Here is how Robin Li started Baidu
Robin Li was born on 17 November 1968 into a family of five where he happens to be the only male child, they lived in Yangquan Shanxi China.
The Shanxi area was known to be a not so friendly environment with the worst educational facilities, but Robin Li was determined to get a sound education.
After Robin finished with his Bachelor’s degree he hustled for a job and got one. He worked in this Beijing company for almost two years before he got admission into a Fellowship program at the State University of New York.
He completed his master’s in science at New York where he was also enrolled for a PhD program in computer science but he declined.
It was while working at IDD that Robin started working on page-ranking algorithms and finally developed Rankdex. Rankdex was the first search engine to implement page-ranking and site-scoring algorithms to check the quality of a website.
Rankdex was the main inspiration that led to to Google’s PageRank
Robin Li got a U.S. patent for his ranking algorithm in 1997 and after that, decided to quit his job at IDD. He later went to work for Infoseek, a company that also works on search engine algorithms.
As a matter of fact, while working at Infoseek Li developed a program for Go.com, the program helped users do an image-based search.
He didn’t work there for long, in fact he only spent two years at Infoseek before leaving to look for another. Actually this time Robin Li moved back to China to focus on his own project which was Baidu.
Li worked on Baidu along side his friend Eric Xu, they used a similar algorithm as that of Rankdex to develop Baidu. Robin Li wrote the whole code for Baidu and launched it while at his hotel room in China near Peking University.
By 2001 Baidu was already offering bids to display ads on the search engine, which also led to the instant growth of the company.
Robin Li became chairman of the company while Xu became the CEO, but in 2004 Xu resigned as CEO and Li took over.
Li took Baidu to NASDAQ where every share in the company rised by 350%, did you get that, 350%. To put that in perspective, every share worth $5 became $50.
Baidu became the most used search engine in China by 2010 and Li was named in CNN’s Money annual list of “50 people who matter now.” Baidu earned the title “Google of China” and have since went on to work on bigger projects.