Top 14 Most Influential Entrepreneurs In The World
World Top Entrepreneur | The Money Gig

Top 14 Most Influential Entrepreneurs In The World

The 14 Successful Entrepreneurs on this list started off managing small enterprises and now they run some of the largest corporations in the world by constantly innovating, challenging, and developing in the right direction

World Top Entrepreneur | The Money Gig

“If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way.”

Self-employment has been flourishing over the past decade. In this age of the internet and technology, people are self-reliant to try and sell their ideas and pave the way towards achieving success. With even basic skills like creating a website or marketing products online or affiliating and using the right SEO techniques, people can drive change.

The most successful entrepreneurs in the world are individuals who oversee and run any company, particularly a business, with tremendous effort and risk. Successful Entrepreneurs are the best risk-takers and have achieved goals that were once thought to be impossible triumphs. 

Steve Jobs (Co-founder Apple Inc.)

Steve Jobs - Entrepreneur | The Money Gig

A global icon who shaped the worlds of technology and media. He is considered the father of the digital revolution and massive innovation and a design perfectionist. He was one of the most creative and daring CEOs. A very remarkable man, extremely smart, a spellbinding, mesmerizing leader of people.

Steve Jobs was a true son of Silicon Valley born in 1955 in San Francisco. He was raised in its freewheeling culture of experimentation and innovation. He enrolled in Oregon’s reed college but dropped out to travel after just one semester.

When he returned to his childhood home in California, he became interested in what was then an entirely new concept “The Personal Computer”. He joined the meetings of the Homebrew computer club with a man who would become his partner in founding Apple computer- Steve Wozniak.  

Jobs and Wozniak took time off their day jobs to set up shop in the family garage in Los Altos. To bring their ideas to life, the Apple team needed capital. Jobs convinced Angel investor Mike Markkula to invest around $90,000 and a line of credit in the fledgling company. Jobs wanted to bring the Graphical User Interface to Apple computers.

He set up shop in an outlying building in the Apple complex and his intense drive began to take its toll on the Macintosh team. When the exhausted team finished, they had a revolutionary device- the computer that tamed the complexity of everything associated with the world of computing. 

Steve Jobs passed away on October 5th, 2011 in Palo Alto at the age of 56. At the time of his death, Apple Inc. was the most valuable company in the world. Anyone would say- What’s the big deal? Anybody could have done the Mac, anyone would do the iPhone, anybody could have built-in CD ROMs into computers but the Reality is — Nobody else did it! Today the net worth of Apple Inc. is more than $2 trillion.

Henry Ford (Founder Ford Motors)

Henry Ford - Entrepreneur | The Money Gig

Henry Ford ranks among the most important figures of the industrial era. Through his dogged persistence, engineering brilliance and innovative production techniques, he pioneered assembly-line production, driving down costs and making automobile ownership a staple feature of middle-class American life, creating an empire in the process. 

Henry Ford was born on July 30th, 1863 in Greenfield Township, Michigan. The Ford family were middle-class farmers. The five children worked hard to help their father to perform the day’s labour. Henry pitched in enthusiastically, though he never enjoyed the work. By the time he had reached his teens, Henry was obsessed with gadgets. 

When he was thirteen, Henry saw a steam-powered motor vehicle for the first time. He was fascinated with it and instantly recognized its potential to replace the horse as the major means of transportation. From that point, he was obsessed with automobiles.  

In 1885, Ford was tasked with fixing an Otto engine, a large stationary single-cylinder internal combustion four-stroke engine designed by German Nikolaus Otto. After pulling it apart and analyzing every component, he put it back into working form and then proceeded to make his own version of it. By 1890, he was working on a petrol-powered engine when he was hired as an engineer for the Detroit Edison Company.

In 1896, the countless evenings tinkering his home workshop finally paid off with the unveiling of his first self-propelled vehicle. He called it the Ford Quadricycle. Edison was intrigued and delighted with Ford’s invention. 

Ford then developed the Mark two model with numerous improvements. This caught the attention of a Detroit baron William Murphy, who put his money behind the young inventor propelling Henry to resign and start his own company. Due to the undue pressure of rushing production, the vehicles produced were of a lower quality, and the company was dissolved in 1901.

He then put his efforts into designing and building a 26 horsepower automobile in October 1901. After soundly beating the local champion in a 10 miles race, he won back the confidence of his investors and The Ford motor company was born with Henry as the chief engineer. On June 16, 1903, Henry and 12 others invested $28,000 and created Ford Motor Company.   

It has made vast amounts of Wealth from the sale of cars and also earned a lot of fame, especially to the family that owns the company. As the Ford Motor Company owner, Henry became one of the richest and best-known people in the world and the chief developer of the assembly line technique of mass production. As of now, the Ford company is worth $270 billion.

Mark Zuckerberg (Co-founder Facebook Inc.)

Mark Zuckerberg - Entrepreneur | The Money Gig

Mark Zuckerberg, the programming prodigy that turned to town for making cool things into a social network dynasty. The website he started in his dorm room when he was 19years old is one of the most influential in the world with profiles over a quarter of the world’s population. Zuckerberg became a self-made billionaire before his 24th birthday.

Mark Zuckerberg was born on May 14th 1984 to middle-class parents in the outskirts of New York. His father told him to go basic in the early teens and Mark really took to it. He created a program that allowed the computer at his Dad’s dental office to communicate with the family computer. The program was an early form of the messenger.

While in school, he excelled at a number of subjects from computer science to languages and literature. He was transferred to the Exeter prep school where he met his good friend Adam D’Angelo (founder of Quora). Between them, they created Music software called Synapse that learned what music people like and made suggestions based on it.

It was created as a high school project but drew the attention of big software companies including Microsoft who apparently offered him a rumored $1 million for it as well as a job before college. Despite the job offer Zuckerberg chose to attend Harvard doing Computer Science and philosophy.

Trying out projects, Zuckerberg landed creating Facemash in October 2003, with the intention of finding the most attractive person on campus. Initially, the website brought up two photos of Harvard students and slowly rankings were formed. He created the entire thing during a tipsy eight-hour coding session.  

He had a knack for building social websites that people wanted to use. The idea of Facebook was to move the physical books the university issued – with the picture of all the students called Facebooks online. It allowed students to update their recent photos and could know each other’s views, interests and relationship status. 

Zuckerberg bought the domain on January 11th for $30. The young entrepreneur who became an idol for every startup enthusiast across the world is now the face of the multi-millionaire company. Mark Zuckerberg is named among the 100 wealthiest and most influential people in the world.   

Jeff Bezos (Founder Amazon)

MJeff Bezos - Entrepreneur | The Money Gig

Jeff Bezos is one of the most successful technology tycoons in the world. The audacious entrepreneur rewrote the rules of retail and runs the most successful online retailer company in the world – created back in 1994. Jeff seemed to realize that being the singular place where a consumer can find and buy virtually anything that is available in the retail market was a critical part of the company’s growth strategy. 

Jeffery Preston Bezos was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico on January 12th, 1964 to Jacklyn Bezos – a 17yr old high school student. Jacklyn divorced his biological father and married Miguel Bezos, a Cuban immigrant and petroleum engineer when he adopted four-year-old Bezos in 1968.

As a teen, Bezos embarked on his first serious entrepreneurial effort – A summer camp based out of his house with an emphasis on science and literature. Five students signed up at $150 a pop. In 1986, he graduated from Princeton University with degrees in Electrical and Computer Engineering. 

It wasn’t the only thing he found interesting, he came upon a stat that astounded him. He saw that the Internet was growing 2300 percent per year and he just became obsessed with that number. Studying the top 20 mail-order businesses Bezos saw an opportunity online. In July 1994, he quit his secure Wall Street job to pursue his dream to create one of the world’s First online bookstores. His first investors- His parents who he talked about with the Academy of achievement. 

In the summer of 1994, Jeff Bezos and his wife headed to Washington State armed with $300,000 from his parents. Bezos then hired two programmers to write the code. He dubbed the company Amazon after the seemingly endless South American river with its countless tributaries. On July 16, 1995 opened its virtual doors to the public. 

The fledgling Amazon had no advertising budget. Initial sales were generated solely by word-of-mouth. The site caught on. Within a month books had been sold to customers in all 50 states and 45 other countries. His goal for growing the company could be summed up in a single line: ‘ Get Big Fast !’

The expanded product line and high volume sales paid off for both and Jeff Bezos. On December 20th 1999, he has anointed Time magazine’s Person of the Year. It was the ultimate legitimization of his starry-eyed dream of conquering the world through e-commerce.

Jeff Bezos has his fingers in everybody’s pie- He’s got video streaming, Music and even Android apps selling. Jeff Bezos is not just a visionary with visions, he’s an architect with blueprints. Jeff Bezos, the billionaire CEO of Amazon and the richest person in the world, now has a fortune that exceeds $200 billion.

William Bill Gates (Co-founder Microsoft)

Bill Gates - Entrepreneur | The Money Gig

If there is someone who influences the late 20th regent of the entrepreneur then there is just one person. He is the one who started a small business out of a tiny space and grew it into one of the most powerful companies in the world. Bill Gates continues to inspire us with his impatient optimism, that together, we can remake the world as it should be. 

Born on October 28th, 1955 in Seattle, William Henry Bill Gates is one of the world’s most iconic and influential technology innovators. Unlike many of the computer world’s other innovators, Gates was relatively privileged as a young child. He attended lakeside school in his native Seattle which was fairly a demanding school. The children were exposed to revolutionary computers.  

Gates quickly grew passionate about the new computer systems and was fascinated immediately. He and a small group of friends, including his future business partner Paul Allen, took every opportunity to explore the possibilities of the new technology, teaching themselves the basics of computer programming.

Although they were all precariously gifted programmers, it became clear that Gates had a unique talent for business as well, and he quickly emerged as the leader of the group. Gates and Paul Allen closely followed events in the computer industry and foresaw that the development of microprocessors would lead to the creation of compact affordable, personal computers that would someday supplant the bulky mainframe systems used in business and industry.

In 1970 at the age of 15, together they developed ‘Traf-O-Data’- A computer program that monitored traffic patterns in Seattle. Admitted $20,000 for their efforts. Lagging a firm grasp on college’s purpose and increasing dissolution with higher education, Gates dropped out of Harvard University.

Gates along with his friend Paul started working on one of the first PC software. The pair were galvanized by a cover story in Popular Electronics, promoting the Altair 8800, an inexpensive microcomputer produced by a company called MITS in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Gates and Paul saw this as the beginning of a new industry. No one had yet developed software for the Altair, and the young programmers saw a unique opportunity.

Later in 1975, Gates and Paul formed a partnership company that they called Microsoft- A blend of microcomputer and software. However, Microsoft started off on the shaky ground. Though their basic software program for the Altair computer offered royalty, it wasn’t meeting their overhead. 

In February 1976,  Gates wrote an open letter to the computer officials saying “ Continued distribution and use of the software without paying for it would prevent good software from being Written”. Later, Microsoft wrote software in different formats for different computer companies.

At the beginning of 1979, Gates moved the company’s operation to Washington. With his acumen being Software development and a keen business sense, Gates placed himself as the head of Microsoft which grossed approximately $2.5 million.

At the height of his success, Gates turned his attention from business to philanthropy. In 2000, he and his wife founded the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and have given over $28 billion to charities focused on scientific research and international development. Since its founding in 1975, Microsoft has grown into one of the most successful tech firms in the world and has experienced decades of continued success with a net worth of more than $1 trillion.    

Brian Chesky (Co-founder Airbnb)

Brian Chesky - Entrepreneur | The Money Gig

A simple idea and good timing turned Brian Chesky, the CEO of Airbnb into one of the world’s newest self-made billionaires. Airbnb is one of the biggest unicorn businesses of the modern age, creating a sharing economy centered around renting out rooms of your home to strangers.

He was born in 1981, in a small town in the state of New York. He was a bodybuilder and hockey player who barely knew anything about tech before starting Airbnb. In 1999, he enrolled at the Rhode Island School of Design from which he would receive a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Design. His career path seemed certain. 

Chesky began his journey as an entrepreneur during his college days when he used to run a hockey team. When his hockey team was canceled at the last moment, he and his teammates began rebranding their team. They transformed the team and brought a new mascot as the team’s logo which helped to revitalize it. On a similar note, he got the idea for Airbnb. 

In 2007, Chesky who was working in Los Angeles as an industrial designer decided to quit his job and move to San Francisco. A college friend named Joe Gebbia called Chesky to offer him an apartment to share in the city. 

In October 2007, a conference held by the Industrial Designers Society of America caused all hotel rooms in the city to be sold out and created a spike in rental rates. It never occurred to him until arriving that he didn’t actually have enough money to pay rent. Even worse, practically all of the hotel rooms in the city were sold out because of the conference. 

The two friends immediately hit upon an idea: Why not turn their apartment into a little bed and breakfast? They named this little project of theirs “Air Bed and Breakfast,” in reference to the air mattresses the guests slept on. They hosted 3 visitors over the weekend, found they loved having guests to show around the city—and made over $1,000. 

Shortly after in 2008, Nathan Blecharczyk, Chesky’s former roommate, joined the new venture as Chief Technology Officer and co-founder— was officially launched. A new business model was born. Initially, they raised money by selling their own branded cereal—based on the 2008 presidential candidates—“Obama O’s” and “Cap’n McCains” which earned them more than $30,000. In 2009, the business name was abbreviated to Airbnb. 

The company never stopped moving forward, and as of August 2020, Airbnb has a market value of more than $31 billion. As Chesky himself put it, “It’s very rare to be the person who starts a company and be the person who scales it to 1,000 people. You have to be a very different person at each stage.”

Chesky particularly wants to help educate younger people, regardless of socioeconomic background, about entrepreneurism. He says: “the one thing I wasn’t exposed to was entrepreneurism. I never met a CEO and I didn’t think that was possible.” 

Sergey Brin (Co-founder Google Inc.) 

Sergey Brin - Entrepreneur | The Money Gig

Sergey Brin is an American Computer scientist and an Internet entrepreneur, most famous as the co-founder of Google Inc.

Sergey Brin was born in Moscow, Russia in 1973. He immigrated with his family to the United States at the age of six and grew up in Adelphi, Maryland. He graduated from Eleanor Roosevelt High School in 1990 and entered the University of Maryland, College Park. In only three years, he graduated with the highest honors in mathematics and computer science. 

Brin soon authored more than a dozen papers on data mining and pattern extraction for leading academic journals, including “Extracting Patterns and Relations from the World Wide Web,” “Scalable Techniques for Mining Causal Structures” and many more. He also created a website for film ratings and designed a software application to translate documents from TeX, the text processing language often used for scientific papers, to HTML (hypertext markup language), the code in which Web pages are written.

At Stanford, Sergey Brin met fellow computer science graduate student Larry Page, who recruited him to join his research project. The Internet and the World Wide Web were just taking shape as major forces in telecommunication when Larry Page and Sergey Brin entered Stanford. Page wanted to devise a method for determining how many other Web pages linked to anyone given place. 

Page soon found that ranking websites by the number of links leading to it from other sites was a far more useful measure of a Web document’s relevance to a user’s search criteria. To explore the possibilities of his new “PageRank” mechanism more fully, he called on the data mining expertise of his classmate, Sergey Brin.

Together, Page and Brin wrote the paper “Dynamic Data Mining: A New Architecture for Data with High Dimensionality,” and followed it with “The Anatomy of a Large-Scale Hypertextual Web Search Engine.” The latter paper quickly became one of the most downloaded scientific documents in the history of the Internet.

For a time, Page and Brin ran the prototype of their search engine, which they named “BackRub,” on an assortment of inexpensive personal computers stored in Larry Page’s dorm room. Word quickly spread beyond the walls of Stanford that the two graduate students had created something far more useful than existing search technology.

They registered the domain name in 1997. The domain name was derived from the term ‘googol’, the very large number written as a one followed by 100 zeros, an expression of the vast universe of data the Google search engine was designed to explore. Their stated mission was “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”

A number of Google employees with shares in the company became millionaires overnight, and Larry Page and Sergey Brin found themselves multibillionaires at age 27. In 2020, the net worth of the company exceeds $630 billion. 


  • Larry Ellison (Co-Founder Oracle Corp.)

Larry Ellison is often termed as the ‘Samurai Warrior” of silicon valley. There was nobody better than Larry at making a customer believe that he could change that person’s business life with his product. His company’s technology has become the backbone of the world’s information systems from the government to online commerce. The brazen billionaire is an ambitious provocateur with a singular management style. 

Lawrence J. Ellison was born in the Bronx, New York. At nine months, he contracted pneumonia, and his unmarried 19-year-old mother gave him to her aunt and uncle in Chicago to raise him. As a boy, Larry Ellison showed an independent, rebellious streak and often clashed with his adoptive father. 

From an early age, he showed a strong aptitude for math and science and was named science student of the year at the University of Illinois. During the final exams in his second year, Larry Ellison’s adoptive mother died, and he dropped out of school. He enrolled at the University of Chicago the following fall but dropped out again after the first semester.   

His adoptive father was now convinced that Larry would never make anything of himself, but the seemingly aimless young man had already learned the rudiments of computer programming in Chicago. As a programmer at Amdahl Corporation, he participated in building the first IBM-compatible mainframe system.  

In 1977, Ellison and two of his Amdahl colleagues, Robert Miner and Ed Oates, founded their own company, Software Development Labs. Ellison had come across a paper called “A Relational Model of Data for Large Shared Data Banks” by Edgar F. (“Ted”) Codd, describing a concept Codd had developed at IBM. Codd’s employers saw no commercial potential in the concept of a Structured Query Language (SQL), but Larry Ellison did.

Larry Ellison and his partners won a two-year contract to build a relational database management system (RDBMS) for the CIA. The project’s code name: Oracle. They finished the project a year ahead of schedule and used the extra time to develop their system for commercial applications. They named their commercial RDBMS Oracle as well.

In 1980, Ellison’s company had only eight employees, and revenues were less than $1 million, but the following year, IBM itself adopted Oracle for its mainframe systems, and Oracle’s sales doubled every year for the next seven years. The million-dollar company was becoming a billion-dollar company. Ellison renamed the company Oracle Corporation, for its best selling product.

A new version of the database program Oracle 7, released in 1992, swept the field and made Oracle the industry leader in database management software. Under Ellison’s leadership, Oracle became a pioneer in providing business applications over the Internet. 

He started with a $1200 stake in a little company and by sheer force of will and persuasion, he built it into one of the giant software companies of the world. Oracle net worth as of 2020 is $179.18B. 

Amancio Ortega (Founder Zara SA clothing)

Amancio Ortega - Entrepreneur | The Money Gig

Amancio Ortega, the owner and founder of Zara, has kept a low media profile but is among the top 10 richest people on Earth. 

Amancio Ortega Gaona was born on March 28, 1936 in a small Spanish locality. The youngest among four siblings Amancio had spent his life living hand-to-mouth. His mother employed as a housemaid, Amancio heard her pleading for credit at local stores, unable to afford essential items, which made him leave school and start working at the age of 14. 

Amancio Ortega’s first job was a shop assistant at a local company called Gala, where he learned to make clothes by hand. Later he became the senior manager in that store. In his free time, he used to go to his sister’s house and make modifications in popular designs of the clothes left over. 

At the age of 16, Amancio Ortega was pondering on how to figure out potential client desires and, what is even more important, meet that demand. Ortega started to organize women into sewing cooperatives and formed the company ‘Confecciones GOA’ . The product line included: lingerie, babywear, and nightgowns. The initial investment for this company was about $25.

In 1963, Ortega siblings and wife Rosalia O’Mara became partners in this venture. The work in Confecciones GOA was for other retailers as they had no brand of their own. After gaining substantial experience in the field, later He and Rosalia opened a retail store, they called Zorba.

The name of the store was based on the couple’s favorite movie however when they found out that a local liquor store was also operating under the same name, they changed the name to ZARA. That quickly expanded into multiple stores across Spain. 

Zara attracted sales because of its old design of fashionable clothes at reasonable prices. In time, he incorporated the brand into a holding company named the Inditex group and bought 52.9% of the group’s shares. Founded in 1985 and floated onto the stock exchange in 2001, the Inditex group, Ortega expanded his wealth by acquiring Pull&Bear, Massimo Dutti, Stradivarius, Oysho, and Bershka brands. 

Ortega differentiated himself from competitors by limiting advertising, controlling the supply chain and expanding as wildly as he could. The company spread to the United States, Europe and other nations. The Spain based company has hired more than 92,000 employees, operates more than 7000 stores.

Amancio Ortega’s business success is tightly connected with a unique business model of the fast-fashion retailer in which the customer is at the heart along with which includes design, production, distribution and sales through their extensive retail network. The two basic rules to give customers what they want, and deliver the orders with the motorway speed, have assisted Amancio Ortega in building the fashion empire.

Frugality, Focus and Hard work are the three reasons for Ortega’s success. Zara is one of the largest international fashion companies that has 2259 stores spread over in 96 countries with Amancio Ortega’s net worth being roughly $65.9 billion. 

Warren Buffet (CEO Berkshire Hathaway)

Warren Buffet - Entrepreneur | The Money Gig

Warren Buffet, who is considered as a synonym for Success, Honesty, Perseverance and Brilliant intelligence is an analytical genius and happens to rank in the top 5 richest persons on the planet. 

Warren Edward Buffet was born in 1930, Nebraska and education started at the Rose Hill elementary school in Omaha. He then went to Alice Dean’s junior high school and soon completed his Master of Science in economics.

Warren Buffet was just 11yrs old when he purchased his first share for himself as well as his sister. He decided to buy shares for himself and his sister, in an oil and gas company called Cities Service. They each bought 3 shares priced at $38.25 per share. Buffett held on tight and waited until the price increased to around $40, at which point they sold and took a small profit.

At the age of 13, Warren was running his own business as a paperboy and selling his own horse racing sheets the same year. He filed his first tax return claiming his bike as a $35 tax reduction. However, thanks to Warren and one of his friends, they invested $25 to buy a pinball machine that they installed in a barber shop.  

As they started generating income out of that machine, they soon installed some more machines in other Barber shops. Eventually, Warren owned machines in three different locations. He sold the business for $1200. 

His father persuaded him to enroll at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Buffett studied Business for 2 years, but he wasn’t happy and felt he knew more than his professors, so he moved to the University of Nebraska where he graduated at 19, earning his degree in Business Administration.

Buffett would spend hours reading books. This is something that he continued to do throughout his life. He was said to have read 600 to 1000 pages a day in his early career and still devoted 80% of his time to reading in his late-career.

Warren’s investments were predominantly limited to a gas station and some real estate business. However, neither of them was successful. It was during this time that he began teaching night classes at the University of Omaha. Warren admired and took a course by Dale Carnegie. He got a call from his idol Ben Graham inviting the young stockbroker to work for him.

In 1956, Buffett decided to leave the partnership and move back to Omaha. It was here that he started his own partnership called Buffett Associates Ltd. Seven family members and friends invested $105,000 in total, with Buffett only investing $100 himself. By the end of the year, he was managing around $300,000. 

Buffett started buying stocks in Berkshire Hathaway in 1962 when it was mainly run as a textiles company and was owned by Seabury Stanton. He decided not to sell and instead continued to buy more shares in the company. He eventually took over Berkshire in an act of retribution. Later, Berkshire managed to own a share of 7% in Coca-Cola, which was worth over $1 billion. Buffett became a billionaire in 1990.

He is undeniably the most successful person in history. Rather than letting his life be dictated by his huge wealth, he lived a humble lifestyle and appreciated the close group of people around him.

Elon Musk (co-founder SpaceX,Tesla)

Elon Musk - Entrepreneur | The Money Gig

Elon Musk is a perfect blend of Talent and Dedication. Never wanting to rest on his Laurels, Elon has moved from achievement to other all the time bringing to the world a fresh idea or invention. Elon has made solar energy affordable through his company’s solar circuit and has made the dream of an electric car possible and inexpensive with Tesla motors. His SpaceX space travel adventures have proven to be a major success with a very promising future ahead.

Elon Musk was born in 1971 in South Africa. He received tremendous support from his engineer father and his dietitian mother, who recognized their son’s penchant for technology and nurtured his passion. Musk bought his first computer at age 10 and taught himself computer programming. And at the early age of 12, the youngster built a fully functioning video game called Blastar, which he reportedly sold for $500.

Later Elon left home at the age of 17 avoiding serving the South African military. He wanted to live in the United States believing it is where great ideas are born. Not content with two Undergraduate degrees, Elon moved to California to pursue a Ph.D. in energy physics at Stanford University. He dropped out after two days to pursue his entrepreneurial dreams and become a part of the Internet boom.

In 1995, Musk teamed up with his brother Kimbal to create Zip2, an IT company that licensed online city guide software to newspapers using $28,000 of their father’s money. The Internet was beginning to expand leaps and bounds and the newspapers were trying how they could make the best use of the new media. Although the company struggled to gain traction in its first few years, local and national newspapers like The New York Times and Chicago Tribute eventually began using Zip2 to offer additional services to their respective customers.  

In 1999, as the tech bubble was approaching at the zenith, Zip2 was acquired by Compaq’s AltaVista web search engine for a whopping $340 million. Later with business partners Peter Thiel and Max Levchin, Elon then launched, online financial services, and email payment company using $10 million from the sale of Zip2. 

In 2000, merged with American software company Confinity, best known for creating PayPal. It soon became the online payment system of choice. In 2001, Musk was named Paypal’s chairman and CEO. However, boardroom troubles dogged Elon Musk over technical arguments and the company was acquired by eBay for $1.5 billion. Elon received $165 million for his 11.7% stake in PayPal.

Musk finally had enough capital to leave internet businesses behind, and channel his energies towards engineering concerns and had already begun to dream up a miniature experiment greenhouse. Elon decided to start a company that would build affordable rockets using vertical integration and a modular approach to software engineering. That idea culminated in the launch of SpaceX in 2002. 

In 2006, NASA gave SpaceX the contract to develop the Falcon-9 launch vehicle. He brought public idealism to the brand that gave Elon Musk a rise to fame- Tesla Motors. Initially, he came in as a lead investor, but later took an active role in managing the design and later took over as the CEO of Tesla motors in 2008. 

There has been no stopping to Elon Musk. Today most of Elon’s innovative ideas and visions have become true. Elon Musk has continuously strived to pursue his goals to change humanity and live up to the expectations he set for himself. 

Mukesh Ambani (Chairman Reliance Industries)

Mukesh Ambani - Entrepreneur | The Money Gig

One of the richest persons on Earth, an Indian chairman of the Reliance industries which is the largest Indian private sector enterprise. Mukesh Dhirubhai Ambani is a birdie example of business tycoons carrying forward the legacy. He has played a pivotal role in taking Reliance Industries Ltd. to the zenith of success in his illustrious career. 

Mukesh Ambani was born on April 19th 1957 to Indian business legend Dhirubhai Ambani and wife Kokilaben Ambani. The family lived in a modest two-bedroom apartment till the late 1970s in Mumbai. He attended the Grant High School in Mumbai. He completed his graduation with a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the UDCT, now Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai. He later enrolled for an MBA from Stanford University but dropped out in 1980 to assist his father in the family startup Reliance which was growing at a pace at that time. 

After joining the business Mukesh played a pivotal role in growing the business legacy and diversified into new sectors. Under his leadership Reliance Industries made a foray into sectors like petroleum refining, petrochemicals and gas exploration.

He also set Reliance Infocomm. Ltd. presently called as Reliance Communications Limited. Later in 2010, Mukesh set up the biggest grassroots petroleum refinery plant in Jamnagar. The manufacturing capacity of Reliance Petrochemicals grew substantially. The company has also become a leading player in the retail sector, under his leadership and endeavors.

In his successful and enviable business career, he has gone through some turbulent times too. His fight with younger sibling Anil Ambani who is another business tycoon and chairman of Reliance ADA group hogged the media’s attention for a long time.

Mukesh Ambani never looked back and was always growing with time. With numerous acquisitions made by Reliance Industries, the acknowledgment from leading business entities and his firm hold on India’s richest person has not made him complicit. His recent success can be seen in the form of Reliance Jio Infocomm. 

Mukesh Ambani has promised an investment of over 100,000 Cr and will use the 4G spectrum which will cover almost 90% of urban regions and more than 2,15,000 villages. With a strong vision and continuous effort, Mukesh Ambani is today regarded as one of a gem of a businessman, respected and followed across the world for his brilliant leadership and execution skills.

Reliance Industries Limited has a net worth of over 3.8 trillion Indian rupees in the financial year 2020 and Mukesh Ambani continues his success in various spheres of business.   

Also Read – List of 15 Successful Indian entrepreneurs

Ben Silbermann (Co-Founder Pinterest)

Ben Silbermann - Entrepreneur | The Money Gig

A believer of persistence and continuous hard work, Ben Silbermann, is an American billionaire Internet entrepreneur and one of the three co-founders of Pinterest. Ben Silberman, who went from tinkering with iPhone apps to building one of the most popular websites on the internet at the age of 27.

Ben’s life started out simple, but he did not allow it to remain that way. Ben Silbermann was born in the early 80s. As a young kid growing in Des Moines, Iowa, Ben was considered a prodigy by his family and friends. In school, Ben exhibited astounding traits of intelligence and aptitude for technology, which further developed throughout the years of growth through the encouragement of his parents.

Even at a very young age, Ben was already intrigued by technology. In the late eighties, when technological advancements were developing at a fast pace, Ben often spent his time studying newer inventions while his friends were playing outside. During his high school years, Ben got interested in the Internet and saw the vast potential that it had.

After graduating, Ben applied for a job at Google Inc. and was hired in the company’s online sales and operations. While Ben wanted to work with Google’s development and engineering division, his lack of an engineering degree could not get him there. And so, after some time working with Google, Ben eventually decided to resign to pursue a career of his own.

Not long after he left Google, Ben met up with Paul Sciarra, a college friend who also shared the same interest in developing technology. Both Ben and Paul started experimenting on iPhone apps and eventually ended up creating Tote, a shopping app. Unfortunately, though, Tote failed to sell online and was greatly shunned by iPhone lovers, leaving the creators with a great deal of disappointment.

Using Tote as the basis for the new design of the new service they were creating, Ben and Paul decided to add the ability to “pin” things on it, like a physical pinboard. This concept was stimulated by the idea of letting people “show” their interests instead of “saying” them, after realizing that a lot of users on Facebook and Twitter did not really play with words a lot.

Soon enough, Ben and Paul finished the website service, and Pinterest was born. Ben wasn’t just struggling with a site that is hard to understand but he also had serious problems attracting new users. For the first year, Pinterest only got 9000 users (10,000 in some stories). However, a little over nine years after starting Pinterest, the company held its IPO in April 2019 which valued the company around 12 billion dollars beating expectations.

“I’ve never thought about technology as good or bad. It’s not moral or immoral. I think technology is a tool, and then it’s what you do with that technology,” he remarked.

Richard Branson (Founder Virgin Group)

BeRichard Branson - Entrepreneur | The Money Gig

In the year 1996, a 16yr old boy suffering from Dyslexia dropped out of school only to build a multibillion-dollar empire. He is the man whose life has been an amazing and inspirational adventure that anyone can learn from. He is one of the richest people in the world today. He is none other than Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin group limited. Virgin group is a venture capital conglomerate company based out of Great Britain which consists of more than 400 different businesses around the Globe. 

Richard Charles Nicholas Branson was born on 18July,1950 in England. As Richard struggled with Dyslexia it was very hard for him to be an ordinary student. So he dropped out of school when he was only 16, and started his first project which was a youth culture magazine called ‘Student’. The revenue from the first circulation was around $8000 from advertisements. 

The money covered the cost so he distributed all of the 50,000 copies for free. The project was an overnight success and it made the initial boost of his career as an Entrepreneur. Later in 1969, Branson decided to get involved in the business with Records. This is how he started Virgin which was a mail-order company for selling records. 

He opened a record shop in London and it wasn’t a huge success but it provided him the needed capital to expand further. A few years later in 1972, Richard opened his own recording studio ‘Virgin Records’. Since then many famous artists, musicians and bands had hired the studio for their recordings. The first artist on the Virgin Records label was Mike Oldfield who recorded the Tubular Bells. 

Later bands like Culture club, Rolling stones and many others recorded their first albums there and soon Virgin Records studio became one of the Top recording studios. This was the first company in the vast Virgin empire that rules the Business world today. 

Branson expanded his entrepreneurial efforts even further. This time to include the travel company ‘The Voyager Group’ in 1980. He airlined Virgin Atlantic in 1984 and a series of virgin megastores. 

However, the Virgin group was struggling to survive, failing to clear the dates and was sold to EMI group for $1 billion. He was devastated and apparently cried for days and nights. But a few years later he started his Entrepreneurial journey yet again. He founded the V2 records. In 1993, he got into the railroad business by the company Virgin trains. The same year he also started Virgin Radio. 

At its peak came the Virgin Galactic, a space tourism company which he announced with the aid of Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. Branson is also known for his sporting events breaking adventures – Fastest ever Atlantic ocean crossing, a series of Hot air balloon adventures and Kite surfing along the English channel. 

Richard Branson was not just another typical Business tycoon trying to spread his empire and make money. He cared for the world and its good. He thus founded Virgin Unite, a non-profit organization – an independent charitable arm of the Virgin group.

He won the Tony channels record, German media prize and ISDA prize and quite a few honorary doctorates as well. He is the only Entrepreneur to build a separate billion-dollar company in 8 different industries. Calling him one of the biggest muggles of the 20th and 21st centuries wouldn’t be an exaggeration.           

Lastly, The only thing worse than starting something and failing… is not starting something. Risk more than others think is safe. And Dream more than others think is practical.

Also Read – 25 Things About Entrepreneurship They Don’t Teach In Business School 

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