Monthly Archives: September 2014

Ralph Lauren b. 1939

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Ralph_Lauren_2013      Ralph Lauren b. 1939

The name Ralph Lauren conjures images of classic American ensconced in high-end luxury, and that’s exactly how the New York- born fashion designer intended it. instead of selling just clothes, he sold a lifestyle that he portrayed with his distinctive advertisements of fair-haired boys in khaki chinos, elegant brunettes in sharp. white, dress shirts and bright-eyed children in preppy, seersucker shorts. sure, he sold the clothes, but he also sold the fantastic, romanticized lives of the people who wear the clothes – the look of success. While his fellow fashion designers started at the high end and filtered their brand downstream, Lauren was visionary in offering luxury at all price points.

He went to Baruch College where he studied business, although he dropped out after two years. From 1962 to 1964 he served in the United States Army and left to work briefly for Brooks Brothers as a sales assistant before leaving to become a salesman for a tie company. In 1966, when he was 26, he was inspired to design a wide, European-style necktie he had seen Douglas Fairbanks Jr wearing, but the idea was rejected by the company he worked for as not being commercially viable. He left to establish his own company working out of a drawer in the Empire State Building, taking rags and turning them into ties. He sold the ties to small shops in New York, with a major turning point when he was approached by Neiman Marcus, who bought 100 dozen.
In 1967, with the financial backing of Manhattan clothing manufacturer Norman Hilton, Lauren opened a necktie store where he also sold ties of his own design, under the label “Polo.” He later received the rights to use the trademark Polo from Brooks Brothers, however Brooks Brothers managed to retain its rights to the iconic “original polo button-down collar” shirt , in spite of Lauren’s Polo trademark. In 1971, he expanded his line and opened a Polo boutique on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills.
The Polo Ralph Lauren flagship store occupying the Rhinelander Mansion on Madison Avenue in New York City
In 1970, Ralph Lauren won the COTY Award for his menswear line. Around that same time he released a line of women’s suits that were tailored in a classic men’s style, which was when the first Polo emblem was seen. It was on the cuff of the women’s suit. Ralph Lauren released Polo’s famous short sleeve pique shirt with the Polo logo in 1972 and unveiled his first Ralph Lauren collection for women. It came out in 24 colors and soon became a classic. He also gained recognition for his design after he was contracted to provide clothing styles for the movie The Great Gatsby as well as for Diane Keaton’s title character in the 1977 film, Annie Hall.
A Polo Ralph Lauren store on the Magnificent Mile in Chicago
In 1984, he transformed the Rhinelander Mansion, former home of the photographer Edgar de Evia and Robert Denning, into the flagship store for Polo Ralph Lauren. This same year de Evia photographed the cover feature story for House & Garden on the Lauren home Round Hill in Jamaica, which had formerly been the home of Babe and Bill Paley. On June 11, 1997, Ralph Lauren Corporation became a public company, traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol RL.
By 2007 Ralph Lauren had over 35 boutiques in the United States; 23 locations carried the Ralph Lauren Purple Label, including Atlanta, Beverly Hills, Boston, Charlotte, Washington DC, Chicago, Costa Mesa, Dallas, Denver, Honolulu, Houston, Las Vegas, Manhasset, New York, Palm Beach, Palo Alto, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Diego, Short Hills, Montreal and Troy. The Financial Times reported in January 2010 that the firm had revenues of $5 billion for fiscal year 2009.

Quote: “Quality before quantity. The essence of style is understatement.”

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Pierre Omidyar b 1967

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Pierre Omidyar      Pierre Omidyar b 1967

As founder of online auction site ebay, Pierre Omidyar made the internet personal again. By connecting buyers with sellers of collectable items, he created a global marketplace for the little guy. “What would happen within a marketplace if everyone had equal access to information and tools?” Omidyar wondered. “Would a level playing field enable individuals to compete alongside big businesses?” Judging by ebay’s success, Omidyar’s answer is yes.

Pierre Morad Omidyar (Persian:born June 21, 1967) is a French-Iranian-American entrepreneur and philanthropist, who is the founder and chairman of the eBay auction site. He became a billionaire at the age of 31 with eBay’s 1998 Initial Public Offering (IPO). Omidyar and his wife Pamela are well-known philanthropists who founded Omidyar Network in 2004 in order to expand their efforts beyond nonprofits to include for-profits and public policy. Since 2010 Omidyar has been involved in online journalism as head of investigative reporting and public affairs news service Honolulu Civil Beat. In 2013, he announced he would be creating and financing First Look Media, a journalism venture to include Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras, and Jeremy Scahill.

In 1995, at the age of 28, Omidyar began to write the original computer code for an online venue to enable the listing of a direct person-to-person auction for collectible items. He created a simple prototype on his personal web page, and on Labor Day, Monday, September 4, 1995, he launched an online service called, Auction Web, which would eventually become the auction site eBay.

The service was hosted on a server Omidyar had created for information on the ebola virus. The first item sold on the site was a broken laser pointer. Omidyar was astonished that anyone would pay for the device in its broken state, but the buyer assured him that he was deliberately collecting broken laser pointers. Similar surprises followed. The business exploded as correspondents began to register trade goods of an unimaginable variety.

Omidyar incorporated the enterprise; the small fee he collected on each sale financed the expansion of the site. The revenue soon outstripped his salary at General Magic and nine months later, Omidyar decided to dedicate his full attention to his new enterprise.

By 1996, when Omidyar signed a licensing deal to offer airline tickets online, the site had hosted 250,000 auctions. In the first month of 1997, it hosted two million. By the middle of that year, eBay was hosting nearly 800,000 auctions a day.

Omidyar with Richard Branson

In 1997, Pierre Omidyar changed the company’s name to eBay and began to advertise the service aggressively. The word “eBay” was made up on the fly by Omidyar when he was told that his first choice for his web site, “echobay”, had already been registered. Not wanting to make a second trip to Sacramento, he came up with “eBay”. The frequently repeated story that eBay was founded to help Omidyar’s fiancée trade Pez candy dispensers was fabricated by a public relations manager in 1997 to interest the media. This was revealed in Adam Cohen’s 2002 book, and confirmed by eBay.

Jeffrey Skoll joined the company in 1996. In March 1998, Meg Whitman was brought in as president and CEO, and continued to run the company until January 2008, when she announced her retirement. In September 1998, eBay launched a successful public offering, making both Omidyar and Skoll billionaires. As of July 2008, Omidyar’s 178 million eBay shares were worth around $4.45 billion. Omidyar is also an investor of Montage Resort and Spa in Laguna Beach, California.

In 2010, Omidyar launched online an investigative reporting news service, Honolulu Civil Beat, covering civic affairs in Hawaii. The site has been named Best News Website in Hawaii for three consecutive years. On September 4, 2013, Honolulu Civil Beat started a partnership with The Huffington Post, launching the weblog’s latest regional addition, HuffPost Hawaii.

In 2013 Omidyar announced the creation of First Look Media, a journalism venture that was launched on February 10, 2014, with The Intercept, and includes journalists such as Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras, Jeremy Scahill, Dan Froomkin, John Temple, and Jay Rosen.

Quote. “That thing you’ve kept in the box all these years? Somebody wants it more than you do.”

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Tim O’ Shaughnessy

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Tim O’ Shaughnessy      Tim O’ Shaughnessy – Aged 29yrs

Worth an estimated $45 million

Tim O’Shaughnessy is one of the co-founders of the popular website Livingsocial.com, they are a social buying company, specializing in daily deals, across the western countries. The aim of the game is to offer as many people products and promotions for heavily discounted prices, very similar to the Group-on company. So far they have given thousands of deals on a daily basis to millions of happy customers, lets hope they can keep up with Groupon.

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Susan Gregg Koger – Aged 25yrs

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Susan Gregg Koger      Susan Gregg Koger – Aged 25yrs

Worh an estimate $15 million (combined)

 Susan Gregg-Koger is the CEO and co-founder of Modcloth.com, operating the site via her college dorm-room where she managed to process orders herself whilst keeping up with her academic classes, that’s hard work right there! Her website was designed by her then boyfriend (now her husband – below) and the site went from strength to strength and is going remarkably well even now. The site boasts over 300 designers all creating one-off unique garments for their customers, sounds great.

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Sean Whalen – Aged 28 yrs

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Sean Whalen         Sean Whalen  – Aged 28 yrs

Worth an estimated $10 million

Sean is a very physical entrepreneur and doesn’t mind getting in there, and really getting his pulse racing. Sean developed the AlterG treadmill, which is essentially a treadmill for use in anti-gravity. Why? Well besides it being a very good idea, it is perfect for those athletes or the elderly who have injured themselves. It allows you to train using only 20 percent of your natural body weight, which allows the user to develop strength much more adequately, safely and without causing any more pain than necessary. Did I mention Sean’s dad was a NASA research scientist? That must be where he got the idea. Brilliant.

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Sean Belnick – Aged 22 yrs

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Sean Belnick  Sean Belnick – Aged 22 yrs

Worth an estimated $50 million

Sean belnick first started his own business back when he was only 14 yrs old, locking himself in his bedroom for almost three days, he emerged with what we now know as Bizchair. he began selling a few office chairs here and there. eventually gaining an employee until he finally got his sales down to a tee. He currently sells office furniture to the likes of google, Microsoft, and many more. He is now worth an estimated $50 million. not bad going.

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Ryan block

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ryan block      Ryan block

Ryan Block (born June 25, 1982) is a technology journalist and critic. He was the editor-in-chief of AOL’s Engadget before he co-founded the community site gdgt.

Block joined technology news website Engadget as a part-time reporter in June 2004, and started full-time in June 2005. He went on to replace the site’s creator Peter Rojas as editor-in-chief in 2007. On May 16, 2007, Block posted a leaked internal email from Apple in which it was revealed that the iPhone and Mac OS X Leopard would both be delayed. The email was later confirmed as fake by Apple PR, but it was reported that its posting by Engadget took $4 billion off Apple’s market cap. Block has since noted that the approximate $4b market cap drop was almost immediately pushed back up after he posted that the email was forged.

In July 2008 Block posted on Engadget that he would be stepping down as editor-in-chief to create a new company, leaving then Associate Editor Joshua Topolsky in charge. On 1 July 2009, using $550,000 in initial seed financing received from Betaworks and True Ventures, Block and Rojas launched gdgt; a discussion forum that generates reviews and answers questions about thousands of gadgets. In November of 2013, gdgt was merged with Engadget.

Block is a regular panelist on The Engadget Show, and has appeared on Leo Laporte’s This Week in Tech 21 times. Block lives in San Francisco, California with his wife, Veronica Belmont.

In July 2014, Block and his wife attempted to disconnect their Comcast service over the telephone and were repeatedly blocked by the Comcast representative in a call which lasted 18 minutes. The last 8 minutes of this phone call was recorded by Block and posted to Reddit, immediately going viral across the internet. The next day Comcast apologized.

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Louis B Mayer 1885-1957

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Louis_B._Mayer_and_wife      Louis B Mayer 1885-1957

Louis Burt Mayer (born Lazar Meir; July 12, 1884 – October 29, 1957) was a Russian born, Canadian-American film producer. He is generally cited as the creator of the “star system” within Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) in its golden years. He was one of the founders of AMPAS famous for its “Oscars” Academy Award. Known always as Louis B. Mayer and often simply as “L.B.”, he believed in wholesome entertainment and went to great lengths so that MGM had “more stars than there are in the heavens”.

Mayer renovated the Gem Theater, a rundown, 600 seat burlesque house in Haverhill, Massachusetts, which he reopened on November 28, 1907 as the Orpheum, his first movie theater. To overcome the unfavorable reputation that the building once had in the community, Mayer decided to debut with the showing of a religious film. Years later, Mayer would say that the premiere at the Orpheum was From the Manger to the Cross, although most sources place the release date of that film as 1912. Within a few years, he owned all five of Haverhill’s theaters, and, with Nathan H. Gordon, created the Gordon-Mayer partnership that controlled the largest theater chain in New England.

In 1914, the partners organized their own film distribution agency in Boston. Mayer paid D.W. Griffith $25,000 for the exclusive rights to show The Birth of a Nation (1915) in New England. Although Mayer made the bid on a film that one of his scouts had seen, but he had not, his decision netted him over $100,000. Mayer partnered with Richard A. Rowland in 1916 to create Metro Pictures Corporation, a talent booking agency, in New York City.

Two years later, Mayer moved to Los Angeles and formed his own production company, Louis B. Mayer Pictures Corporation. The first production was 1918’s Virtuous Wives. A partnership was set up with B. P. Schulberg to make the Mayer-Schulberg Studio. Mayer’s big breakthrough, however, was in April 1924 when Marcus Loew, owner of the Loew’s chain, merged Metro Pictures, Samuel Goldwyn’s Goldwyn Pictures Corporation, and Mayer Pictures into Metro-Goldwyn. Loew had bought Metro and Goldwyn some months before, but could not find anyone to oversee his new holdings on the West Coast. Mayer, with his proven success as a producer, was an obvious choice. He was named head of studio operations and a Loew’s vice president, based in Los Angeles, reporting to Loew’s longtime right-hand man Nicholas Schenck. He would hold this post for the next 27 years. Before the year was out, Mayer added his name to the studio with Loew’s blessing, renaming it Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

Loew died in 1927, and Schenck became president of Loew’s. Mayer and Schenck hated each other intensely; Mayer reportedly referred to his boss, whose name was pronounced “Skenk,” as “Mr. Skunk” in private. Two years later, Schenck agreed to sell Loew’s – and MGM – to William Fox, which angered Mayer. But despite his important role in MGM, Mayer was not a shareholder, and had no standing to challenge the sale. So he instead used his Washington connections to persuade the Justice Department to delay the merger on antitrust grounds. During the summer of 1929, Fox was severely injured in an auto accident. By the time he recovered, the stock market crash had wiped out his fortune, destroying any chance of the deal going through even if the Justice Department had lifted its objections. Nonetheless, Schenck believed Mayer had cost him a fortune and never forgave him, causing an already frigid relationship to get even worse.

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Levi Strauss 1829-1902

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Levi Strauss      Levi Strauss 1829-1902

Levi Strauss (born February 26, 1829 – September 26, 1902) was an American businessman of German Jewish descent who founded the first company to manufacture blue jeans. His firm, Levi Strauss & Co., began in 1853 in San Francisco, California.

Levi Strauss was born in Buttenheim, Germany on February 26, 1829, in the Franconian region of Bavaria, Germany, to an Ashkenazi Jewish family. He was the son of Hirsch Strauss and his second wife Rebecca Strauss. At the age of 18, Strauss, his mother and two sisters traveled to the United States to join his brothers Jonas and Louis, who had begun a wholesale dry goods business in New York City called J. Strauss Brother & Co.

Levi’s sister Fanny and her husband David Stern moved to St. Louis, Missouri, while Levi went to live in Louisville and sold his brothers’ supplies in Kentucky. In January 1853, Levi Strauss became a USA citizen.

The family decided to open a West Coast branch of the family dry goods business in San Francisco, which was the commercial hub of the California Gold Rush. Levi was chosen to represent the family and he took a steamship for San Francisco, arriving in early March 1853, where he joined his sister’s family.

Strauss opened his dry goods wholesale business as Levi Strauss & Co. and imported fine dry goods—clothing, bedding, combs, purses, handkerchiefs—from his brothers in New York. Levi lived with Fanny’s growing family.

Jacob Davis, one of Strauss’s customers and inventor of the first pair of riveted denim pants, went into business with Strauss to produce blue jeans. The two men patented the new style of work pants in 1873.

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Larry Page b.1973

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Larry_Page      Larry Page b. 1973

Sergey Brin b. 1973

Lawrence “Larry” Page (born March 26, 1973) is an American business magnate and computer scientist who is the co-founder of Google, alongside Sergey Brin. On April 4, 2011, Page succeeded Eric Schmidt as the chief executive officer of Google. As of 2014, Page’s personal wealth is estimated to be US$32.3 billion, ranking him number 19 on the Forbes list of billionaires.

Page is the inventor of PageRank, the foundation of Google’s search ranking algorithm, and he and Brin own approximately 16 percent of Google’s stock.

Quote : “If your business is based on a hot idea, go as goofy as you like with the name. “

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