Ten years ago, an American entrepreneur of French origins, Pierre Omidyar
, launched a web site called AuctionWeb.
At first, the site was auctioning some of Omidyar's personal stuff, but in a short time, other goods started to appear as well; the first auction took place on September 4. Shortly thereafter, Omidyar changed the site's name to EBay.com, abbreviating his consultancy company's
name, Echo Bay. Omidyar chose EBay.com, because EchoBay.com was already taken.
Is this starting to ring a bell? In May 1997, the site reached 1 million auctions, and in September, the site already had 200,000 members. Although the service was free of charge at first, Omidyar introduced a fee to cover the expenses of the ISP that hosted his site. In May 1998, the company was joined by Meg Whitman
, who is currently EBay's CEO, and in September, EBay enlisted on the stock market.
In 2000, the company introduced the Buy it now option, in 2001, Ebay Shops was born and in July 2002, the company acquired PayPal, which was founded in December 1998.
In 10 years, few sites have managed to achieve what eBay has; and by now, the company has become a standard in online auctions and its influence is comparable to Google's. It's highly unlikely that among your favorite applications, there isn't an IM client. There's a broad offer, and even Google has entered the market. This week, Softpedia News is inviting you to choose your favorite IM client.