Rich Barton credits runaway Internet success to transparency

Rich Barton, who co-founded Zillow in 2005 and currently serves as the $3.4 billion firm’s executive chairman, in a New York Times profile attributes his immense success as an Internet entrepreneur to a focus on making previously hidden information available to consumers.

Barton brought travel info to the consumer as founder of the travel site Expedia in the mid-1990s, co-founded Zillow in 2005 to bring consumers housing info they didn’t have easy access to before, and brought transparency to the job market as co-founder of Glassdoor in 2007.

“If we’re doing things for regular folks that make their lives better and save them money and give them transparency, we’re on the side of the angels,” Barton told the Times.

His Internet startups typically make money by providing consumers with valuable information and then charging professionals for access to them. “We live in fear and awe of consumers,” Barton said.

Last week, President Obama named Barton an inaugural member of the Presidential Ambassadors of Global Entrepreneurship, a group that will advise policymakers on how to foster innovation and entrepreneurship.

Source: New York Times