Success didn't come easy for Harrison Tang, the CEO and co-founder of Spokeo — but he never backed down from a challenge.
When Tang first arrived to the U.S. from Taiwan at age 13, he didn't speak any English and desperately wanted to go back to his home country. To learn the language, he copied pages from the dictionary and read Jane Austin books.
He ended up getting into Stanford University, where he studied electrical engineering and met his future business partners. Right out of graduate school, Tang and his co-founders Eric Liang, Ray Chen and Michael Daly launched Spokeo, a leading people search engine, from his parents' basement in California.
But the team had to pivot from their original idea and survive near bankruptcy before finally reaching profitability. Now Spokeo has more than 18 million unique monthly visitors, and posted $78 million in revenue for 2015.
"My dad, he always wanted me to have the attitude of solving problems," Tang said. "It was about not giving up."