billionaire in the world
ABOUT 10 OF THE MOST SUCCESSFUL
BILLIONAIRES THAT CAN INSPIRE
[ Jack Ma]
Full name: Warren Edward Buffett Birthday: August 30, 1930
Place of birth: Omaha, Nebraska
Education: Nebraska Lincoln, Columbia University Net worth: US $75.6 million (July 2017)
Warren Buffet is a legendary investor and one of the most respected businessmen in the world. He is the chairman, CEO and the largest shareholder of Berkshire Hathaway.
He was born in 1930 in Omaha and was the second of three children. Buffett is famous for his investing ability, developing his own investment principles, which ultimately led him to acquire a tremendous amount of wealth. Warren Buffet is also known as the “Wizard of Omaha” or “Oracle of Omaha”.
As a man with a great heart, he is a respected philanthropist and has pledged to give away the majority of his fortunes to charity.
Fact #1: At age 14, Warren Buffett bought a 40-acre farm with $1,200 of his saving. He made money from selling chewing gum, Coke bottles, and magazines door-to-door.
Fact #2: By the time he was 16, Buffett had accumulated an amount equivalent to $53,000 in today’s value.
Buffet’s early success with his side entrepreneurial ventures at such a young age almost made him decline his parents’ request to go to college because he hardly saw the point of doing so. However, his father overruled him.
Fact #3: According to Warren Buffett, the book that has the biggest impact on his investing philosophy was “The Intelligent Investor” by Benjamin Graham.
Buffett said during one his interviews that “it is the best book about investing ever written.” At just 19 years old, picking up this book would change his life forever.
Fact #4: Many people would think Warren Buffett lives in a mansion, but in reality he lives a very simple life.
Even though he has a net worth of $75.6 billion (as of July 2017), he still lives in the same small house he bought in 1958 for $31,500. Buffett drives
himself around without any security and does not have a cellphone or a computer, remaining a fan of ink and paper.
Moreover, Buffett has only sent one email in his life, to Jeff Raikes of Microsoft. He said it became his first and also the last email as he would wind up in court over it.
Fact #5: If you invested $1000 in Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway stock in 1964 when Buffett first took over the company and the current cost of shares was just $19, your investment would be worth over $11.6 million dollars today.
The company averaged an annual growth in book value of 19.7% to its shareholders, compared to only 9.8% from the S&P 500. As of 2015, Berkshire Hathaway was the fifth largest public company in the world, according to the Forbes Global 2000 list.
Fact #6: Surprisingly, Warren Buffett claimed that Berkshire Hathway was his worse investment ever.
Back then, Berkshire Hathway was a textile company that had been going downhill for years. Buffett originally bought stocks in the company with the intention to make a small profit.
Later, Buffett and Berkshire’s CEO had a verbal agreement on a tender offer price. However, when the official offer arrived in the mail, the CEO’s offer price was less than what they had previously agreed upon.
Unsurprisingly, Buffet got upset and his ego got in the way. In his anger, he decided to buy controlling interest in the company just so he could fire the CEO.
However, Buffett called this a 200-billion-dollar mistake. Instead of investing in the dying textile business, he could have invested in the insurance business, which could have produced much better returns for him.
Fact #7: Warren Buffett earned 99% of his wealth after his 50th birthday.
Surprisingly, Buffett’s net worth was only about $375 million when he reached the age of 52. With the power of compound interest, his net worth increased to $620 million a year after, making him a billionaire at the age of 56 while taking a salary of only $50,000 per year from Berkshire Hathaway.
At 59, Buffett’s net worth reached $3.8 billion. That means he earned over $60 billion after his 60th birthday.
Fact #8: Warren Buffett is one of the most influential philanthropists in the world.
In 2006, Buffett made a commitment to gradually give more than 99% of his Berkshire Hathaway stock to philanthropic foundations during his lifetime or at the time of his death.
In 2010, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett created The Giving Pledge, an organization that aims to inspire affluent individuals to contribute the majority of their wealth to philanthropy.
Fact #9: Warren Buffett made an average of $37 million a day or $1.5 million every hour in 2013
Fact #10: Warren Buffett spends 80% of his day reading at the office.
When being asked for advice on how to get smarter during one of his interview, he held up a stack of paper and said, “Read 500 pages like this every day. That’s how knowledge builds up, like compound interest.”
Bill Gates’ favorite book, “Business Adventures: Twelve Classic Tales from the World of Wall Street,” was shared by Warren Buffet. During an interview, Gates claimed it was “the best business book I’ve ever read.” The book was written by John Brook and first published in 1969.
Warren Buffett’s famous quotes and advices
“Honesty is a very expensive gift. Don’t expect it from cheap people.”
“In the world of business, the people who are most successful are those who are doing what they love.”
“Tell me who your heroes are and I’ll tell you who you’ll turn out to be.”
“The most important investment you can make is in yourself.”
“Risk comes from not knowing what you’re doing.”
“It’s far better to buy a wonderful company at a fair price than a fair company at a wonderful price.”
“If you get to my age in life and nobody thinks well of you, I don’t care how big your bank account is, your life is a disaster.”
Full name: William Henry Gates III Birthday: October 28, 1955
Place of birth: Seattle, Washington
Education: Harvard College (no degree), Lakeside School Net worth: US $86 billion (July 2017)
Bill Gates is an American entrepreneur, co-founder of the Microsoft Corporation, and one of the richest people in the world. Born in 1955, he was first included in the Forbes list of the wealthiest people in 1987 and has been on the list ever since. He has remained the world’s richest person for 17 of the past 22 years.
Gates’ wealth has grown from $40 billion in 2009 to $82 billion in 2014. After resigning as CEO of Microsoft in 2000, he remained a chairman of the company and created a position for himself called Chief Software Architect.
Today, Gates spends most of his time doing philanthropy work. He donates billions of dollars to various causes all over the world through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Fact #1: Bill Gates began coding as a teenager at Lakeside Prep School.
Back in the day, Lakeside Prep School was one of the few schools in the US that had a computer. The first program Gates coded was a tic-tac-toe game, where players could play against the computer.
The school realized how talented Gates was, and allowed him to write a program to schedule students in classes; however, Gates used the opportunity to alter the code so he was placed in classes with cute girls. When Gates graduated from Lakeside School, he achieved an SAT score of 1590 out of 1600.
Fact #2: Bill Gates is a college dropout.
Gates left Harvard University in 1975 after two years of studies to focus on growing Microsoft. However, he later received an honorary degree from Harvard, in 2007.
Fact #3: Gates flew coach until 1997. Since he became a billionaire in 1986, this means he flew coach for 11 years in spite of his wealth.
Today, he owns a Bombardier BD-700 Global Express plane, which cost $40 million and seats up to 19 people.
Fact #4: Gates said that he will only leave his kids $10 million each.
Gates believes that leaving a lot of money to the kids is not a good idea. This was first reported in 2011. In 2014, he explained his decision in detail during a 25-minute TED talk he and his wife gave in Vancouver. The entire talk is available on the Internet for free. Here’s what Gates said about why he is giving away most of his money:
“They need to have a sense that their own work is meaningful and important. You’ve got to make sure they have a sense of their own ability and what they’re going to go and do. We want to strike a balance so they have the freedom to do anything but not sort of a lot of money showered on them so that they can go out and do nothing.”
Fact #5: Gates doesn’t know any languages other than English, and claims this is his biggest regret in life so far.
Fact #6: Microsoft was not the first joint venture of Bill Gates and Paul Allen.
Gates and Allen’s first partnership was a company named Traf-O-Data. The goal of the company was to read raw data from traffic counters and turn it into reports for traffic engineers. The duo recruited other students to manually process data and transcribe it onto the computer cards, which Gates would then use to create traffic flow charts.
Eventually, the state of Washington began offering traffic processing services to cities for free, which eliminated the need for services their company offered.
Fact #7: To monitor his employees, Bill Gates used to memorize the plate numbers on their cars.
Gates said: “I knew everybody’s license plate so I could look out the parking
lot and see, you know, when people come in.”
He eventually had to give up the habit because his company became too large, making this tactic significantly more difficult.
Fact #8: Bill Gates reads 50 books a year.
He says that reading remains to be the main source of learning new things for him. His favorite business book is Business Adventures by John Brooks.
Fact #9: In his philanthropy work, Bill Gates was really inspired by David Rockefeller.
In 2010, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett created The Giving Pledge, an organization that inspires affluent individuals to contribute the majority of their wealth to philanthropy. As of August 2010, the aggregate wealth of the first 40 pledgers was $125 billion.
As of 2017, the pledge has 158 signers, either individuals or couples; some of the 158 signers have passed away. Most of the signers of the pledge are billionaires, with their pledges totaling over $365 billion.
Altogether, Bill Gates has donated over $28 billion to charitable causes, the biggest philanthropic donation in the history of mankind.
Fact #10: Bill Gates made a number of erroneous predictions over the years.
He once said that computer users would never need computers with more than 640 kilobytes of memory. He also claimed once that Microsoft would never make a 32-bit operating system. This was proven false when Microsoft rolled out the 32-bit Windows NT in 1992.
In a prediction from 2002, Gates said spam would be eliminated in two years,
by 2004. Over a decade later, his prediction still hasn’t come true…
Bill Gates’ famous quotes and advices
“Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.
“If you are born poor its not your mistake, But if you die poor its your mistake.”
“As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.”
“If you think your teacher is tough, wait ’til you get a boss. He doesn’t have tenure.”
“Life is not fair, get used to it.”
“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.”
“Be nice to nerds. Chances are you’ll end up working for one.”
Full name: Mark Elliot Zuckerberg Birthday: May 14, 1984
Place of birth: White Plains, New York Education: Harvard University (no degree) Net worth: US $56 billion (July 2017)
Mark Zuckerberg is the chairman, co-founder, and chief executive of Facebook. In July of 2017, his net worth was estimated to be $56 billion, according to Forbes Magazine.
Zuckerberg launched Facebook with fellow students Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz, and Chris Hughes during their studies at Harvard. Facebook expanded very quickly, and by 2012, it had reached 1 billion users.
In 2012, Zuckerberg announced he would give most of his money to charities in the spirit of the Giving Pledge. Time Magazine has been naming Zuckerberg one of the wealthiest and most influential people in the world since 2010.
Fact #1: Both AOL and Microsoft wanted to hire Zuckerberg.
In early 2000s, Zuckerberg created a program named Synapse. The software used artificial intelligence to learn about user’s tastes in music, then recommended songs based on this.
The software had a lot of positive reviews. Both AOL and Microsoft wanted to buy it and attempted to hire Zuckerberg, but he refused because he didn’t want to drop out of school.
Fact #2: Zuckerberg became world’s youngest self-made billionaire at the age of 23.
With $1 million in the bank at the age of 22, Zuckerberg became a billionaire at 23, thanks to Facebook’s IPO.
Fact #3: Facebook’s colors are blue and white because Zuckerberg is color-blind.
According to Zuckerberg’s profile in the New Yorker magazine, he has red-green color blindness. In the interview, he said, “Blue is the richest color for
me — I can see all of blue.”
Fact #4: The first website Zuckerberg built had security and privacy issues.
Prior to Facebook, Zuckerberg created a website named Facemash. The website took photos from the yearbooks of Harvard’s Houses. Users of Facemash could then rate pictures on the grounds of “hotness.” There was massive pushback to the website. Zuckerberg was banned from access to Harvard’s network. He was also accused of violating privacy and breaching security.
Fact #5: Zuckerberg’s salary at Facebook is $1.
In most cases, $1 salary CEOs receive other forms of compensation such as stock options. In the U.S., such schemes are exempt from payroll taxes. Zuckerberg received a number of other perks from Facebook as well. For example, in 2015 Facebook paid $4.3 million for Mark’s security and privacy team. Zuckerberg also spent over $775,000 using a private jet in 2015. This brought his total “other” compensation at Facebook to over $5 million.
Fact #6: Zuckerberg is named as an inventor on approximately 50 patents.
Filing for his first patent in the summer of 2006, the patent covered a way for Internet users to choose privacy settings. The Patent Office rejected the original patent claim, but Zuckerberg didn’t give up, and with the help of Facebook’s lawyers, the patent was approved in 2012.
Fact #7: You can’t block Zuckerberg on Facebook.
While this is true, it isn’t because Zuckerberg programmed Facebook this way. According to Facebook’s spokesperson, an algorithm kicks in when too many people try to block one user.
The initial campaign to mass-block Zuckerberg was a result of Facebook’s policies in regards to the privacy of its users.
Fact #8: Zuckerberg is the first person under 30 to make one of the largest
philanthropic gifts in the US history.
In 2013, Zuckerberg and his wife donated 18 million Facebook shares to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. The Foundation is the largest community foundation in the world. In 2014, the Foundation distributed more than $450 million to charities in the San Francisco Bay Area, across the U.S., and all over the world.
Mark Zuckerberg’s famous quotes and advices
“The biggest risk is not taking any risk… In a world that changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.”
“People don’t care about what you say, they care about what you build.”
“My goal was never to just create a company. A lot of people misinterpret that, as if I don’t care about revenue or profit or any of those things. But what not being just a company means to me is not being just that – building something that actually makes a really big change in the world.”
“What really motivates people at Facebook is building stuff that they’re proud of.”
“Move fast and break things. Unless you are breaking stuff, you are not moving fast enough.”
“This is a perverse thing, personally, but I would rather be in the cycle where people are underestimating us. It gives us latitude to go out and make big bets that excite and amaze people.”
“A squirrel dying in front of your house may be more relevant to your interests right now than people dying in Africa.”
Birthday: July 31, 1958
Place of birth: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Education: University of Pittsburgh, Indiana University,
Net worth: US $3.4 billion (July 2017)
Mark Cuban was born in 1958. He is an American businessman and investor with an estimated net worth of $3.4 billion. Cuban owns NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, Magnolia Pictures, and Landmark Theaters. In addition to this, Cuban is the chairman of AXS TV, a cable network.
In 2007, Cuban participated in Dancing With The Stars. While he didn’t win any awards, he performed really well for someone who only started dancing just seven weeks prior to the beginning of the show. Mark Cuban is also famous for his appearance on the popular TV show, Shark Tank.
Fact #1: Cuban’s grandfather changed his last name from “Chabenisky” to “Cuban” after landing on Ellis Island.
Cuban grew up in an affluent suburb of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. His father worked as a car upholsterer and his mom, according to Cuban, had “a different job or different career goal every other week.”
Fact #2: Cuban’s first business was to sell garbage bags door-to-door at the age of 12 to pay for a pair of expensive basketball sneakers.
Cuban says in several of his interviews that he learned the fundamentals of business by selling garbage bags to his neighbors.
Fact #3: Cuban paid for college by selling stamps.
His mom introduced him to stamp collecting when he was 16 years old. Cuban says he attended stamp shows where he would buy a stamp for 50 cents only to walk to the other side to resell that same stamp for $50.
He later chose to go to Kelley School of Business in Indiana because it was the cheapest of all top business schools in the US. Cuban’s experience seems to prove that good education doesn’t have to be very expensive.
Fact #4: Cuban started a technology company without ever owning a computer.
In 1983, He started MicroSolutions after being fired by his boss after meeting with a client. The company started as a software reseller and integrator. In 1990, Cuban sold MicroSolutions to CompuServe, netting around $2 million after taxes from the deal.
Fact #5: Cuban broke a record when he bought his private jet.
Cuban was listed in the Guinness Book of World Records in 1999 for making the largest single e-commerce transaction.
What did he buy you might ask? A plane over the internet for $40 million.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, he later called this purchase a life-changer as it provided him with an opportunity to spend more time with his friends and family and accomplish more work.
Fact #6: Cuban says that Ayn Rand’s book, The Fountainhead, gave him the courage to take risks and taught him about taking responsibility for his failures and successes. When building his business, Mark had a period when he wasn’t able to go on vacation for 7 years.
Today, Cuban owns a yacht called Fountainhead. At 288 feet long, it is 48th largest superyacht in the world, built and launched in 2011 by a Dutch company called Feadship.
Fact #7: Cuban revolutionized the movie business.
In 2004, Cuban purchased a movie studio called Magnolia Pictures and turned it into the biggest independent distribution and production company in the US.
On January 27, 2006, Magnolia Pictures released the movie “Bubble,” simultaneously on cable TV, home video, in theaters and available for online streaming. At the time, all experts predicted financial failure for such a move. The movie brought a profit and major movie studios have started to use Cuban’s strategy in releasing their indie movies.
Fact #8: Cuban is a book author.
He wrote an ebook called How To Win at the Sport of Business in 2011. To write the book Cuban used blog posts from his website Called Blog Maverick.
In the book, he tells his story about how he started with selling powdered milk and went to selling his company to Yahoo for $5.7 billion.
Mark Cuban’s famous quotes and advices
“It doesn’t matter how many times you have failed. You only have to be right once and then everyone can tell you that you are an overnight success.”
“It’s not about money or connections. It’s the willingness to out work and out learn everyone. And if it fails, you learn from what happened and do a better job next time.”
“What I’ve learned is that if you really want to be successful at something, you’ll find that you put the time in. You won’t just ask somebody if it’s a good idea, you’ll go figure out if it’s a good idea.”
“What does it take to be a successful entrepreneur? It takes willingness to learn, to be able to focus, to absorb information, and to always realize that business is a 24/7 job where someone is always out there to kick your ass.”
“Always wake up with a smile knowing that today you are going to have fun accomplishing what others are too afraid to do.”
“When you’ve got 10,000 people trying to do the same thing, why would you want to be number 10,001?”
Full name: Oprah Gail Winfrey Birthday: January 29, 1954
Place of birth: Kosciusko, Mississippi Education: Tennessee State University Net worth: US $3 billion (July 2017)
Oprah Winfrey is an American media mogul, talk show host, actress, philanthropist, and producer. Her talk show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, was the highest-rated talk show in the history of television.
With a net worth of $3 billion, Oprah has been named the richest African American of the 20th century. Several magazines and rankings call her the most influential woman in the world. In the mid-1990s, she changed the focus of her show to books, self-improvement, and spirituality.
Oprah’s endorsement of Barack Obama for President of the United States was estimated to have brought Obama over a million votes in 2008 Democratic Primaries.
Fact #1: She had a rough childhood.
She was born on a rural farm in Mississippi to Vernita Lee and Vernon Winfrey. Her name was Orpah. It was a Biblical name. However, most people were mispronouncing the name as Oprah, so she later decided to change it to the incorrect spelling.
Winfrey’s parents were not married. Separating soon after she was born, they left Oprah with her maternal grandmother. At the age of six, Oprah was sent to join her mother who was living in a Milwaukee ghetto at the time.
Oprah Winfrey grew up in extreme poverty. As a child, she was teased at school for wearing dresses made of potato sacks.
Starting at age nine, Winfrey was sexually abused by several men in her family. Her mother worked a lot of hours and didn’t have a lot of time for her children.
Fact #2: She was a very gifted student.
She learned to read at the age of three. She skipped kindergarten and went immediately to the first grade.
She was an honors student at East Nashville High School. Oprah was a part of high school speech team that became second in the US in dramatic interpretation.
Fact #3: She started keeping a daily diary when she was 15.
She called it the journal of gratitude. Every day, she would write five things she was grateful for. Oprah said that being aware of those things made her more receptive to good things in her life, and while hosting her show, often encouraged her viewers to keep a similar journal.
Fact #4: Oprah was fired from her first TV job because her superiors told her that she was not fit for TV.
Oprah said that she was devastated at the time, but after going on to become the host of a failing talk show “People Are Talking,” it allowed her to blossom and grow in her career.
Fact #5: Her show won Daytime Emmy Awards 47 times.
She would have probably won even more awards, but in 2000, Oprah decided to withdraw her show from future nominations.
In addition to these awards, Oprah was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in the movie The Color Purple and an Academy Award for the Best Picture, Selma.
Fact #6: Winfrey is a very active philanthropist.
In addition to donating millions of dollars to multiple charities, Oprah runs three non-profits foundations: The Angel Network, The Oprah Winfrey Operating Foundation, and The Oprah Winfrey Foundation.
By 2012, she had donated over $400 million to educational charities. As of 2012, Oprah gave out over 400 scholarships to students of Morehouse College in Atlanta.
In 2013, Winfrey made a contribution of $12 million to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Fact #7: Oprah is known for her lavish lifestyle.
In addition to owning a 42-acre estate in Montecito, California, she also has a home in Lavallette, New Jersey, a home on Fisher Island, Florida, an apartment in Chicago, a house in Colorado and properties in Hawaii and Antigua.
Oprah’s gardener has spent over five years breeding a new hybrid of roses for the gardens in her California estate. Oprah even flies in her own jet, a $42 million custom-designed Global Express XRS.
Fact #8: Oprah is the only black North American billionaire and the first African-American to be featured on the cover of Vogue magazine.
Oprah Winfrey’s famous quotes and advices
“Luck is preparation meeting opportunity.”
“My philosophy is that not only are you responsible for your life but doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment.”
“You know you are on the road to success if you would do your job and not be paid for it.”
“One of life’s greatest risks is never daring to risk.”
“Every time you state what you want or believe, you’re the first to hear it. It’s a message to both you and others about what you think is possible. Don’t put a ceiling on yourself.”
“The big secret in life is that there is no big secret. Whatever your goal, you can get there if you’re willing to work.”
Full name: 馬雲 (M ǎ Yún) Birthday: September 10, 1964 Residence: Hangzhou, China Spouse: 张 瑛 (Cathy Zhāng Yīng) Net worth: US $35 billion (July 2017)
Ma Yun, known professionally as Jack Ma, is a Chinese business magnate who is the founder and executive chairman of Alibaba Group, a family of Internet-based businesses. He is currently the richest person in Asia and the 23rd richest in the world, with a net worth of $35 billion US, as of July 2017.
Jack Ma has built e-commerce firm Alibaba into a behemoth. Its IPO in New York in 2014 set a record as the world’s biggest public stock offering. Though dogged by criticism that Alibaba doesn’t do enough to limit the sale of fakes, Ma is leading Alibaba to even higher sales. A record $463 billion of business transactions were conducted on Alibaba’s retail platforms in the fiscal year through March 2016. The company set the goal of creating 10 million profitable businesses and 100 million jobs over the next 20 years.
Ma has become a global icon in business and entrepreneurship, one of the world’s most influential businessmen, and a philanthropist known for expounding his philosophy of business. He was ranked 2nd in Fortune’s 2017 “World’s 50 Greatest Leaders” list.
Fact #1: He flunked his university admission exam. Twice.
It’s not like he was applying for the Chinese equivalent of Harvard, either. In an interview with Inc. in 2008, Jack Ma admitted his university, the Hangzhou Teachers’ University, was considered the worst university in the city. However, Mr. Ma’s leadership skills didn’t take long to surface. He was elected Student Chairman of his university and later on became the Chairman of the Student’s Federation.
Fact #2: He applied for a job at KFC when it came to China and was rejected.
Unfortunately, Ma was the only one who got rejected out of 24 people who applied – however, this turned out to be a good thing, as he went on to build one of the biggest e-commerce stores in the world.
Fact #3: At the age of 12, Jack Ma started learning English by himself. He
biked for 40 minutes every morning to a hotel near his city to give tourists free guides in exchange for teaching him English.
His exposure to foreign visitors gave him a more globalized view that conflicted with what he learnt from his teachers and textbooks.
Fact #4: Jack Ma didn’t see his first computer until he was 31.
In 1995, Ma went on a trip to Seattle on interpreting business, saw his first computer and began surfing the web. This would turn out to be a trip that would change his life forever.
Ma may not have been an early adopter of computers and the Internet, but he definitely became a true believer. He immediately saw the potential and started to look for ways to create a viable online business in Mainland China.
When Ma hooked up his Internet connection at home, he was incredibly excited. He invited friends and family to come over to experience this phenomenon. At the time, they would wait hours just for a page to download.
Fact #5: He was kidnapped on his first trip to the United States.
Part of the reason he accepted the interpreting gig in the States was to help a friend collect a debt from an American businessman. When Ma asked for the cash back, the businessman wouldn’t cooperate. Instead, he locked Ma in his house, got out his handgun, and tried to strong-arm Ma into cutting a deal.
What happened after unfolded more like a Hollywood movie than the bio of an executive chairman. The businessman forced Ma to go with him to Las Vegas, where Ma gambled his last few dollars on the slot machines and made $600. He then ran away from his captor and used his gambling winnings to buy a plane ticket back to Seattle.
Fact #6: His first start-up was a complete flop.
Excited about the potential of starting an Internet business in China, Ma returned home and started his first real business, the China Yellow Pages. At
the time, he had to use his life savings and get a loan from a relative in order to cobble together the $2,000 he needed to get the business started.
On the launch date of China Yellow Pages, Ma invited his friends over to see his website. After three and a half hours, only half his page had loaded. Don’t you miss the days of dial-up Internet?
Fact #7: Jack Ma started Alibaba with a group of his English students.
In 1999, a group of Ma’s students, who had become his friends, met at his apartment and put together the founding goals of what would become Alibaba. At first, he didn’t have much trust in his friends. He told them they would only ever obtain mid-management positions, never executive roles. Instead, Ma claimed those roles would have to be filled by outside help.
Later, Ma referred to that decision as his biggest regret. Years later, his friends remained; filling those executive roles while the outside help had long gone.
Fact #8: His initial plan was to hand over the company to professionals after four years.
Although Jack Ma is now well-known for his bold statements and dressing like a rock star, he wasn’t always a confident technology tycoon. When he first started Alibaba, back in 1999, he was a shy amateur with a dream who felt he could only stay in his company for four years before handing it over to a professional.
Brought up in a communist society, Ma barely made it into university and didn’t see a computer until he was 31 years old. Even today, he still couldn’t write a line of code even it his life depended on it. Yet, he is the founder of an online technology company that dwarfs some of the most successful corporations in the world.
Fact #9: Here is how Jack Ma picked the name Alibaba:
“One day I was in San Francisco in a coffee shop, and I was
thinking that Alibaba is a good name. And then a waitress came, and I said ‘Do you know about Alibaba?’ And she said yes. I said, ‘What do you know about Alibaba?’ and she said ‘Open Sesame.’ And I said ‘Yes, this is the name!’ Then I went onto the street and found 30 people and asked them, ‘Do you know Alibaba?’ People from India, people from Germany, people from Tokyo and China…they all knew about Alibaba. Alibaba — open sesame. Alibaba — 40 thieves. Alibaba is not a thief. Alibaba is a kind, smart businessperson, and he helped the village. So…easy to spell, and global know. Alibaba opens sesame for small- to medium-sized companies. We also registered the name AliMama, in case someone wants to marry us!”
Fact #10: He was called crazy (a lot) for starting Alibaba.
In 1999, Jack Ma founded Alibaba after raising $60,000 with 18 friends in his one-bedroom apartment. He started his humble e-commerce company in an attempt to connect small Chinese businesses with global markets. As the underdog going up against an already established and expanding eBay in China, many people called him crazy. Ma told Xiao-Ping Chen:
“I gave a speech at Harvard in 2002. After my talk, a CEO from a foreign company said that I was a mad man. He said he had been in China for many years, and didn’t believe that my way of managing a company would work. I invited him to visit Alibaba. After a three-day stay, he said, ‘Now I understand. Here you have 100 mad men just like you.’ ”
Jack Ma’s famous quotes and advices
“Instead of learning from other people’s success, learn from their mistakes. Most of the people who fail share common reasons(to fail) whereas success can be attributed to various different kinds of reasons.”
“Hire the person best suited to the job, not the most talented. This can be a very painful lesson. There’s no point putting in a Boeing jet engine when you need to run a tractor.”
“Never deceive others, in business or in life. In 1995, I was deceived by four companies — four companies that are now closed. A company cannot go far by deceit.”
“Intelligent people need a fool to lead them. When the team’s all a bunch of scientists, it is best to have a peasant lead the way. His way of thinking is different. It’s easier to win if you have people seeing things from different perspectives.”
“It doesn’t matter if I failed. At least I passed the concept on to others. Even if I don’t succeed, someone will succeed.”
“Today is hard, tomorrow will be worse, but the day after tomorrow will be sunshine.”
Full name: Richard Charles Nicholas Branson Aka: Old Beardie
Birthday: July 18, 1950
Education: Reed College (no degree) Net worth: US $5 billion (July 2017)
Sir Richard Branson was born on July 18, 1950. He is an English entrepreneur, business magnate, and philanthropist. Branson is the founder and chairman of Virgin Group, which today includes more than 400 companies.
As of July 2017, Forbes magazine estimated Branson’s fortune to be worth $5 billion US. Branson is known for his love of adventures. One of his companies is Virgin Galactic, a business that offers space tourism to wealthy individuals.
Fact #1: Branson is dyslexic.
Dyslexia is a reading disorder that results in trouble with reading, difficulty in spelling words, reading quickly and writing.
Despite this fact, when he was a teenager, Branson started a magazine called Student. Branson was quite successful at selling ads for the magazine. He talks in detail about the magazine in his autobiography, Losing My Virginity.
Fact #2: Sir Richard is a high school dropout.
Branson left school at the age of 16 to start his first business. He became a millionaire at the age of 23, and a billionaire by the time he turned 41.
Fact #3: Branson initially called his company Virgin because he felt that he was inexperienced at business.
When Branson started the company in 1969, its goal was to help fund his magazine. Today, the company operates over 400 businesses in over 30 countries, including Virgin Healthcare, Virgin Cars, Virgin Galactic, Virgin Media and many others.
In 1979, Branson even bought a gay nightclub and operated it until 2003 when he sold it to a private buyer.
Fact #4: Branson owns an island in the British Virgin Islands called Necker Island.
When Branson visited Necker at age 28, it was owned by Lord Cobham, who was asking $5 million for the uninhabited property. Branson boldly decided to offer $100,000 and was quickly evicted by the insulted landowner.
Over the next few months, Branson slowly increased his offer while looking for the necessary funds, according to Murray. It just so happened that Lord Cobham was in need of short term cash, and he finally accepted an offer of $180,000, more than a 96 percent discount off the asking price.
While the asking price for the island was $5 million in 1978, Necker Island is worth more than $200 million today. It operates as a resort and can host up to 28 guests. It is a part of the Virgin Limited Edition portfolio.
Today, it is possible to rent the island–for $65,000 a day. The Necker Cup is a tennis tournament that is held on the island each year.
Fact #5: Branson is known as a risk-taker.
Branson was the first man on the planet to cross the Atlantic and Pacific oceans in a hot-air balloon. He first flew over the Atlantic in 1987, then crossed the Pacific flying from Japan to Arctic Canada and broke his own record in 1991. The average speed during the Pacific flight was 245 miles per hour. Branson invited William Shatner to join him on the first Virgin Galactic flight, the VSS Enterprise.
Fact #6: Branson has been married since 1989.
While his first marriage lasted for only 4 years, he went on to marry Joan Templeman in 1989 and they have been together ever since.
Branson has a son named Sam and a daughter named Holly. In one of the interviews, Branson confessed that he once lost a child. His first daughter was born prematurely in 1979, and sadly died four days after birth.
Fact #7: Branson is a best-selling author.
Branson released his autobiography, Losing My Virginity, in 1998. The book was then followed by a series of other autobiographical books. Here are some of them:
Screw It, Let’s Do It: Lessons In Life (2006)
Business Stripped Bare: Adventures of a Global Entrepreneur (2008) Like a Virgin: Secrets They Won’t Teach You at Business School (2012)
The Virgin Way: How to Listen, Learn, Laugh and Lead (2014) The Virgin Way: Everything I Know about Leadership (2014).
Fact #8: Branson has appeared as a guest on a number of popular TV shows, including Friends, Only Fools and Horses, The Day Today, The Apprentice, The Rebel Billionaire: Branson’s Quest for the Best, Goodness Gracious Me, Tripping Over, Baywatch, and Birds of a Feather.
Richard Branson’s famous quotes and advices
“Learn from failure. If you are an entrepreneur and your first venture wasn’t a success, welcome to the club!”
“Education doesn’t just take place in stuffy classrooms and university buildings, it can happen everywhere, every day to every person.”
“You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing, and by falling over.”
“There is no greater thing you can do with your life and your work than follow your passions – in a way that serves the world and you.”
Full name: Jeffrey Preston Jorgensen Birthday: January 12, 1964
Place of birth: Albuquerque, New Mexico Education: Princeton University
Net worth: US $85.1 billion (July 2017)
Jeff Bezos is an American entrepreneur and investor. He is the founder and CEO of Amazon.com, the largest retailer in the world.
After graduating from Princeton University with a B.Sc. degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Jeff Bezos worked on Wall Street for a couple years, and became the youngest senior Vice President at the investment firm D.E. Shaw at the age of 26. In spite of success, he quit his job in 1994 to start his own company, Amazon.
Bezos has been passionate about space travel since childhood. He is the owner and founder of Blue Origin, a private space travel developer. As of July of 2017, Bezos’ net worth is estimated at $85.1 billion.
Fact #1: Bezos was a very talented child and teenager.
At the age of three, Bezos disassembled his baby crib with a screwdriver because he wanted a bigger bed.
He was a Valedictorian in high school, and in one of his high school speeches, spoke of his dream–“saving humanity by creating permanent colonies in orbiting space stations while turning the planet into an enormous nature preserve.”
Fact #2: Amazon was not Bezos’ first choice as a name for his company.
Initially, he wanted to call his company Cadabra. Another early name was Relentless. Interestingly, www.Relentless.com still redirects to Amazon.com.
The Kindle initially had a different name, too. It was first named Fiona, after a character in The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson, a sci-fi novel about a book of the future.
Fact #3: The first item that Amazon.com sold was in 1995, a science textbook called “Fluid Concepts & Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought”.
In 2015, Amazon surpassed Wal-Mart in market capitalization and became the most valuable retailer in the US.
Fact #4: Jeff Bezos is a big fan of ink and paper.
PowerPoint presentations are banned at Amazon. All meetings at Amazon begin with a silent session of reading for 30 minutes about the subject that will be discussed. This is done to give more power to critical thinking oversimplified numbers.
When it comes to proposals, Bezos requires his employees to write six-page outlines of their ideas and suggestions.
Fact #5: Bezos is a long-term thinker.
One of his projects is to build the Clock Of The Long Now, also known as the 10,000-year clock. It is supposed to be a mechanical clock that will keep time for 10,000 years. Bezos has donated a total of $42 million to the project. While the prototype of the clock is located on Bezos’ land in Texas, the final clock will be created in Nevada.
The clock is one of the projects that aims to promote long-term thinking. The last update on the clock’s website is from 2011, and there is no information as to when the clock is going to be finished.
Fact #6: Bezos instituted a policy that every Amazon.com employee must spend two days every two years doing customer service work as part of their employment. This rule applies to Bezos himself.
In addition to this, anyone can email him at email@example.com. When he thinks that a complaint is valid, he forwards emails to his employees, usually with just one addition – “?”
Fact #7: Bezos is a believer of the “two pizza rule.”
The idea behind this rule is very simple: the more people on a team, the less
productive the team will be. The same applies to meetings. This is why Bezos’ rule is: Never hold a meeting where two pizzas couldn’t feed the entire group.
Fact #8: Jeff Bezos came up with the name Amazon by looking through the A’s in a dictionary. He related the world largest river with the world largest bookstore.
Fact #9: Bezos made a lot of acquisitions over his tenure at Amazon. The biggest one was the purchase of Zappos.com, an online retailer of shoes for $1.2 billion. The company also acquired IMDB, Audible, and Twitch.
IMDB stands for Internet Movie Database. This site contained a lot of information Amazon later used to target customers with certain movie and music preferences.
Audible was a digital audio books provider. Buying it allowed Amazon to extend its audiobook business.
Similarly to Audible, Twitch was a startup known for live streaming. Twitch was working in the niche of video games. This purchase allowed Amazon to create an in-house gaming studio very quickly. Acquiring Twitch allowed Amazon to blend live video, video game and participation experience. In 2015, Twitch had over 100 million visitors per month.
In addition, Bezos bought The Washington Post newspaper in 2013 for $250 million.
Fact #10: Jeff Bezos loves to read.
Bezos doesn’t just sell books, he also reads them. Here are 12 books that Jeff Bezos recommended that executives and employees at Amazon read to help shape the company’s culture:
‘The Remains of the Day’ by Kazuo Ishiguro, ‘Sam Walton: Made in America’ by Sam Walton ‘Memos from the Chairman’ by Alan Greenberg
‘The Mythical Man-Month’ by Frederick P. Brooks, Jr.
‘Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies’ by Jim Collins
‘Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t’ by Jim Collins
‘Creation: Life and How to Make It’ by Steve Grand ‘The Innovator’s Dilemma’ by Clayton Christensen
‘The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement’ by Eliyahu Goldratt
‘Lean Thinking: Banish Waste and Create Wealth in Your Corporation’ by James Womack and Daniel Jones ‘Data-Driven Marketing: The 15 Metrics Everyone in Marketing Should Know’ by Mark Jeffery
‘The Black Swan’ by Nassim Taleb
Jeff Bezos’ famous quotes and advices
“I knew that if I failed I wouldn’t regret that, but I knew the one thing I might regret is not trying.”
“If you think about the long term then you can really make good life decisions that you won’t regret later.”
“I think one thing I find very motivating — and I think this is probably a very common form of motivation or cause of motivation — is… I love people counting on me, and so, you know, today it’s so easy to be motivated, because we have millions of customers counting on us at Amazon.com. We’ve got thousands of investors counting on us. And we’re a team of thousands of employees all counting on each other. That’s fun.”
“One of the only ways to get out of a tight box is to invent your way out.”
“What we need to do is always lean into the future; when the world changes around you and when it changes against you – what used to be a tail wind is now a head wind – you have to lean into that and figure out what to do because complaining isn’t a strategy.”
Full name: Steven Paul Jobs Birthday: February 24, 1955 Died: October 5, 2011 (aged 56)
Education: Reed College (no degree)
Net worth: US $10.2 billion (at the time of his death)
Steve Jobs was one of the co-founders of Apple, an entrepreneur, and inventor. He was also a majority stakeholder in Pixar Animation Studios and CEO of NeXT. Jobs is widely recognized as one of the fathers of modern computers.
Today, Apple is the world’s biggest technology company by revenue and total assets. At a certain point, the company had more cash in its reserves than the US government. Jobs was fired from Apple in 1985 and came back in 1997. Upon his return, the company was on the verge of bankruptcy.
Jobs worked with British designer Jonathan Ive to create products such as iMac, iPod, and the iPhone. Diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2003, Jobs ultimately died of respiratory arrest on October 5, 2011.
Fact #1: Steve Jobs was adopted.
His biological father, Abdulfattah Jandali, was a Syrian Muslim immigrant who later married Ms Schieble. He has said they did not want to put their baby up for adoption, but his girlfriend’s parents would not initially allow her to marry an Arab.
Jobs’ biological parents only had one requirement–that his adoptive parents would have college degrees, believing that Steve would receive a proper education. However, his mother was disappointed to found out that both of Steve’s adoptive parents did not meet the requirements. For the adoption to go through his new parents had to promise that someday, Jobs would go to college.
Fact #2: Just like many other successful founders, Jobs dropped out of college.
Jobs took one semester of classes before dropping out of Reed College. His GPA during his semester at Reed was quite low, hovering at 2.65. However, he continued to audit classes he was interested in for the next 18 months. He took a class about Shakespeare and his poetry and a modern dance class.
Probably the most important class Steve Jobs took was calligraphy. Later, Jobs said that when he was designing the first Macintosh computer, he incorporated his knowledge of fonts and design into the Mac.
Fact #3: Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak had a history of working together before starting Apple.
Jobs and Wozniak met when they were 13 and 18, respectively. In 1973, Wozniak designed his own version of a classic computer game “Pong.” Jobs took the game to Atari, a pioneer of computer games and home computers. Thinking Jobs had created the game himself, Atari offered him employment, which he happily accepted.
Fact #4: Steve was a Zen Buddhist and Pescatarian.
In 1974, after quitting his job at Atari, Jobs went to India and traveled the country for seven months. Searching for spiritual enlightenment, he meditated often and liked to walk barefoot. In fact, Jobs was married to his wife by his guru who was a Zen monk.
Jobs was also a known Pescatarian, meaning that he ate fish but not meat. Pescatarians also eat everything a vegetarian would eat, including milk products and eggs.
Fact #5: While most people know two co-founders of Apple–Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak–there was a third co-founder named Ronald Wayne.
It was Wayne who created Apple’s logo. However, Wayne sold his 10% stake in the company for $800 just two weeks after partnering with Jobs and Wozniak. Today, his stake could have been worth around $60 billion.
Fact #6: The reason why Jobs named his company Apple was simple: it was the word that came before Atari in the phone book.
This happened before the invention of the Internet when many people used alphabetically-structured phone books and printed directories to look for
products and services.
Jobs was employed at Atari before starting Apple and needed to come up with a name before 5 p.m. that day. Before his role at Atari, Jobs worked on an apple farm in Oregon.
Fact #7: Jobs used to take drugs and said that taking LSD was “one of the two or three most important things I have done in my life.”
He claimed that LSD helped him to “think differently.” “Think differently” was a slogan of Apple for many years.
Fact #8: Jobs refused to give money to charity.
When he became the CEO of Apple, he stopped the company’s participation in all charitable activities, saying that they had to “wait until we are profitable.”
However, after his death, the current Apple CEO Tim Cook publicly announced several private philanthropic efforts that were undertaken by Jobs during his life.
Steve Jobs’ famous quotes and advices
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma—which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”
“For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”
“The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you’ve found it.”
“If you are working on something exciting that you really care about, you don’t have to be pushed. The vision pulls you.”
Full name: Elon Reeve Musk Birthday: June 28, 1971
Place of birth: Pretoria, Transvaal, South Africa Education: University of Pennsylvania
Net worth: US $15.5 billion (July 2017)
Elon Musk is a Canadian-American entrepreneur, scientist, inventor an engineer. He is considered to be one of the greatest and most prolific modern inventors. Elon Musk is responsible for monumental advancements in futuristic technology such as renewable energy and space travel.
Musk is the founder and CEO of SpaceX, with the vision to expand life to other planets, CEO of Tesla Motors, co-founder and chairman of SolarCity.
As of July of 2017, his net worth was estimated to be $15.5 billion, making Musk the 80th wealthiest person in the world. All Musk’s companies and goals revolve around his vision to improve the world and change the way people live their lives.
Fact #1: Elon Musk was born in South Africa in 1971. Similar to Bill Gates, he was interested in coding from an early age, creating and selling his first software at the age of 12. It was a computer game called Blaster, and a web version of the game is available online to this day.
Fact #2: Musk moved to California to go to Stanford after receiving a degree from University of Pennsylvania.
Musk dropped out of Stanford just two days after enrollment because he decided to focus on making money during the Internet boom. His first company, Zip2, was established shortly after.
Fact #3: Musk became a millionaire at the age of 28.
In 1995, Musk and his brother Kimbal started Zip2. The company was started with $28,000 the brothers loaned from their father.
The company represented Elon’s vision of Yellow Pages on the Internet: Zip2 created an Internet “city guide” initially available in the Bay Area.
Musk pitched the services of the company door-to-door together with brother and a team of salespeople he hired. Later, the brothers were able to get
contracts with The New York Times and Chicago Tribune.
Compaq bought Zip2 in the February of 1999 for $307 million in cash and $34 million in stock options. Elon owned 7% of the company, which resulted in him receiving $22 million from the sale.
Zip2 became a part of MyWay.com, which ceased to exist in 2002. However, the technology was purchased by BellSouth for its consumer portal.
Fact #4: Elon Musk didn’t like his kids’ school, so he just opened his own.
Musk’s school is called Ad Astra, which means “To the stars.” It is relatively secret–not much information about the school is available online, and it only has about 20 kids enrolled as of September 2015.
Musk’s vision of the school is removing grade levels so that there would be no differentiation between a first grader and a third grader.
“Some people love English or languages. Some people love math. Some people love music. Different abilities, different times,” he says. “It makes more sense to cater the education to match their aptitudes and abilities.”
Fact #5: With $10 million from the Zip2 sale, in 1999 Musk co-founded X.com, a payment company that later became PayPal.
In the first years of its existence, PayPal had 7-10% daily growth thanks to its referral program. After the first month of operations, PayPal had 100,000 members.
The company would offer people $20 to open an account and $20 per referral. Musk spent around $60 million on this kind of marketing.
In 2002, the company was acquired by eBay for 1.5 billion, of which Musk received $165 million.
Fact #6: Musk founded Space X, also known as Space Exploration Technologies, in 2002 with $100 million of his own money.
The goal of the company is to expand human life beyond Earth. He created the company after traveling to Russia and trying to buy refurbished space launch vehicles there.
Initially, Musk couldn’t get any outside funding for SpaceX because investors thought that the company was just a crazy dream.
In September 2009 SpaceX launched Falcon 1 rocket, which sent a satellite into the orbit of the Earth; and SpaceX became the first private company to do so. Today Space X is the largest private manufacturer of rocket motors in the world.
When people ask Musk as to why he decided to create SpaceX, he would reply with his punch line: “People would say, ‘Did you hear the joke about the guy who made a small fortune in the space industry? Obviously, he started with a large one.’ And so I tell people, ‘Well, I was trying to figure out the fastest way to turn a large fortune into a small one.’ And they’d look at me, like, “Is he serious?”
Speaking seriously, Musk feels that SpaceX is about long-term innovation and he’s not particularly worried about whether it makes money in the short-term.
Fact #7: Musk created Tesla in 2003, focused on developing electric cars.
The Tesla Model S received 5.4 out of 5 safety rating from the National Highway Safety Administration. This was the highest safety rating ever issued to a car.
After the introduction of the Model 3 in early 2016, Tesla received 276,000 pre-orders with $1000 deposit for each in just 72 hours.
Fact #8: Musk was the author of the concept and investor in SolarCity, a company co-founded by his cousins.
The mission of the company is “to make a big difference in the fight against
Today, Musk remains the largest shareholder in the company. SolarCity is the second largest provider of solar power in the US.
Fact #9: Musk’s official salary at Tesla Motors is just $1.
Some wealthy CEOs get paid mostly in “additional benefits” and stock options for tax purposes, and Musk is one of them. By 2022, he is expected to receive $1.6 billion in stock options. The pay structure is strictly related to Tesla’s stock performance, so each time Tesla’s valuation goes up by $4 billion, Musk gets a 10% bonus in options. There are also three milestones that include the company selling 100,000, 200,000 and 300,000 vehicles. By the end of 2015, the company had sold 107,000 cars, so Musk is on target to accomplish the goal.
Fact #10: While starting Zip2, Elon Musk and his brother didn’t have enough money for rent, so they had to sleep in the office and go to the local YMCA to shower.
During an interview, Musk says “When you are first starting out you really need to make your burn-rate ridiculously tiny. Don’t spend more than you are sure you have.”
Elon Musk’s famous quotes and advices
“My biggest mistake is probably weighing too much on someone’s talent and not someone’s personality. I think it matters whether someone has a good heart.”
“I think it is possible for ordinary people to choose to be extraordinary.”
“Going from PayPal, I thought: ‘Well, what are some of the other problems that are likely to most affect the future of humanity?’ Not from the perspective, ‘What’s the best way to make money?”
“If you go back a few hundred years, what we take for granted today would seem like magic – being able to talk to people over long distances, to transmit images, flying, accessing vast amounts of data like an oracle. These are all things that would have been considered magic a few hundred years ago.”