Rich Barton may not be quite as well known as the tech superstars of Silicon Valley.
But the Expedia and Zillow co-founder — who studied economics and engineering at Stanford — is certainly making his mark on the tech industry with a unique investment philosophy that’s built around empowering consumers with more information.
Those in Seattle already know about Barton’s success, as well an investment philosophy which he dubs “power to the people.” Seattleites also have heard the self-described “closet revolutionary” describe why he likes taking big home run swings, rather than small bunts.
In fact, several startup companies — including Avvo and RealSelf — have benefitted from Barton’s investments, insight and think-big mentality.
Now, Barton is getting a bit more exposure, with Nick Wingfield of The New York Times profiling the multi-millionaire entrepreneur and investor in a story titled “The Art of ‘Something from Nothing.’”
Wingfield notes that Barton is not part of the Silicon Valley “it” crowd.
“Personally, I like living here better,” Barton says of his adopted hometown of Seattle. “People do other things. I can go to a soccer game, and I’m not standing with the co-founder of this and a venture capitalist at that.”
Barton had similar remarks when he appeared with his good friend Nick Hanauer on the GeekWire podcast last year, noting that those from the Pacific Northwest are less entitled and less promiscuous and a “little more in touch with nature, and the world.”
But Barton also stressed the important ties between the Bay Area and Seattle.
“They are our big brother. We are their little brother,” he said. “And we can feel bad about being their little brother, and say: ‘Well, why doesn’t he come to my soccer game, I go to his?”
You can read the full piece — which also dives into Barton’s investments in companies such as GlassDoor and RealSelf — here.