Top Nine Well-Known Entrepreneurs with Big Stories of Fast Takeoffs: A countdown of some notable risk takers who built multi billion dollar business.
Entrepreneurship can be a difficult and often lonely road. One of the ways successful entrepreneurs encourage and motivate themselves is by drawing inspiration from some of the top entrepreneurs around the world.
While most entrepreneurs have to work hard to attain success, there are a lucky few who with a combination of talent, luck, and timing manage to create multi-billion dollar businesses within less than a decade. Here are some nine stories of well-known entrepreneurs who have had massive success.
If there’s a person on this list that we’re sure everyone knows, it’s Mark Zuckerberg.
In early 2004, Zuckerberg who was a Harvard University undergrad at the time started something he called TheFacebook.com. It started as a social networking site that only students from a few Ivy League schools could join, but it quickly grew in popularity and expanded to other colleges.
Fast-forward almost two decades later and Facebook is about as ubiquitous as Coca-Cola, with 2.7 billion active users per month. Zuckerberg at just 37 is already one of the wealthiest men in America and is reportedly considering a future in politics.
A former Facebook employee, D’Angelo later formed his own website Quora. Unlike Facebook, Quora is not a social network, but rather a question-and-answer site where anyone can post questions they have and solicit answers from other users.
Quora is a bit more of an acquired taste compared to other social networks, but that doesn’t stop it from raking in around $20 million in revenue each year.
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Karp is the creator of Tumblr, a micro-blogging platform that has quickly become a favorite among young people. Tumblr initially began as a site for sharing images and art but was later famous for accommodating a wide range of content.
Karp sold Tumblr to Yahoo! in 2013 in a whopping $1.1 billion deal.
Alba first made her name as a Hollywood actress, but later transitioned as a socially conscious entrepreneur. Her company is called The Honest Company and sells ethically sourced and produced products. The Honest Company is currently valued at more than $1 billion.
Brian Chesky keeps a low profile, but it is impossible to travel without encountering his brainchild, Airbnb.
Airbnb is a website that allows people to rent out their homes as temporary hotel rooms for vacationers. While the entire hospitality industry took its lumps in 2020, Airbnb still managed to generate $3.378 billion in revenue amidst the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Musk co-founded PayPal, a company that has since become synonymous with quick and easy online transactions. After Musk received around $200 million from PayPal’s sale, he reportedly sunk everything into three businesses: $100 million in SpaceX, his space exploration company; $70 million in Tesla, his electric car company; and $10 million in SolarCity, a solar energy company.
At the time, these were relatively small companies. Musk took on huge risks by placing almost all of his money into these three startups, which paid off huge for him later on as evidenced by his current status as the richest person in the world.
Elk may not be a household name, but the music streaming service that he launched via Spotify is. He is one of the co-founders of Spotify and currently acts as its CEO. At just 38 years old, his current net worth is estimated at around $4 billion.
Hsieh was a serial entrepreneur and gained a lot of attention during his tenure as the CEO of the shoe retailer Zappos. Zappos generated $1.6 million in sales in 2000, which was around the time that Hsieh took over the company. By 2009, Hsieh steered Zappos to over $1 billion in sales.
He retired from Zappos in August 2020 but unfortunately died just a few months later due to an accidental fire.
Systrom co-created Instagram for iOS in 2010, a photo-sharing platform, following it up with an Android version in 2012. Facebook acquired Instagram for $1 billion in cash and stock in the same year.
If you would like to know more about any of these successful entrepreneurs, we suggest watching some of their interviews on YouTube to learn more about their entrepreneurship journey, their struggles and what motivated them to push past their different challenges.