that in 1995 you could create something over the Internet, which is this brand-new thing that nobody, you know, was really using at the time except for scientists and academics. And it would be a place where strangers could actually do business with one another, could actually, like exchange merchandise for money, without ever meeting. You know, and the notion that people could actually buy and sell cars over the Internet, I mean, that’s crazy, right? Pierre Omidyar

The latest shiny toy at the time was the web; was interactivity. Pierre Omidyar

[On building the initial eBay code.] It took really just a weekend of work. And I was working, you know, pretty much all day and all that weekend. And I think it was Labor Day of 1995, September 4th or 5th, ’95, that I was able to, that morning to basically turn it on. I’d had it uploaded to my internet service provider, so it was publicly available, turn it on and that was Auction Web. Pierre Omidyar

[On the beginnings of ebay.] I said, ‘Well, listen, we’ve got the web. I can create an interactive application here. I can create an auction mechanism. Let me just do that and make that available to the people who are already doing business, who are already buying and selling on Usenet, and then just see what happens.’… And that’s how it go started. Pierre Omidyar

I was a young guy. I was driven to be one of the first to go try that out, so I went and did that. Pierre Omidyar

I’ve only said with eBay that the best ideas came from the community, that really was the innovation that came from the community. Pierre Omidyar

The really cool companies out there today. They’re the ones that are the most plugged into the people they’re serving and take the great ideas from the community and implement them. Pierre Omidyar

[On the early days of eBay.] I had had to upgrade my service provider account because the little $30 a month account that I was running the thing on, you know, it was exceeding its capacity. So they upgraded me to a $250 a month account and then a $500 a month account. So I had to create a revenue model. Pierre Omidyar

By August of ’96 I had found somebody to help me build the company, to work with as my original partner. That was Jeff Skoll. Pierre Omidyar

[On eBay’s early growth.] It was terrifying you know. It was exhilarating and terrifying at the same time. Pierre Omidyar

You know, now 2008, 10 years after the IPO, you know, there’s 250 – 300 million users throughout the world, just an incredible amount of volume of transactions going through there, and you know, lots of people making a living, you know, trading on the original eBay. Pierre Omidyar

[On the eBay feeback system.] Because I’m a programmer, I was a software engineer by trade, I naturally said, ‘Well listen, if there’s gonna be negative, there has to be positive. You know, you can’t just do a negative without a positive.’ Pierre Omidyar

Let’s give each other praise where praise is due. Pierre Omidyar

[On the positive/negative feedback system on eBay.] It just had this incredibly powerful thing from a human perspective. But then also from a business perspective it was really the thing that allowed eBay to succeed, because it gave people a chance, a way to know that they could actually trust a complete stranger. Pierre Omidyar

[On the positive/negative feedback system on eBay.] Honestly, at the time it was to solve a practical problem that I had, which is that I couldn’t manage all the complaints myself. That was it. Pierre Omidyar

I didn’t, you know… I didn’t have this vision, ‘Oh, it’s gonna take over the world. It’s gonna be this fantastic thing overnight.’ I didn’t have that kinda delusion either. But I did say, ‘You know what? There’s something worth trying here. It’s not crazy.’ And so a little bit of disrespect of the elders, of what came before you, I think is important. Pierre Omidyar

What I really tried to do was learn as much as possible from the people that came before me, have respect for at least the motivations of the people that come before me and people in the establishment. Pierre Omidyar

When I identify a need and I see a particular innovative way to address that need, I’m actually just driven to go and build that thing. And if I can’t build it myself to convince somebody else to go do it. Pierre Omidyar

The gratification of going off and trying something, trying something new that addresses a need… it’s just really cool. Pierre Omidyar

Empowering individuals and helping individuals make a difference. Pierre Omidyar

The idea traditionally was, you go to the business world, you make a lot of money and then when you’re tired of doing that you retire from that and then you start giving it away creating foundations and, you know, whatnot. And that will be your legacy… I’m too young to be thinking about that path, and so really tried to think about being more active and innovative and creative in the pursuit of philanthropy. Pierre Omidyar

Microfinance is really exciting. Pierre Omidyar

[On mentors in his life.] I always have trouble with that question. I always have trouble with that question because I can never identify… key people. I mean, cearly my parents were critical in bringing me up and in shaping my world and giving me the confidence to think that I oculd actually do stuff… and actually get it done… Pierre Omidyar

Most of my inspiration really comes through… a process of synthesis. Pierre Omidyar

If I had to pick one thing to just let people remember in the future, is embrace individuality, empower the individual. Pierre Omidyar

I've got a passion for solving a problem that I think I can solve in a new way. Pierre Omidyar

There's a sense of pride of doing something brand new, and I'm particularly inspired by problems that seem easily solvable. Pierre Omidyar

The whole idea there was just to help people do business with one another on the Internet. And people thought it was impossible… remember this is 1995… Pierre Omidyar

People are basically good, honest people. Pierre Omidyar

[On eBay’s success being an accident.] The business success was, absolutely… Pierre Omidyar

I wanted to create an efficient market where individuals could benefit from participating in an efficient market, kind of level the playing field. And I thought, ‘Gee, the Internet, the web, it's perfect for this.’ Pierre Omidyar

Within nine months the revenue was more than I was making on my day job, and that's kind of when the light bulb went off. ‘Knock, knock, knock. You've got a business here, do something about it.’ So that's when that really started. Pierre Omidyar

If you think about it, commerce and trade is at the base of all human activity… Pierre Omidyar

Fundamentally everything we do in human activities is related to trade and there's something, I think, that's wired in human beings that drives us to commerce. Pierre Omidyar

You know, not everyone is a jerk. Pierre Omidyar

[On eBay] It's all about treating each other the way you want to be treated yourself so that you can do business with one another. Pierre Omidyar

When we went to raise money, rather than trying to convince people to invest in eBay, we had to tell people to stop knocking on the door. Pierre Omidyar

I brought on Meg [Whitman] in March of '98 - she really woke up to the fact that infrastructure and technology was critical… Pierre Omidyar

‘If it doesn't kill you, it makes you stronger,’ and it's true. Pierre Omidyar

I was the pretty consistent bull and the cheerleader on eBay… I've always had kind of this unshakable faith that it's going to endure. Pierre Omidyar

What eBay did really was to create a new market, one that wasn't really there before. Pierre Omidyar

I founded the company on the notion that people were basically good, and that if you give them the benefit of the doubt you're rarely disappointed. Pierre Omidyar

I created a system of the feedback forum, which I'm very proud of because it has been copied gazillions of times and it was my idea. It allows people to kind of rate each other and give feedback on how their transaction went. Pierre Omidyar

I was born in Paris, Paris, France. I lived there until I was six years old actually, and I went to bilingual school as I was growing up during that period so I learned English. And at age six moved to the United States… Pierre Omidyar

My mom and my dad. They were separated when I was two, I think, but my dad was always part of my life. I lived with my mom, but my dad was always around. Pierre Omidyar

You know, why not. I'll just go ahead and do it. Pierre Omidyar

I always wanted to be involved with computers. Pierre Omidyar

I was pursuing my passion. Pierre Omidyar

You should pursue your passion. If you're passionate about something and you work hard, then… you'll be successful. Pierre Omidyar

If you start a business because you think you're going to make a lot of money at it, then you probably won't be successful, because that's the wrong reason to start a business. Pierre Omidyar

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

When I say that I believe people are basically good, it's because I believe people are basically good. Pierre Omidyar

I'm very excited by the prospect of what we haven't seen yet. Pierre Omidyar

[As Chairman and founder of eBay.] I kind of like it when people stay at eBay. Pierre Omidyar

The best way to have an impact in the world today is to use technology wisely. Pierre Omidyar

From the time we made the acquisition, we knew paypal was going to be a critical platform for the internet. Pierre Omidyar

[On the Pez story.] It wasn’t completely made up. There’s always an element of truth to it… We can blame that on PR people. Pierre Omidyar

I’ve been passionate about the role of journalism in democracy for the last several years… I’ve been really dismayed by the decline of the journalism industry generally. Pierre Omidyar

I just wiped up some code… Pierre Omidyar

[On eBay in 2002] We have a duty to bring it to as many people as we can. Pierre Omidyar

I really started the company on the notion that people are basically good. Pierre Omidyar

[On eBay sellers not delivering in 2002.] Historically it’s been 30 out of a 1,000,000 transactions. Pierre Omidyar

Don’t take no for an answer… Pierre Omidyar

Pat Walls,  Founder of Starter Story

Want to start your own business?

Hey! 👋I'm Pat Walls, the founder of Starter Story.

We interview successful business owners and share the stories behind their business. By sharing these stories, we want to help you get started.

Interested in starting your own business? Join Starter Story Premium to get the greatest companion to starting and growing your business:

  • Connect + get advice from successful entrepreneurs
  • Step by step guides on how to start and grow
  • Exclusive and early access to the best case studies on the web
  • And much more!

Did you know that brands using Klaviyo average a 95x ROI?

Email, SMS, and more — Klaviyo brings your marketing all together, fueling growth without burning through time and resources.

Deliver more relevant email and text messages — powered by your data. Klaviyo helps you turn one-time buyers into repeat customers with all the power of an enterprise solution and none of the complexity.

Join Brumate, Beardbrand, and the 265,000 other businesses using Klaviyo to grow their online sales.

Try Klaviyo for free right now ➜