Technology is the field to enter if you want to become a billionaire at a young age (and you don’t come from a family that has a billion-dollar wealth). Think of all the billionaires who have been billionaires for years and are now in their 40s, 50s, and 60s; names like Peter Thiel, Elon Musk, Sergey Brin, Larry Page, Jeff Bezos, and Bill Gates quickly spring to mind. In addition to being in their late 40s to early 60s, they all have the trait of having made their fortunes in the technology sector.
The number of young software innovators who become billionaires before turning 30 has increased over the past ten years. Furthermore, there are no immediate signs that this tendency will slow down. The tech revolution that has been creating young millionaires for decades began in the United States, but it has since expanded to other parts of the world. The average net worth of the 143 tech billionaires in the world is $6 billion. Half of those $3 billion is the average net worth of billionaires who did not make their money in technology. Why are they different? Because they are very simple to scale and grow, tech companies have an advantage, according to Peter Thiel. Tech firms also enjoy high profit margins and relatively cheap operating costs. He advocated this theory in his best-selling book “Zero to One.”
Let’s look at the 10 youngest tech millionaires in the world right now (11 individuals if you add the Collison brothers from Stripe as one entry).
No. 8 Pavel Durov (36)
Value: $2.7 billion
Pavel Durov founded the Russian social networking site VK and the Telegram Messenger. He launched VKontakte (VK) in 2006, the year he received his bachelor’s degree. When he alleged Vladimir Putin’s cronies had taken control of the company, he was fired as CEO of VK in 2014. He fled Russia with no intention of returning. Durov is the topic of the Russian book “The Durov Code: The True Story of VK and its Creator” and gave $1,000,000 to the Wikimedia Foundation.
Drew Houston (#7) (37)
$3 billion in net worth
Dropbox, a provider of online backup and storage, was founded and is led by Drew Houston. When Houston was a computer science student at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he originally had the idea for his business. Houston was notorious for forgetting his USB disk in his hostel. In order to make life a bit easier, he devised a way to store (and backup) his academic work online and access it from any computer.
Daniel Ek, #6 (38)
$4 billion in net worth
The Swedish software entrepreneur Daniel Ek established the music streaming service Spotify in 2006. Before its 2011 introduction in the US, Spotify spent three years just existing in Europe. Today When Spotify went public in April of 2018 at a valuation of $28 billion, Ek was left with a paper net worth of around $2.6 billion. At the time of the IPO, Spotify had 71 million paying subscribers and $5 billion in annual revenue. Spotify currently has over 140 million paid subscribers and is valued at over $60 billion.
Frank Wang #5 (41)
Value: $4.8 billion
Dajiang Innovation Technology Co. (DJI), which controls 70% of the consumer drone market, was founded by Frank Wang. In 2006, Wang started DJI in his dormitory in Hong Kong. He is now working hard to equal the success of other leading Chinese businesses like Alibaba and the smartphone maker Xiaomi. Contrary to those two instances, DJI is positioned to become the first Chinese business to dominate its sector.
Evan Spiegel, #4 (30)
$10 billion in assets
While attending Stanford, Bobby Murphy, Reggie Brown, and Evan Spiegel invented Snapchat. Snapchat accepted an investment from venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins in August 2014, valuing the business at $10 billion overall. Snap Inc. made its debut on the New York Stock Exchange on March 2, 2017. The company opened at $24 instead of the anticipated $17 per share when it went public. Spiegel generated a $272 million gain before taxes (approximately $180 million after taxes) from the sale of 16 million shares on the IPO day. Spiegel, who was 26 years old when Snap started trading, was one of the youngest CEOs of a public business at the time. Snap Inc. is currently valued at $22 billion.
Third: Brian Chesky (39)
$11 billion net worth
In October 2007, Brian Chesky, the creator of Airbnb, arrived in San Francisco. He intended to stay the night with Joe Gebbia, a friend. The rent on Gebbia’s home would be divided between the two young men. The only issue was that Chesky owed $1,150 in rent and only had $1,000. San Francisco was having the major Industrial Designers Society of America conference the week Chesky arrived, and every hotel room in the city was booked solid. Gebbia and Chesky had an idea. They made the decision to host conference participants in their home as a bed and breakfast. They possessed three air mattresses but no further beds or even bedrooms. They dubbed themselves Airbed and Breakfast and inflated them. Over the course of the conference, three people stayed with Chesky and Gebbia. Each person paid $80 each night. They also received a free breakfast and a tour of the city for the money. A $100 billion idea was then born as a result.
#2. Huang Zhang (37)
Value: $16 billion
In 2012, Zhang Yiming established the Chinese technology firm ByteDance. By 2019, the content platform had over 800 million daily users and a $75 billion valuation, making Zhang a multi-billionaire. However, Zhang is now more well-known for TikTok, the most well-liked offering from ByteDance.
Mark Zuckerberg, first (36)
Value: $104 billion
On February 4, 2004, Mark Zuckerberg launched thefacebook.com from his dormitory at Harvard. In his second year, he left Harvard to relocate to Palo Alto and devote himself entirely to Facebook. In May 2012, Facebook went public, instantly making Zuckerberg worth $15 billion. On August 7, 2020, his net worth became the first to surpass $100 billion.
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