Glassdoor: Opening the Doors to Your Dream Job!
In the very beginning of the 20th century, dominating corporations introduced the concept of restricting information to the common folk.
The goal behind this scheme? To acquire world domination of data that would be exclusively available only to an elite few.
For one man, however, Richard Barton, it became crystal clear that technology would-sooner or later- help this system fail. Overpowered with the idea to neutralize the barriers between ordinary people and information available to them, he focused on sourcing and analyzing the problem at its root.
On three separate occasions, Richard successfully built companies that are still revolutionizing an array of essential industries, such as travel, real estate and employment. With a stubborn desire to bend the world to everyone's wind, and for the better, too, Richard grew ideas out of inklings and eventually rose to become the first billionaire in his thirties.
Contributing to carrying out breakthrough ideas to practice, Richard earned its glory while relying on three main principles: brains, heart, and courage!
It might have taken Richard two decades to make it to the A-league, but a few bumps on the road never really bothered the innovator in delivering greatness through a range of smart concepts brought to life.
So how did Richard Barton tackle one project at the time on his way to the business throne?
Read on to find out:
A Vivacious Beginning
Born in New Canaan, Connecticut, U.S in 1967, Richard Barton was a dream child for every mother. It was, in fact, his devotion, brilliance, and problem-solving aptitude that brought him to Stanford University, where he earned his general engineering degree. Realizing that his course of work might become restrictive, career-wise, Richard then decided to enroll in industrial economics and enrich his overall knowledge. If no one paves your way, pave it yourself, Richard figured, and for him, all roads led to Italy, or beautiful Florence, to be exact. Looking back on it now, Richard will realize it was this particular decision that would not just earn him two separate industry degrees but also set him up for the imminent success to come.
Fresh out of college, Richard's next move was to find a job that suits his education. The first job in line was one in consulting, and it helped Richard realize it wasn't the path meant for him. Leaving the firm was nothing short of easy and now Richard was ready to throw in some challenge into the mix. While he applied at various positions, one appealed to him the most, and it came straight from the large-and-in-charge Microsoft team.
Rising to the Occasion
When Richard joined Microsoft, it was a relatively small company counting humble 3,000 employees. With a product manager title hung on his shirt, Richard's job revolved around selling the operating system to individual PC customers whilst upgrading their computers to the point of compatibility.
What he took from this experience, however, was recognizing the customers' needs while simultaneously inspecting the ways Microsoft enforced its product objectives and customer-friendly criteria.
The pace of his work was intense to say the least, and travelling became an automatic consequence of the responsibilities a product manager is entitled with. Hard as it was, Richard regularly planned trips from Seattle, all the while stopping for work in Denver and Dallas, before travelling back to point A.
After realizing that booking trips was nothing short of time-consuming, Richard got a hold of the corporate travel agency to help him come up with a solution. This process turned out to be even more frustrating - having to coordinate with his booking assistant at all times - so Richard had to construct a whole new and beneficial strategy.
Back in the 90s, travel information was almost mythical to the broad mass. At that time, it was corporate agencies that were in charge of providing and handling all relevant flight information. In Richard's eyes, however, the barrier between- dare I say- commoners and business giants would hurt the future of technology and cause irreparable damage in terms of reliability and mutual trust.
Driven by the definition of a successful entrepreneur, Richard wasted no time solving this problem and bringing travel information closer to the general population.
Presented with the opportunity to lay out his ideas in front of Bill Gates, Richard wasted no time elaborating on the need to develop electronic travel agents to grant information access to everyone - not just million-dollar babies.
It was Bill Gates' initial response to laugh off the idea, noting to Richard he was far too young to understand the concept of it. As an alternative, Bill proposed to him the idea to launch his startup within Microsoft's walls, and take it out for a spin when and if it succeeds on the market.
Jumping at the chance with eagerness, Richard got busy developing the largest travel brand right inside the beast's belly, and he named it Expedia.
Once Gates noticed the benefit of Expedia and how it revolutionized the world of travel and consumership, he untied Richard's hands in expanding the project even further. In order to bring Expedia closer to the people, but this time for real, Richard asked the Microsoft team to provide him with 100 dollars to use for advertising. At the time, Microsoft deemed this request a very, very unfavorable move. And, what did they do instead? Abandon ship, of course, a decision that entered into force in 1999, leaving Richard as Expedia's sole CEO.
As with every great business that existed back 2001, Expedia, too, suffered at recession's hands, and crashed on the market for a good while. Once recovered from the crisis and the desperate ties that bind, Expedia was prepared to get back on its feet and rise from the dark like a phoenix reborn. Even so, it became obvious that the company was still affected by the economic downfall, but instead of surrendering, it waited for 2003, when USA Interactive finally overtook the brand for an intriguing $3.6 billion.
Now wealthier than he's ever been before, Richard stood at a crossroad of opportunities and wondered which course of direction to take next.
The Light Bulb Is On!
As soon as he turned over the reins of Expedia, Richard moved to Italy with his wife and three kids to uncover his inner calling. Passing time in Tuscany felt like a dream - from its breathtaking landscapes and the picturesque pastorals, to tasting manmade wine nectar and the best of cheese a country could offer. It sounds like a fairytale, but the scenery and experiences alone encouraged Richard to sign up for drawing classes and finally tune into his most artistic self.
In a matter of months, the vision of creating a whole new startup popped up in Richard's head often, so often in fact that by the time the Italian dream ended, Richard was back on a flight to Seattle.
For some reason, Richard kept going back to the fact that, despite his best efforts, many people still struggled to access information in many valuable industries, including real estate. As Richard understood that no customer was allowed to monitor their tax payments, address and real estate galleries, he visited a friend from Stanford to help him come up with a plan of change.
A brainstorm of concepts later, the pair finally made notable progress and created an idea that would rock the world of housing. They called it Zillow - a marketplace allowing people to find estimated property values for over ten million homes, according to the website's database. Spreading the brand was inevitable - a genius idea always does the trick - and in its first four years of existing and serving customers, Zillow reached an astounding $30 million in revenue.
Up until 2010, Richard held the position of company CEO, before giving up his role to become the company chairman. However, no great accomplishment ever stopped at project number two, and Richard knew that Zillow would not be his last rodeo in the business. What he'd do next was yet uncertain, but with the right friends by his side and a groundbreaking mutual effort, the team would soon - and undoubtedly - change the game of online customer services!
The Road to Glassdoorn
Partnering up with two other co-founders Robert Hohman and Tim Besse, Richard Barton was ready to set sail into the world of job seeking opportunities. The goal of creating Glassdoor was a smart and necessary one, to gather the most successful companies in one place and offer a career searching marketplace on a global level.
Glassdoor performed a remarkable service for its users, allowing them to search jobs through popularity, employee feedback, desired salary, work conditions, locations and more. Through understanding people's need to take careers into their own hands, Richard established an essential and booming business along with an efficient strategy worth billions of dollars.
Hard as it was to launch the business, Glassdoor struggled more to acquire its first couple of hundred company reviews. Next thing you know, the eager businessmen trio reached out to software engineers in Silicon Valley to gather information on their line of work, job titles, salaries and more - all in return for a free iPod!
With the arrival of 2008, Glassdoor popped on the market too - a unique job searching platform designed for global job seekers of all walks of life!
Having earned greatly from selling Expedia, Robert, Richard and Time could easily self-fund the new startup.
But the need to invest their own money seemed almost redundant, as Glassdoor grew and other big names took notice. With a modest self-investment of $3 million, Glassdoor invited companies such as Benchmark to also partake and with fresh $3 million, too.
In a scope of a decade, Glassdoor had witnessed ten rounds of funding, summing up to a total funding of $205.5 million, with its most remarkable funding happening in 2015 when Tiger Global Management pitched in with a whopping $70 million!
In 2018, Glassdoor was overtaken by Recruit Holdings, disposing the three co-founders of their roles and sending them on a brand new adventure. Nevertheless, the company still stands tall in the industry, reaching an annual revenue of $175.9 million and boasting over 700 employees.
Essentially, obtaining the freedom to design your own career path would never seem as attainable had it not been for the remarkable work Glassdoor did in the past decade. Kudos!