Of ten startups, nine are sure to fail, but this is not a reason to conclude that 10% of ideas invariably turn into a path to success. Triumph requires either decades of hard labor or a brilliant idea.
As graduate students at Stanford University, Larry Page and Sergey Brin decided to create their own version of the search engine. A curiosity called the “Internet” is gaining popularity, the need for search tools is already in full growth, but what’s the point of making a clone of existing systems? The concept of their search engine involved analyzing the number and relevance of links on pages, which made it possible to rank sites. Instead of a primitive search by keywords – specialized issuance, which formed the image of Google, which was followed by other search engines.
The personal fortune of Sergey Brin is estimated at $107.1 billion, about the same at the disposal of his colleague Page ($144.4 billion). Both are not tight-fisted hucksters, stock market speculators, or IT dictators. Rather, they are romantic innovators who do not hesitate to direct Google funds to the development of projects that are not of a direct commercial nature. But who’s to say what to control Android, YouTube, etc. not profitable and not prestigious?
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The idea was crazy, and in the country the dominant concept of “personal space” and potentially dangerous, so it initially took the form of a joke, an experiment. Safe, interesting and, quite unexpectedly for the author, promising, as the reaction of the target audience, fellow students of the future Harvard graduate Mark Zuckerberg, led him to think about the commercial use of the project. This is how thefacebook.com site was born, which transformed into the social network Facebook, and then into the global company Meta (includes Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, etc.) with a capitalization of $839 billion. And a talented student-prankster became the youngest billionaire in history – Today Mark the Cunning “worth” $104.6 billion.
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At the dawn of the information age, in the 70s of the last century, young Michael Bloomberg noticed that financial institutions willingly trade in information, but in private. No one undertook to organize mass access to news and current reports – troublesome and unprofitable, because at that time computers were looked at as NASA toys. And since there is no competition, the Bloomberg agency, having occupied all available information networks, quickly became the leading source of financial information. Michael Bloomberg himself has at least $70 billion in his accounts.
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Jeff Bezos was designing a new international trade network at the same time as the Internet was turning from a military science experiment into a mass consumer product. And when the turning point came, he played ahead of the curve by launching a trading platform, which was not even properly debugged. Luck loves the brave, a year later the range of the online store expanded, after three more Amazon goes through the IPO procedure, and today it is nothing less than a symbol of Internet commerce. Bezos cleverly used the opportunity to digitally represent an infinite number of goods, without burdensome costs and binding to a specific place, conditionally making Amazon a dimensionless global marketplace. As a result – $170.4 billion personally from the founding father, now the richest man on Earth.
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At the age of 22, Larry Ellison, inspired by pioneering work in the field of relational data models, was carried away by the development of the DBMS, having worked, including for the CIA. But attempts to create their own commercial product were not shaky, not rolled due to IBM’s refusal to cooperate – the compatibility of the first versions of Oracle with the then PCs left much to be desired. And Ellison changed course, betting on a universal DBMS, without being tied to a specific platform, as a result of which, within a few years, Oracle became the most popular database system in the world. The current capitalization of the company is more than $220 billion, and the talented Larry Ellison has repeatedly entered the TOP-10 of American billionaires. Now his fortune is estimated at $ 109.6 billion.
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Bill Gates was fond of computer technology from adolescence, but had almost no access to the machines themselves, which led to his development as a brilliant software creator. In the 70-80s of the last century, software was considered an appendage of the hardware, something virtual and without commercial value – it was not difficult to manipulate the delusional bosses of large companies. By entering into several legally flawless, but frankly dastardly contracts with IT giants, Microsoft effectively monopolized the commercial software segment by the end of the century. Gates took full advantage of this, becoming the richest man in the world with a fortune of $ 132.1 billion. And even today, when Microsoft had to thoroughly make room, the company is valued at $ 2.31 trillion.
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Marc Benioff is considered one of the first people who saw the promise of cloud computing and became a pioneer in this area. The Salesforce structure he founded provides a full range of services for the operation of complex commercial software without the need to access it yourself. The client needs to pay for a subscription and access the Internet – input, storage, data processing, auditing, and so on takes place in remote data centers. Salesforce has made history thanks to the unprecedented speed of development and today is the market leader in CRM-systems. Benioff’s personal fortune is $8.5 billion.
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The company of the same name no longer exists, but its founder, Mark Cuban, managed to make himself known and earn several billion. The idea of broadcasting over computer networks, via the then-young Internet, proved to be one of the most successful homemade technologies in the IT industry. Commonplace today, in the heyday of the web, it caught Yahoo!’s attention so much that it acquired Broadcast.com for $5.9 billion. Mark Cuban’s net worth is estimated at $4.5 billion.
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The story of the founder of the largest online store today is typical for China in the era of market communism – in 1995, young Jack Ma (Jack Ma) during a visit to the United States got acquainted with the Internet. And he instantly fell in love with the new technology, not forgetting to note that there is nothing like it in his homeland yet. Everything else is a matter of technology, having consistently failed several projects and gained experience, he created a trading platform on the Web, acting as an intermediary between manufacturers and buyers. Due to the huge number of both in China, the Alibaba service in a matter of months attracted the attention of such large investors as Goldman Sachs and Softbank, who invested tens of millions of dollars. The current capitalization of Alibaba reaches $2.36 trillion, and Jack Ma manages $36 billion of personal funds.
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Ukrainian Jan Koum, creating a new messenger for smartphones, pursued a simple goal – to help people stay in touch. The fundamental difference from other services from the same area was the lack of direct material interest, because Jan Kum is not without reason known as an altruist and philanthropist. However, this did not stop WhatsApp from developing, acquiring new features and taking away the clientele from competitors. According to the latest data, the messenger is used by more than a billion users around the world, and the fortune of the founder himself is estimated at $9.2 billion.
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In January 1994, two students at Stanford University, Jerry Yang and David Filo, decided to make the world happy by explaining to everyone what the Internet is and how to navigate it. Of course, not for free – born as a directory of sites, over time, Yahoo! has turned into a multifunctional web portal with a redundant set of tools for working on the World Wide Web. And since this happened during the heyday of interest in a new phenomenon, for many residents of the Western Hemisphere, acquaintance with the Internet took place with the direct support of this service. As a result, Jerry Yang is worth $2.8 billion and David Filo is worth $3.6 billion.
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Formally, there was no insight, no surprising accident, only the bare work and perseverance of Michael Dell (Michael Dell), practicing the technique of “direct sales”. It formed the basis of the new company, which began to specialize in the assembly and supply of exactly the equipment that the customer needs. And so in the case of Dell, there is no difference between “shipped” and “sold”, and sales growth for years in a row is explosive. Michael Dell received a fortune of $ 59.2 billion for his services.
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Improving step by step the system of mounting and sealed housings for miniature cameras, avid surfer Nick Woodman would not have achieved anything. By his own admission, the business was lousy, and in desperation, Woodman began to simply distribute prototype cameras to friends and fellow athletes with a request to take as many pictures as possible. This was the key to success – when videos with desperate madmen began to massively gain likes on YouTube, the world saw firsthand the charm of extreme sports. In the realities of today, this term is inextricably linked with the GoPro trademark. Woodman himself, having achieved his cherished goal, is not going to turn into a mercenary capitalist, preferring to spend time supporting an audience of professional extreme sportsmen. He can afford it, he has already earned more than $2.5 billion.