Some of the world’s richest people have made their money on the Internet. Some were even teenagers when they first became multi-millionaires. For instance after launching myYearbook, Catherine and David Cook were aged just 17 and 19 respectively when they were already worth around $10 million. Ashley Qualls who came up with WhateverLife was worth $4 million at 17. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, now 30 going on 31, was worth a whopping $700 million when he was just 23. Here are seven people, including those mentioned above, who were Internet millionaires before they turned 25.
David and Catherine Cook
This brother and sister team got rich quick on the Internet by coming up with the social networking site, MyYearbook.com, a digital idea based on good old-fashioned yearbooks. Initially they got started with a quite healthy $250,000 investment injection from their older brother Geoff. Now their website, which has subsequently merged with Quepasa, is worth at least $100 million, largely from the advertising revenue they are able to get via the site. Individually the pair is worth at least $30 million each, probably more.
Wanne be entrepreneurs are well known for their personal challenges, though not that many make them ever, and even less successfully achieve them in their teens. Adam Horowitz decided at 15 that he was going to be a millionaire, and he declared that he would achieve this personal challenge by the time he turned 21. And he did it! He then went on to develop Mobile Monopoly, a recognized game changer in the mobile device marketing industry. He continues to update this revolutionary software and training program, continuing to amass more wealth.
With a mere $500 in his pocket, Sean Belnick started a small online shop selling small items, including trading cards, when he was just 14. He then turned his hand to furniture, and founded the Internet site, BizChair.com, selling stock from home. At the time his stepfather was a furniture manufacturer and he picked up on the fact that many consumers wanted good delivered to their homes. He was worth a whopping $24 million by the time he turned 20.
By the time he was 25 years old, US software engineer, Blake Ross had managed to rake up a fortune of more than $150 million. His product, Mozilla Firefox, of which he was a co-founder, is today one of the top web browsers and is used around the world. Prior to working on Firefox, Ross has worked for Netscape that, of course, was one of the Internet’s earliest and best known web browsers. Although it is still used, Netscape pales in comparison to the likes of Firefox.
Farrah Gray rates as one of the world’s youngest business entrepreneurs. He was an Internet millionaire by the time he was just 14. At six years old, Farrah started selling body lotion in an endeavor to make money. By the time he was 13 he had founded his first Internet business, Farr-Out Food. By the time he was 14 he was raking in orders worth more than $1.5 million, making him one of the youngest multi-millionaires ever. By 15 he had set up his own foundation that now funds scholarships and literacy programs for children in need.
One of the most famous Internet millionaires, Ashley Qualls was also a teenager when she made her first million. It all started when, at age 14, she set up her own portfolio site, whateverlife.com to publicize the design work she was doing. Then she decided to give free Myspace layouts to girls who were a similar age to what she was. Before she knew it, in 2007 she was getting around 7 million visitors to her website every month, and it made sense to offer advertising space. By the time she had turned 17, she had bought her first house and turned down an offer of $1.5 million to buy her business.
Mark Zuckerberg, the sometime controversial founder of the hugely popular social network Facebook, was worth an estimated $4 billion by the time he was 25. Now almost 30-something, he is one of the world’s wealthiest people and worth somewhere around $20 billion. A college dropout, he is also one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the world. His story is an unlikely one, and it is filled with suspense and intrigue. He has been accused of being a liar, a cheat, a fraudster, and of stealing other people’s ideas. While he has never been convicted of any of these charges, he had, in the few short years of becoming a billionaire, already paid out millions of US dollars to compensate his accusers and keep them at bay.