There was a time when the only famous entrepreneur people knew was Bill Gates. We have come a long way since then and there has been a rapid rise in the number of innovative, creative and brilliant entrepreneurs who have changed the way we live. These people are behind some of the most popular businesses and products these days such as Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, and are recognized all over the world. While we may know them by name, we don’t know a lot of things they have done or accomplished. Listed below are the 10 things that you didn’t know about some renowned entrepreneurs:
44 year-old Elon Musk is a well-known name in the tech world and his life is very much like a sci-fi thriller that has a rocky, awkward and false starts initially, but then turns out to be promising. He coded his first game at the age of 12, lived without a home and broke in Canada and bounced back and made his first million when he was 28. Some interesting facts about him that everyone doesn’t know are:
Fact 1: As a child, Elon Musk spent five hours reading every day and continues to do so. Considering his long list of intellectual accomplishments and pursuits, it doesn’t come as a surprise that the scientist is a voracious reader. His mother revealed that he used to read four to five hours a day and consumed J.R.R. Tolkein epics and superhero-themed comic books like a madman. He continues to read today, only not the paper kind, but e-books on his iPhone.
Fact 2: When he was in school, he was a victim of bullying. He was not always the ‘it’ guy he is today and didn’t fit in. He was the smallest and youngest in his hometown school and so was bullied daily. It is one of the reasons he found comfort in tinkering with computers.
One of the most famous entrepreneurs today is Mark Zuckerberg, who is recognized for founding Facebook, the largest social media platform. He was born in a well-educated family and developed an interest in programming when his parents gifted him the book called C++ for Dummies. Some unique things about Zuckerberg that are not widely known are:
Fact 3: He created a kind of early version of AOL’s Instant Messenger that he named Zucknet for his family. His father was a dentist and his practice was attached to the house. Mark created this messenger to allow his father to be notified when a patient was waiting downstairs for him. The network could be used for sending instant messages to anyone in the house and vice versa.
Fact 4: When he was still in high school, Zuckerberg created a program called Synapse that made use of artificial intelligence for learning the music habits of users and making recommendations according to the data accumulated. He received job offers from both AOL and Microsoft and the latter also expressed interest in buying the program, but Mark declined.
Co-founder of Google, Larry Page is also a very accomplished entrepreneur as he is one of the fathers’ of the internet search giant, which is a force to be reckoned with. His parents both came from a computing background so his interest in all things computers came naturally. Some fun facts to know about Larry Page are:
Fact 5: He is an investor in Tesla Motors, which belongs to Elon Musk. When Larry Page was asked about who will get his billions, he endorsed Elon Musk as he is a big investor in his company. This is primarily because Page is very passionate about promoting alternative energy investments and projects and so he has aligned with Musk.
Fact 6: There was a time when Larry Page considered taking goats as payment. When Google’s ad system was being rolled out in different parts of the world, they had to come up with a payment structure that could be used to accept money for advertisements. However, not all countries were able to take credit cards at that time and Page suggested that they take payments in the local currency of such places. For instance, he suggested that they take payments in the form of goats in Uzbekistan.
Amazon.com is the largest e-retailer worldwide and the man behind Amazon is Jeff Bezos. Jeff was raised by his stepfather instead of his biological one. He adored his maternal grandfather, Lawrence Preston Gise and he was the one who got Jeff interested in computers. He proved himself to be quite intelligent and was a high school valedictorian. He also enjoyed making stuff and was always creating something or the other. Today, Jeff is a billionaire and he even managed to outstrip Bill Gates and become the world’s richest person this year for a while. Read on to know some interesting things about him:
Fact 7: Jeff Bezos was actually one of the early investors in Google. The search engine giant is now one of Amazon’s biggest rivals, but Bezos was one of the first backers of the company and had invested $250,000 in the firm back in 1998. At that time, Google’s share price had been $0.04, but has now crossed the $950 mark. This means that if Bezos would have held on to his investment, they would be worth nearly $6 billion now.
Fact 8: He is building a large mechanical clock in Texas, which will be able to run for 10,000 years. It is being built 500 feet into a mountain in the desert and is expected to be quite durable. Bezos has invested about $42 million in it and the clock will be able to withstand earthquakes, weather erosion and the passing of time. It will be powered by solar energy and human winding.
The chief operating officer of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg is one of the leading female figures in the business world and also the first woman to be appointed to Facebook’s board. She is a Harvard University graduate, author of two best-selling books as well and graduated with the highest distinction from Harvard Business School. She worked at a leading position in Google before she opted to join Zuckerberg’s team after she met him at a Christmas party. Sandberg has demonstrated herself to be a resilient and strong character as she dealt with the shock of losing her husband unexpectedly. Some unique things that people don’t know about her are:
Fact 9: Sheryl Sandberg does not like the word ‘bossy’. She launched a campaign called ‘Ban Bossy’ for empowering women from a very young age. According to her, this word doesn’t provide women any encouragement to lead. In her opinion, such words send the message that one should not take the lead or speak up. By middle schools, most girls are into boys rather than leading and this trend translates itself into adulthood.
Fact 10: Before Sheryl starts the meetings with her leadership team, she asks them to share their current state of well-being. She first checks in with all the members and then invites them to share their existing professional and emotional state before they start discussing business.