Jay Walker was a self-made billionaire and one of the most popular business entrepreneurs and inventors in America. The billionaire is responsible for founding numerous successful start-ups that to date serve millions of clients in various industries. He is the chairman of Walker Digital. It is a privately held R&D lab based in Stamford, Connecticut founded in 1994.
Walker Digital has been behind the creation of numerous solutions for an extensive variety of business difficulties. The firm primarily specializes in coming up with innovative applications that work with large-scale networks like the internet and cell phones. In addition to being an exceptional businessman, there are few things you might not know about Jay like:
His name is on numerous International Patents
Mr. Walker, who is an inventor, is named on over 450 International Patents both pending and issued. It makes the businessman one of the most prolific living investors. His company often collaborates with Fortune 500 companies to bring its inventions to the market or license innovations.
He made it to the Billionaire Club Quickly
Walker is one of the billionaires who amassed his wealth at neck-killing speed. After he founded Priceline.com, a website presenting different discount offering, he boasted of a $1.8 billion net worth (on paper, but never in assets) after just one year in early 2000. Sadly, the dotcom bust came to be. It was disastrous for the website because the share price for Priceline.com dropped down significantly. By October 2000, Jay’s name was no longer on the list of billionaires. At the time, his paper net worth was $333 million.
He is an Avid Book Collector
Jay started his collection of books and historic artifacts long before his Priceline days. Jay had a significant success before Priceline, in new sub services, sold to Time Warner and renamed the Synapse group.
Jay is an Award Winning Billionaire
The serial entrepreneur has a couple of awards to his name such as:
- Yonkers Legend Award, 2002
- Direct Marketer of the Year, 1999
- Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year, 1998
Eventually sold his stake
One of the leading lights of the dot-com boom, Jay was the man behind the foundation of the highest flying internet firm. It introduced a one of a kind marketing method that the company called buyer-driven commerce. Here consumers would take advantage of the internet to name the cost that they would be willing to pay for specific products. Their offers would be accepted or rejected. Priceline.com started out by selling airline tickets and later expanded to the sale of groceries and gasoline. He later sold all his stake to Hong Kong Investors.
He started Business while still Young
Born on 5th November 1955 in Yonkers, New York, Walker always showcased his entrepreneurial spirit even at a young age. His mother’s family had fled from Germany to the United States just before the World War II began. Jay’s maternal grandpa then started a new life as a realtor in New York. As an adolescent, Walker had already started a business of hawking jelly, seeds, and candles door-door. Later, he started delivering newspapers in all types of weather using his bike to cover four miles.
He wanted to be a Wealthy Person’s Administrative Assistant
Probably not believing that he would grow up to become a billionaire, Jay once said in an interview that his dream career was to become an administrative assistant working for a wealthy individual. It was the reason he went to study for a degree in industrial relations at Cornell University since he wanted to acquire skills that someone who was highly accomplished would find attractive. He also learned how to program a computer, take diction, how to fly a single-engine plane and rudiments of commercial and contract law.
He Launched a Free Weekly Paper
While still studying at the university, he dropped out briefly to launch a weekly paper in Ithaca that people did not have to buy as it was available at no cost. He claims that he was in charge of overseeing 175 that he was paying and the paper was reaching a circulation of 25,000. His competitors ran him out of business by producing their weekly forcing him to go back to school.
Walker Graduated With Massive Debts
After his failed company, he went back to school to complete the courses he had started. He graduated in 1977, with a debt of $150,000 thanks to the media venture that did not take off.
He Faced a Lawsuit which was dismissed
Jay Walker found himself having to deal with courtroom battles after Marketel, a San Francisco company, sued him and Priceline. The accuser claimed that Walker stole trade secrets from the company. hat lawsuit, filed just before Priceline's IPO in 1999, was dismissed by the court less than a year after it was filed.
Written by Garrett Parker
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