Do you have an idea that could earn you a billion dollars? The best fields for becoming a billionaire in the US are finance, real-estate, retail, entertainment, pharmaceuticals, energy and technology.
The 42 people listed below are US billionaires that made their fortunes with technology. There are also approximately 623 centi-, deci-millionaires and a few thousand with single digit millions from their tech based ideas.
Tech start-ups can be developed with just a concept and very little capital investment. Unlike other areas, fortunes can be made in a relatively short time – think Instagram, Zygna, and Groupon.
Measured by internet-time, some companies took a relatively long time to make their founders and early employees millionaires and billionaires – such as Facebook and LinkedIn.
Others have been around since the start of the computer age – Intel and Microsoft – which also enable Michael Dell to start his business from his college dorm room; While others have developed based on the new markets that PCs brought to the homes and businesses – Oracle, SAS, and Intuit.
Steve Jobs, while alive had been a billionaire many times over, and his contributions through Apple and Pixar have changed the world.
Faster, more powerful and lower cost hardware combined with the interconnected infrastructure created a new mindset for the world. This new technology made it possible to develop companies, and competitors, like AOL, Netscape and Yahoo. This in turn created entirely new ways to find information (Google), connect with people (Facebook, LinkedIn) and to shop (Paypal, Ebay, Amazon) or travel (Expedia).
Along the way, innovative engineers found ways to fill specific semiconductor niches to help the computers and communications devices better serve our needs – Kingston, Broadcom and Qualcomm. Others have looked at the simple things we do everyday and applied a new technology – Garmin for navigation and Square for transactions. And some have dreamed big and reached for the stars – Space-X.
Read through the list below and think about what these individuals have contributed to our lives, and how the companies they created impact our lives. It’s even easier now to raise capital to get started (see related article on Crowdfunding ). Be inspired by what they have done and imagine what you can do. Your idea may be the next to change our world, and you may just end up a billionaire in the making.
Bill Gates – Mircosoft (Software)
Larry Ellison – Oracle (Software)
Jeff Bezos – Amazon (Technology)
Sergey Brin – Google (Technology)
Larry Page – Google (Technology)
Steve Ballmer – Microsoft (Software)
Paul Allen – Microsoft (Software)
Michael Dell – Dell (Technology)
Mark Zuckerberg – Facebook (Social Media / Applications)
Pierre Omidyar – Ebay (Social Media / Applications)
Eric Schmidt – Google (Software)
James Goodnight – SAS (Software)
John Sall – SAS (Software)
Patrick Soon-Shiong – NantWorks (Technology) (see related article on the Innovation Awards)
Gordon Moore – Intel (Semiconductors) (see related article on Engineering Laws)
Henry Ross Perot, Sr.- EDS (Electronic Data Systems) (Technology)
Jeffrey Skoll – Ebay (Social Media / Applications)
Dustin Moskovitz – Asana (Software)
David Sun – Kingston Technologies (Semiconductors)
John Tu – Kingston Technologies (Semiconductors)
Jack Dangermond – ESRI (Environmental Systems Research Institute) / Mapping Applications (Software)
Ray Dolby – Dolby Laboratories (Software)
Elon Musk – Tesla Motors, Space-X (Technology) (see related article on Space-X)
Marc Benioff – Salesforce.Com (Software)
Min Kao – Garmin (Technology)
Reid Hoffman – LinkedIn (Social Media / Applications)
Bharat Desai – Syntel (Software)
Romesh T. Wadhwani – Aspect Development (Software)
Barry Diller – Expedia / Trip Advisor / IAC (Social Media / Applications)
Henry Samueli – Broadcom (Semiconductors)
Thomas Siebel – C3 / Siebel (Software)
Steve Case – AOL (Social Media / Applications)
Meg Whitman – Ebay (Social Media / Applications)
Irwin Jacobs – Qualcomm (Technology)
Scott Cook – Intuit (Software)
Peter Theil – Paypal, Facebook (Social Media / Applications)
Henry Nicholas, III – Broadcom (Semiconductors)
James Clark – Netscape (Social Media / Applications)
David Filo – Yahoo (Social Media / Applications)
Graham Weston – Rackspace (Social Media / Applications)
Jerry Yang – Yahoo (Social Media / Applications)
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