David Filo

David Filo

David Filo is a tech entrepreneur and businessman who co-founded Yahoo! with Jerry Yang. In March 2013 his approximate net worth was $1.7 billion making him the 882nd wealthiest person of the world.

Filo was born on 20th April 1966 in Wisconsin. His family moved to a suburb in Moss Bluff in Louisiana. He studied at the Sam Houston High School and then attended the Tulane University where he got his BS degree in computer engineering. His success story actually begins from Stanford where he enrolled for post graduate studies. There he met Jerry Yang and the two doctoral candidates immediately hit it off during their computer chip designing project. However they did not find the work interesting and when their teacher took a leave so did they. They spend most of their time surfing the internet which for them was a pleasant diversion from their boring academic work. However Filo and Yang found a discrepancy in the system. Although there were plenty of interesting and ‘cool’ sites there was no proper organization system which meant that they could not find the site that they had visited again if they wanted to.

So together they decided to come up with a system or a roadmap for the internet users. They made a list of the websites they liked organizing them in topics. They created a search engine by which people could find their desired website simply by typing in the right keywords. In the beginning of 1994 they started posting the list online. They called it ‘David and Jerry’s Guide to the Web’. The list expanded as they found more and more websites. They had to make further categories and subcategories. Later that year they renamed the search engine ‘Yahoo!’

By November 1994 Yahoo! had more than 170,000 users per day and four years later this figure had risen to a million users a day. Many giants such as AOL, Microsoft and Prodigy offered to buy Yahoo!, but the duo refused them all. The reason was that they were not into it for the money; it was pure enjoyment that they wanted. Stanford University on the other hand was not amused by this success. Their complaints included crashing of their system and increased network traffic. So they asked David and Jerry to move off the university campus. This is when they decided to make it a proper business. They found venture capitalist Mike Moritz who invested his one million in the company. They hired a staff of school interns and friends and took up Tim Koogle as the CEO and president.

Yahoo! is currently among the most prominent internet brands and one of the most highly trafficked networks. Filo who is one of the owners of the multi-million business has changed little in his life despite the amount of wealth he has accumulated. He still drives an old Datsun to the headquarters of Yahoo! in Santa Clara, CA. He is also a generous philanthropist. Filo gave $30 million to Tulane University’s School of engineering.