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Who has used tech to become one of the mega rich?

mark zuckerberg holding his hands on stage
Image: CIO

The technology world has always been ripe for having the potential to make those who get in at the right time, with the right intention or attitude towards innovation, seriously rich. One of the most interesting aspects to this landscape of technology and its wealth-creation possibilities has been the notion that an inventor or group of innovators might have the right idea (unlike Samsung had with their foldable phone!), but that doesn’t always mean they get rich from it.

The brutality of money-making in technology can be epitomized in recent times by Pokemon Go!. Initially seen as a huge hit, the game sent Nintendo stocks up by 200% and it looked like the company was about to have itself a lovely cash cow. However, as it transpired, they arguably made the least amount of money from the success of the game.

The truth is that those who have managed to make it on to various wealth lists are often worth looking more closely at in order to find the hidden aspects to their success stories. Take the story of Steve Jobs and his fall and subsequent rise as an example. This has now attained almost mythical status, but perhaps the most interesting part of his career came when he allowed Bill Gates to save Apple, in the process making both men incredibly rich and proving that those with the biggest reputations in tech can be prepared to work together to further their respective riches.

So, we’ve seen that a great idea isn’t everything in the battle to get rich and that sometimes a little bit of luck, or an invitation to become involved in something, can be key. Clearly, luck and timing can be as important as coming up with that great idea in the first place. This concept is being played out at the moment as FaceMetrics has seen investment in the company that could help to propel it, and its owners, into the world of the mega-rich.

Not just getting rich, but getting mega rich

Another startling aspect to the world of technology is how it has the power to make those who get it right not just rich, but mega-rich. The infographic below shows that we aren’t far away from getting a trillionaires list dominated by those in the tech industry, such as Mark Zuckerberg and Jeff Bezos, who could easily become trillionaires in their lifetimes, although opinion is split as to who will get there first, according to CNBC.

With Bezos sat on a reported fortune of over $72 billion and Zuckerberg on the slightly humbler amount of $56 billion(!), the potential for extreme wealth in tech is clearly high. That said, the increased activity from the likes of Facebook and other big players in the tech world of buying up companies like WhatsApp, Oculus Rift, and lesser-known companies like Gowalla (and many others that you can see here) shows that it is probably the very rich who will keep getting richer due largely to acquisition accumulation. That said, there is still a chance for the owners of these companies to have their pay-day, and by getting investment and backing from a giant company, the chance to push on in other areas and let go of any financial worries they might have had in the past.

A quick journey – once you have started it!

For those aspiring to be the next billionaire through their own invention, with inventions like the iPhone and its constant evolution certainly the kind that can make owners very rich, the good news is that if you come up with the next Snapchat or the next idea that can get your first million from, then technology is a sector where you don’t have to hang around when it comes to going from a millionaire to a billionaire! According to information and research from Betway, technology is the industry where the current richest 100 in the world have to wait the least amount of time (7.3 years) to go from being a mere millionaire to a billionaire.

This research throws up other interesting facts; only four of the richest 100 have been to Harvard, and 30 of them didn’t even finish (or in some cases go to) university. This shows that both Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates may well know a thing or two about when it is right to ditch your studies and instead embrace the world of money-making since they both dropped out of Harvard to concentrate on their companies.

A list of those both brave and inventive

When you look at the names of those who have got seriously rich from technology, like Larry Page, Sergey Brin, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and of course the current richest of them all, Jeff Bezos, you notice that in each case, they weren’t isolated in competing to bring their technology to the wider market.

While this might sound obvious, the reality is that the mega-wealthy out there have known not only how to spot and develop great new technology that works in a way that makes it easy to sell, but also how to be ruthless against their rivals.

Those who have reached the top have not only used their technology to get there, but their own ability to stand out as well. In many cases, even if their product was not objectively always the best (we’re looking at you Bill Gates!), they were able to make it the one that won out. In this sense, the drive and ruthlessness required shows why these individuals haven’t just stopped at their first million, but have powered on to largely become billionaires.

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