Higher education was always said to be incredibly important not only for the single human being but also for the common weal. Histories of the wealthiest entrepreneurs in the world are the exceptions that prove the rule.
Microsoft founder is probably the most famous college dropout ever. He’s estimated to be worth 80 billion dollars, and it makes him probably the richest of the rich – and the most successful dropout in history.
Gates was a talented kid, and during the primary school, he was becoming more and more interested in computers and programming. At the age of thirteen, he wrote his first computer program: an implementation of tic-tac-toe that allowed users to play games against the computer. In 1973, he easily enrolled at Harvard College. Gates was also very successful during his studies – good enough to drop out from school and succeed. In 2007, Gates received an honorary degree from Harvard and had publicly said: “Although I dropped out of college and got lucky pursuing a career in software, getting a degree is a much surer path to success.”
During the high school, Steve was not only interested in engineering and technology but also became curious about arts and literature. It probably had a significant influence on Job’s approach to technology, its unique design, and the whole concept.
In 1972, Jobs enrolled at Reed College which his parents could barely afford but made their best to provide their son with a higher education. After a while, Steve made a decision that he doesn’t want his parents to pay for his studies and to make them collapse financially. Despite the fact he dropped out from school, he was still auditing some classes, including calligraphy. After many years, he said: “If I had never dropped in on that single calligraphy course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts.”
At the age of 17, Musk was accepted into Queens University in Kingston, Ontario, for undergraduate studies. Later, he transferred to the University of Pennsylvania where, in May he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics and a Bachelor of Science degree in economics.
At the age of 24, Musk moved to California to begin a Ph.D. in Applied Physics and Materials Science at Stanford University but left the program after just two days to pursue his entrepreneurial aspirations in the areas of the Internet, renewable energy, and outer space. He has an estimated net worth of 15,2 billion dollars, which makes him 80-th-wealthiest person in the World. What’s more, he’s been ranked as a 21st on the Forbes List of The World’s Most Powerful People.
We can say that Daniel Ek was one of those wonderful kids in the history. He founded his first company at the age of fourteen, and, after few years, enrolled at the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden, but decided to drop out just two weeks after the beginning of his studies.
One year later, he sold his company (Advertigo) – the sale made him wealthy enough that he decided to retire (at the age of 23!). Luckily for all the music lovers, he changed his mind and returned to work after a few months later. In 2006, Daniel Ek set up Spotify in Stockholm, Sweden. He became a millionaire just a few years after launching his project. According to its website, Daniel Ek’s music streaming service now has around 80 million active users.
Zuckerberg left Harvard after just two years and moved to Silicon Valley to work full time on what has become the world’s largest social network, with more than one billion users worldwide.
By the time, Zuckerberg began classes at Harvard, he had already achieved a “reputation as a programming prodigy.” In his sophomore year, he wrote a program called Facemash that let students select the best-looking person from a choice of photos. This site was created just for fun. Right now, a new version of this project is one of the biggest web empires in the history. Zuckerberg is now one of the world’s youngest self-made billionaires. The startup that he founded in a Harvard dorm room is worth more than 200 billion dollars.
Mullenweg attended the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts where he started jazz saxophone. As it turned out later, Arts wasn’t the only ground he was good at.
He also studied at the University of Houston, majoring in Political Science, before he dropped out in 2004. He was so talented that even during his studies he didn’t even bother taking computer classes. In his early twenties, he already started developing his biggest project – WordPress. After dropping out, Mullenweg began to work for CNET, in San Francisco, with a promise that he could continue developing his project. Later on, he quit this job to launch another company standing behind the WordPress – the online platform which now powers 23% of the web.
He’s an Iranian-American entrepreneur and the co-founder of Dropbox. Ferdowsi attended Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he dropped out in his last year to focus on his business.
Ferdowsi dropped out from school after three years in college. He left to co-found his startup, which quickly grew from a tiny company to a service used by millions of people. Ferdowsi quickly joined the group of the youngest millionaires. In October 2016, he left his post as the company’s chief technology officer, but as he says he’ll “continue to focus his day-to-day activities on helping to Dropbox scale as a company and business.”
As you see, it’s not necessary to finish studies to be happy, gain success, and earn a lot of money, but you should have noticed that all people mentioned in the text were incredibly talented and their projects were unique, destined to succeed. Before you decide to drop out of college, think twice. If your idea for the future is as brilliant as these mentioned above, you can consider taking the same steps as Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, Daniel Ek, Mark Zuckerberg, Matt Mullenweg, and Arash Ferdowsi.
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