Here are 10 social media entrepreneurs who have made their millions at a very young age. You may have heard about the top four on my list but the others are very rarely in the lime light, so I thought it would be cool to highlight them for the Nokia Connects community. Read on and feel a little jealous you’re not in their shoes!
10. Alexander Levin – 26 years old
Alexander Levin was the co-founder of ImageShack, one of the largest image hosting websites on the internet. He came up with the idea for the company back at high school whilst chatting on forums, he noticed there was a need to store and share images away from forums that traditionally had low storage space. Despite being a subscription service the company acquires a large proportion of its revenue from advertising related to their free image hosting.
9. John Vechey – 33 years old
At number nine we have another co-founder. John Vechey joined forces with Brian Fiete and Jason Kapalka back in the year 2000 to set up PopCap. Their mission statement was pretty straight forward and easy to understand like all great companies: make simple, fun, ad-supported Java games that are free to play! The collective went on to create awesome games like Bejeweled, Plants vs. Zombies and Zuma. John sold the hugely successful company to Electronic Arts last year.
8. Kevin Rose – 35 years old
I think Kevin Rose is one of the coolest cats in our line up. Firstly, he is on the board of directors for the Tony Hawk Foundation (that’s enough for me!). Secondly, he is the founder of Digg, a site I use almost every day. Finally, he is one of the most astute investors in the online space, chucking his well earned cash at the likes of Facebook, Foursquare and Twitter (head here for a full list). If all that wasn’t enough he has also been named in the “Top 25 Most Influential People on the Web” by Time and he currently builds products at Google! Need I say anymore? Yes, you’re right, he is a social media guru.
7. Nat Turner – 26 years old
Next up is a self confessed lover of golf, music and fishing. Matt Turner was the co-founder of Invite Media before he sold it to Google for a cool sum of $70M back in 2010! The company is a demand-side platform that helps ad-buyers use ad exchanges. To build the company to this position within just three years is a incredible feat, he started coding with friends back at Pennsylvania University after selling the online food delivery website EatNow.com, next thing you know he is…..
6. Andrew Gower – 33 years old
A former Cambridge University student who created the successful online game RuneScape at just 20 years old. He launched the online gaming group ‘Jagex’ in 2001 and continued to develop online video games throughout his 20’s. Back in 2009, he and his brother Paul Gower were listed as the 566th richest men in the UK….
5. Blake Ross – 26 years old
Mr. Ross created a little something that was downloaded more than 100 million times in its first year, can you guess what it was? It’s probably sitting on your desktop right now. Whilst undertaking an internship at Netscape several years ago Blake Ross disliked the direction that the company was being taken under AOL, so to rebel he started Firefox (did you get it?). An easy to use, free to download browser that we have all frequented at some point. That was his history, his present is now firmly rooted as director of product at Facebook. Not a bad route to the guy we all know is at No.1 in this list.
4. Chad Hurley – 34 years old
Leading our march into the big four is Chad Hurley (on the left), the co-founder and former CEO of YouTube. He began life post-university (Indiana University of Pennsylvania) at eBay’s PayPal department, it was here that he met Jawed Karim and Steve Chen, his business partners when YouTube first opened their doors in 2005. After it’s first year it was the 10th most popular website on the internet and clip views now exceed approximately 100 million every day.
Worth: £200 million
3. Jack Dorsey – 34 years old
The co-founder and chairman of Twitter. Jack came up with the idea for the microblogging site whilst working as a software engineer at Odeo, a podcasting start up. There are now approximately 465 million Twitter accounts worldwide and research has shown that Twitter may be harder to resist than cigarettes, alcohol, caffeine and sleep!
Worth: £415 million
2. Andrew Mason – 32 years old
Andrew Mason is the founder of Groupon and The Point, the collective action platform that spawned Groupon. As a software developer he developed Policy Tree, a policy debate visualisation tool that won him a scholarship to the University of Chicago (Harris School of Public Policy), but he dropped after just 3 months! Turns out the reason he dropped out was to pursue an unexpected offer to fund the idea for The Point. Ultimately an amazing decision….
Worth: £636 million
1. Mark Zuckerberg – 27 years old
The co-founder of Facebook. We all knew he would be no.1, let’s enjoy the trailer for the film about his life! Not many people have had a film made about their business idea, not many people are young billionaires either…
Worth: £11 billion