Tech geniuses who didn’t need to go to college to become billionaires

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microsoft

1.Bill Gates

Company: Microsoft

School: Harvard

Net worth: $81 billion

Bill Gates early days as a student :

At 13 he enrolled in the Lakeside School, an exclusive preparatory school. When he was in the eighth grade, the Mothers Club at the school used proceeds from Lakeside School’s rummage sale to buy a Teletype Model 33 ASR terminal and a block of computer time on a General Electric (GE) computer for the school’s students. Gates took an interest in programming the GE system in BASIC, and was excused from math classes to pursue his interest. He wrote his first computer program on this machine: an implementation of tic-tac-toe that allowed users to play games against the computer. Gates was fascinated by the machine and how it would always execute software code perfectly.

Gates did not have a definite study plan while a student at Harvard and spent a lot of time using the school’s computers. Gates remained in contact with Paul Allen, and he joined him at Honeywell during the summer of 1974. The following year saw the release of the MITS Altair 8800 based on the Intel 8080 CPU, and Gates and Allen saw this as the opportunity to start their own computer software company. Gates dropped out of Harvard at this time. He had talked this decision over with his parents, who were supportive of him after seeing how much Gates wanted to start a company.


 

CHINA-US-DELL

2.Michael Dell

Company: Dell Computer

School: University of Texas at Austin

Net worth: $18.8 billion

Michael Dell as a student

Dell purchased his first calculator at age seven and encountered an earlyteletype terminal in junior high. At age 15, after playing with computers a tRadio Shack, he got his first computer, an Apple II, which he promptly disassembled to see how it worked. Dell attended Memorial High School in Houston, selling subscriptions to the Houston Post in the summer. While making cold calls, he noted that the persons most likely to purchase subscriptions were those in the process of establishing permanent geographic and social presence; he then targeted this demographic group by collecting names from marriage and mortgage applications. Dell earned $18,000 that year, exceeding the annual income of his history and economics teacher.

While a freshman pre-med student at the University of Texas, Dell started an informal business putting together and selling upgrade kits for personal computers[10] in Room 2713 of the Dobie Center residential building. He then applied for a vendor license to bid on contracts for the State of Texas, winning bids by not having the overhead of a computer store.


 

facebook

3.Mark Zuckerberg

Company: Facebook

School: Harvard

Net worth: $34 billion

Mark Zuckerberg as a student

At Ardsley High School, Zuckerberg excelled in classics. He transferred to Phillips Exeter Academy in his junior year, where he won prizes in science (math, astronomy and physics) and classical studies. On his college application, Zuckerberg claimed that he could read and write French, Hebrew, Latin, and ancient Greek.

By the time he began classes at Harvard, Zuckerberg had already achieved a “reputation as a programming prodigy”, notes Vargas. He studied psychology and computer science

In his sophomore year, he wrote a program he called CourseMatch, which allowed users to make class selection decisions based on the choices of other students and also to help them form study groups. A short time later, he created a different program he initially called Facemash that let students select the best looking person from a choice of photos.

Zuckerberg launched Facebook from his Harvard dormitory room on February 4, 2004 An earlier inspiration for Facebook may have come from Phillips Exeter Academy, the prep school from which Zuckerberg graduated in 2002. It published its own student directory, “The Photo Address Book,” which students referred to as “The Facebook.”


 

apple

4.Steve Jobs

Company: Apple

School: Reed College

Net worth: $6.5 to 7 billion (as of 2011)

Jobs then attended Cupertino Junior High and Homestead High School inCupertino, California.At Homestead, Jobs became friends with Bill Fernandez, a neighbor who shared the same interests in electronics. Fernandez introduced Jobs to his neighbor, Steve Wozniak, a computer and electronics whiz kid, who was also known as “Woz”. In 1969 Wozniak started building a little computer board with Fernandez that they named “The Cream Soda Computer”, which they showed to Jobs; he seemed really interested.

Following high school graduation in 1972, Jobs enrolled at Reed Collegein Portland, Oregon. Reed was an expensive college which Paul and Clara could ill afford. They were spending much of their life savings on their son’s higher education.Jobs dropped out of college after six months and spent the next 18 months dropping in on creative classes, including a course on calligraphy.

In 1976, Jobs and Wozniak formed their own business, which they named “Apple Computer Company” in remembrance of a happy summer Jobs had spent picking apples. At first they started off selling circuit boards.


 

twitter

5. Jack Dorsey

Company: Twitter, Square

School: NYU

Net worth: $2.6 billion

Jack Dorsey as a student

He went to Catholic high school, at Bishop Du Bourg High School. By age thirteen, Dorsey had become interested in dispatch routing. Some of the open source software he created in the area of dispatch logistics is still used by many taxi cab companies. Dorsey attended the Missouri University of Science and Technology before subsequently transferring to New York University, where he first came up with the idea that became Twitter. While working on dispatching as a programmer, he later moved to California.


 

whatsapp

6. Jan Koum

Company: WhatsApp

School: San Jose State University

Net worth: $7.6 billion

By the age of 18 he became interested in programming. He enrolled at San Jose State University and simultaneously worked at Ernst & Young as a security tester.

Koum was a math and computer science major at San Jose State University, before he dropped out to work at Yahoo. He worked at Yahoo for nine years until 2007. 


 

wipro

7. Aziz Premji

Company: Wipro

School: Stanford

Net worth: $16.7 billion

In 1966, on the news of his father’s death, the then 21-year-old Azim Premji returned home from Stanford University, where he was studying engineering, to take charge of Wipro.

The company, which was called Western Indian Vegetable Products at the time, dealt in hydrogenated oil manufacturing but Azim Premji later diversified the company to bakery fats, ethnic ingredient based toiletries, hair care soaps, baby toiletries, lighting products, and hydraulic cylinders.

In the 1980s, the young entrepreneur, recognising the importance of the emerging IT field, took advantage of the vacuum left behind by the expulsion of IBM from India, changed the company name to Wipro and entered the high-technology sector by manufacturing minicomputers under technological collaboration with an American company Sentinel Computer Corporation.Thereafter Premji made a focused shift from soaps to software.

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