8 Inspirational Founders Who Became Self-made Billionaires of the United States
Most of us wish to live a billionaire lifestyle and also dream big, to earn tons of money at an early age. However, not all of us are successful in fulfilling our ambitions of becoming the next big billionaire in the industry.
With the evolution of the Startup Industry, many young innovators and passionate entrepreneurs have found a great platform to establish their own dream venture. The startup culture during its prime have also helped many budding entrepreneurs to make it big in the industry. Being said that, the path to entrepreneurial success is not an easy route. The biggest challenge which most of the upcoming thinkers and innovators face is the uncertainty that lies in the future.
No matter, how innovative you are, if your idea doesn’t match up with a targeted audience, you would never get a chance to taste the success you always dreamed of. Also, we live in a society where nobody cares about the idea until it works in the market. Hence, most of these people who come up with innovative ideas take a step back because of the doubts questioning the potential of their idea in real life. Nobody wishes to take the risk of failing and ruining their career before it even begins.
Another challenge most of the startups face is the funding. Between Industrial Revolution and the startup boom, the idea of running a business often remained as a forte of rich families. There were some exceptions but it wasn’t so common for a simple person with a mediocre financial background to start a venture that develops into a billion dollar company.
However, everything changed with the startup culture which gave hope to budding entrepreneurs who are passionate about their innovating ideas, that they can truly become the next billionaire entrepreneur in the industry.
To inspire furthermore, here is a list of 9 self-made billionaires in the United States who started their journey with a simple dream of following their passion:
Bill Gates – Microsoft
Undoubtedly, being the richest entrepreneur of the world, Bill Gates deserves the top place in the list of startup founders who became self-made billionaires. He founded Microsoft at a young age of 19 and there was no turning back for this inspiring computer programmer. If Bill Gates preferred completing his education at Harvard instead of building Microsoft, I wonder if I would be writing this article today on my laptop running on a Windows Operating System or you will be reading my articles on your PC running on a Windows OS. Although, he is a great computer programmer, Bill Gates is known for his great business skills as he developed a market for Windows PCs against tough competitors like IBM and Apple.
Steve Jobs – Apple
Steve Jobs is, undoubtedly the most iconic visionaries of this century. Even after being thrown out of Apple, he didn’t give up on his entrepreneurial ambitions and founded successful companies like NeXT and Pixar. Apart from his sheer business skills, Steve Jobs is highly recognized as a great inspiration gaining the status of being the default mentor of budding startup entrepreneurs. Considered as the one of the iconic comebacks in the corporate world after being kicked out of Apple after a power struggle, Steve Jobs pulled Apple out of bankruptcy and set the company back to profitability. Since his comeback, Steve Jobs has been the spearhead of the billion dollar company and went on to launch some revolutionary products such as iPod, iPhone and iPad which changed the whole concept of personal computing today.
Lawrence Page and Sergey Brin– Google
Two Standford students, Lawrence Page and Sergey Brin, who founded Google, are next on our list. Initially started as a college research project by two fellow students, Google went on to become a billion dollar company after reigning over the search market for almost 2 decades. The growth of the internet industry and introduction of new search engines in the industry prompted both Page and Brin to develop a new search engine that didn’t rank the pages on the basis of number of keyword counts on the specific page. Instead, they developed a system called PageRank, which analyzed the relationships between websites and ranked pages accordingly. Then, the research project was called Backrub initially as the core base of ranking the pages was determined using the number of backlinks that estimated the importance of a website. Seeing the potential of the tons of information flowing on the web, both Larry Page and Sergey Brin decided to name the project as Googol (i.e. The digit 1 followed by a hundred zeroes). However, owing to a spelling mistake, they stuck with Google, which currently is the No.1 Search Engine company dominating almost 70% searches over the web.
Lawrence Ellison – Oracle
Founder of Oracle, Larry Ellison is second on our list. Again, when the market for database vendors was dominated by Microsoft SQL Server and Sybase, Ellison formed Oracle in 1977 based on the study of Edgar F. Codd’s about relational database design. Ellison led a tough childhood who suffered from Pneumonia when he was just 9 years old and was an adopted child after his unwed Jewish mother left him to her aunt and uncle. In spite of all the hardships, he founded Oracle which was called Software Development Laboratories (SDL) with two more partners with a collaborated investment of just $2000. The company was renamed as Oracle Systems Corporation in 1982 after the success of its flagship product, the Oracle Database. There was no looking for Ellison or Oracle since then. He has been among the top 10 richest people in the world since his first inclusion in 2010.
Jeffrey Bezos– Amazon
If Microsoft and Apple revolutionized the PC industry, Amazon.com revolutionized the way we shop today. Amazon.com is the brainchild of Jeff Bezos, who is credited as the main person behind the growth of overall e-Commerce industry. The amazing idea Amazon.com was conceptualized by Bezos during a cross country drive from New York to Seattle. Like many other successful startups, Amazon.com was also set up in the garage by Bezos initially after he left his premium job at New York hedge fund after seeing the rapidly growing internet use in the U.S. Being spellbound by the idea of space travel, Jeff Bezos also founded Blue Origin, a human spaceflight startup company with a concept of setting up hotels, amusement parks, colonies and small cities that accommodates around 2 or 3 million people while orbiting around the Earth. In 2013, Jeff Bezos acquired Washington Post, hence entering the media industry.
Mark Zuckerberg– Facebook
Among all the self-made billionaires, Mark Zuckerberg is the most talked about startup founder all over the world, both positively and negatively. Although, he is one of the five co-founders of Facebook, Zuckerberg attracts the majority of spotlight for Facebook. He launched Facebook.com, along with his fellow students, from Harvard University’s dormitory rooms. In 2007, he rose to instant fame when he became a billionaire at a young age of 23 owing to the huge success of Facebook. Today, Facebook enjoys its No.1 slot as the giant social networking website with over 1.44 billion monthly active users. Following the path of his mentor, Steve Jobs, Zuckerberg also receives a one-dollar-salary as the CEO of Facebook. Lately, he has been receiving a lot of criticism because of the Internet.org project, which is considered to be a threat to the Net Neutrality of the World Wide Web by the experts.
Jack Dorsey – Twitter
If Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has made it to the list, there’s no doubt that the face of Twitter, Jack Dorsey would be far behind. While working at Odeo, which wasn’t doing great at that time, Jack Dorsey delivered an idea of Twitter which revolved around “status” during one of the in-house hackathons at Odeo. The idea caught the attention of Noah Glass who was the co-founder of Odeo, and the rest is history. Currently, Twitter is one of the top social networking sites highly used across the globe by its 500 million users. Jack Dorsey, the brain behind Twitter, took the social networking industry by storm with its unique concept of 140-character messages popularly known as Tweets. In 2010, Dorsey found another startup company called Square Inc. The company is known for its mobile device called Square that allows small business owners to accept debit and credit card payments directly using their smartphones. With such great companies under his success portfolio, Jack Dorsey received “Innovator of the Year” award by The Wall Street Journal in 2012.