More than 500 Million people worldwide have a Hotmail account for their email service. I have one and it’s very likely that at one point you had or still have one too! Have you ever stopped to think how Hotmail came to be? It’s a pretty interesting story actually…
“You have to give it a shot, it’s like a gamble, but you’ve got to take that chance.” These were the words of 27 year old Sabeer Bhatia. Sabeer was born in Chandigarh, India and is now a Multi – Millionaire Indian American entrepreneur. While he was at University, he was inspired by entrepreneurs such as Steve Jobs and Scott McNealy and decided he wanted to become one himself!
Sabeer Bhatia started working at a startup company called Firepower Systems Inc, where he spent 2 years. In 1994, he paired up with Jack Smith ( a colleague from Apple) and started working on new ideas. Together they developed the concept of a web based database named Javasoft which they started to pursue. While working on this idea, they realised the potential of another brilliant idea – A web based e-mail system. They decided to create one called HoTMaiL (the uppercase letters standing for HTML, language used to write a webpage) They wanted to make the service free in order to attract people and would obtain revenue through advertising on the website. Draper Fisher Ventures invested $300,000 into HoTMaiL and the service was officially launched on July 4th 1996.
In less than 6 months, Hotmail already had over 4 million subscribers and due to the continual growth and interest, Hotmail was sold to Microsoft in December 1997 for the sum of $400 million!!
Sabeer Bhatia has gone on to develop several systems and his future plans include the development of a new city in India called Nanocity with the aim of replicating the vibrancy and eco-system of innovation found in the Silicon Valley.
Sabeer Bhatia is an advocate and role model for Young Indians with a dream for success and has proven that with determination and a hunger to want the best for yourself pays off! Sabeer ventured into a project only to find inspiration for an email service that is known by people all over the world today – Hotmail!
Advice from Entrepreneur Sabeer Bhatia: ‘Provide the Same Value at a Cheaper Price’