A Stanford University graduate, who is in a constant self-development that affects the world around him, Rich Barton is one of the most influential entrepreneurs who contributed to adding to the luxury life under the umbrella of technology.
Rich Barton Quick Facts
Name: Rich Barton
Date of Birth: 02nd Jun 1967
Place of Birth: New Canaan, Connecticut, United states
University: Stanford University, class 1989
Degree: Engineering: Industrial economics
Current Occupation: Executive CEO for Zillow
Co-founded Companies: Expedia, Zillow, Glassdoor
Father: Jim Barton
Spouse: Sarah Markus
Net worth: $400 million
Rich Barton Early life
Rich Barton was born in 02nd Jun 1967, New Canaan, US, to a Union Carbide retired executive, Jim Barton, and Betsy.
He graduated in 1989 from Standford University in general Engineering. As per Rich explanation, he earned a general engineering degree: Industrial Economics degree, as he spent one semester in Florence, and went off track, and could not take an Industrial Engineering degree.
Rich Barton Job at Microsoft
In 1991, Rich joint Microsoft company after short periods of working in consulting fields. At Microsoft, he worked as a product manager of DOS 5, and his job involves a lot of business travel.
Expedia was Born!
Rich felt limited with the idea that he cannot have full access on his travel information, nor control to check or manage his trips. The idea of establishing his first do-it-yourself website came out from his own experience. He figured out that the best and easiest way for him as a business traveller is building an electronic travel agency that allows him to manage his travels. Therefore, Expedia was co-founded and launched by Microsoft in 1994. It became a public company in 1999, in which Rich remained its president and CEO till 2003.
Rich Barton refers to Expedia as a revolution in the travel industry, and after Expedia, this industry is never the same.
A Self-Exploration Year
After this, Rich spent a year in Italy with his 3 kids and wife Sara. In this year he took art and drawing classes and was trying to discover the artist inside himself through drawing and writing.
However, it was not easy for him not to think about business ideas that kept hitting his mind from time to time. Then, he decided to leave Florence and go back home.
Zillow, The Real Estate Company
Back to the States, Llyod Frink, a former Expedia executive, and himself shared an office for business ideas brainstorming. In the beginning, Barton was considering being a venture capitalist, but later, this idea was changed.
By that time Rich was looking for a house, as well as Lloyd. He faced the same problem, he had while managing his travel, feeling limited in information.
Real estate agents were keeping all the related information, even the location of the property hidden from house seekers. Therefore, Rich has decided to establish another self-service company with Frink that deals with the real estate industry, Zillow in 2005. The new company was instantly popular due to Zestimate that provides an estimated value of any property in the site’s database. Zillow Group is now a public company as well.
Glassdoor, The Third empowering people company
Rich alongside with his development manager at Expedia, Robert Hohman co-founded Glassdoor in 2007.
As Rich describes it “it is a TripAdvisor in the field of jobs”. The idea of Glassdoor is not only recruiting, but also providing all you need to know as a job seeker such as salaries, benefits, and how is like to be part of a certain company, based on surveying and posting reviews from existing employees, and ex-employees.
Currently, Barton works as a non-executive chairman at Glassdoor.
Rich Barton Interesting Facts
- His wife Sara is a doctor.
- When Zillow was established, Rich vision was to create the largest real estate company in the market, and today Zillow is considered one of the largest companies in the real estate market with around 170 million unique visitors per month.
- Zillow has big brands: Zillow, Trulia, Hotpads, and StreetEasy.
- Rich is the board director of Netflix, RealSelf, Artsy, and Qurate Media Group (formerly Liberty Interactive).
- Rich Barton is an active angel investor and was a venture partner at Benchmark.
- Rich Barton was named “one of the top 100 innovators under 35” by MIT Technology review in 2002.
- In 2017, a lawsuit against Zillow was filed. The reason was the inaccuracy of Zestimate. This case was dismissed, but Zillow announced that it will award the team or the individual who could improve the accuracy of Zestimate with 1 million $. In 2019 the winning team managed to improve its accuracy by approximately 13%.