In the midst of all of the activity that’s going on in America concerning immigration reform in 2015, we should remember that the contributions of hard working people from foreign places have enhanced this country in so many ways, especially in the area of technology. In fact, the co-founder and former CEO of Yahoo! Inc., one of the founders of You Tube, and the creator of Google are all from distant lands.
2015 makes it ten years that we all have been enjoying what is one of the most well-loved sites ever created, You Tube. It started out as a fun idea in a garage, but now over half of the videos that are viewed online today are from this sharing site. One of the three founders is Steve Chen, who was born and raised in Taiwan. In the early 1990’s, Steve and his family immigrated to the United States when he was 15. He attended the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champain), and after graduation worked at what is probably the best site online today to send and receive money via business transactions – PayPal.
Up until he was about ten years old, Steve and his family lived under what was called Martial Law. It was a militarized society inflicted by the Taiwan government (the Republic of China), and is when a country has virtually no civil liberties, freedom of the press, privacy (curfews and checkpoints were everywhere), freedom of speech, and when there is major food and healthcare rationing.
Even before buying You Tube in 2006 for $1.6 billion, Google was the most popular search engine on the internet. Sergey Brin, who is originally from Moscow, Russia, was attending Stanford University in the late 1990’s when he met Larry Page, the other original creator of the mega internet probing tool that is now used by billions every day. The two of them really were just working on a research project, and their goal was to try to organize the pages on the internet. They figured the best way to do it would be to list them by popularity, and to make the most useful results after a search appear highest on the page.
The name Google came from a term in mathematics that represents the number 1 followed by 100 zeros called a “googol”. It was almost natural for Brin to elevate into numbers and science being that his father was a math economist with the Soviets. Sergey was born in August of 1973 and immigrated to the United States when he was about six years old, during a time when economic growth in Moscow had almost stopped completely. It actually did in 1980, around the time he and his family was leaving.
Before leaving Yahoo! Inc. in 2012, Jerry Yang (one of the co-founders of the company) had already proven himself as a business mastermind before redirecting his energy to the Stanford University Board of Trustees. Maybe it was because he felt at home there. It was the place where he met his wife, Akiko Yamazaki, a successful Wildlife Conservation Director. It was also where he’d met his close friend and business partner David Filo, the other founder of Yahoo. Jerry got his masters in engineering there at Stanford as well, and after Dave and he started a site called “Jerry and Dave’s Guide to the World Wide Web”, it became too popular to keep a secret, and eventually evolved into Yahoo. Not long after, the worldwide revolutionary online navigational guide was born.
Yang was born in Taiwan in the late 1960’s, and by the end of the 1970’s his family moved to the United States when he was 10. During that time, Taiwan was one of the fastest growing economies in the world. After the oil crisis in the early 1970’s, Premier Chiang-Ching-ku knew that to permanently upgrade the country it would cost about $300 billion, but was also very aware that the Taiwanese infrastructure was far behind much of the world’s. That was when the historically famous Ten Major Construction Projects (that included plans for seaports, energy plants, airports, and roads) began.
President Obama’s plan for immigration reform can ensure that future generations in America will benefit from the worldwide diversity and thinking of history-making entrepreneurs, such the three lifestyle changing revolutionaries mentioned above. One running similarity between Yang, Brin and Chen is that they all came to the United States as preteens, the same age as many of the brightest foreign students that now grace the halls of the wonderful learning institutions across our nation. One of the goals of President Obama’s Executive Order is to keep those promising students in the U.S., allow them to grow into productive citizens, attend colleges and universities here, and create jobs on American soil in the decades to come.
Contributing writer Limus Woods can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Giordano, B. 2014. What Would Life Be Like Under Martial Law? The Silver Bear Café. Retrieved from http://www.silverbearcafe.com/private/07.10/martiallaw.html
- Steve Chen. Biography. Retrieved from http://www.biography.com/people/steve-chen-201191#synopsis
Yeh, C. 18 July 2012. 25 Years After Taiwan Embraced Democracy, Netizens Wonder When It Will Be the Mainlands Turn. Tea Leaf Nation. Retrieved from http://www.tealeafnation.com/2012/07/25-years-after-taiwan-embraced-democracy-netizens-wonder-when-it-will-be-the-mainlands-turn/
- Jerry Yang Bio. Favorite Entrepreneurs.Retrieved from http://www.famous-entrepreneurs.com/jerry-yang
- Taiwan’s Economic Government. Small and Medium Enterprise Administration. Retrieved from http://www.moeasmea.gov.tw/ct.asp?xItem=72&CtNode=263&mp=2
Lambert, T. 2014. A Brief History of Russia. Retrieved from http://www.localhistories.org/russia.html
- Sergey Brin Bio. Biography. Retrieved from http://www.biography.com/people/sergey-brin-12103333#synopsis