The World’s Youngest Billionaires and How They Made It

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Credit: Flickr, JD Lasica

To develop a business, you have to take risks and gain experience and inspiration from the very people who’ve been through it. 

If you want to ditch the 9-5, or have ambitions to launch your own product/service, go for it. There are plenty of success stories from which to learn the ins and outs of entrepreneurship. Let’s take a look at the youngest billionaires of our time, and how they managed to reach success. It’s never easy, but is certainly is possible.

What Does It Take To Become One of The Youngest Billionaires?

You’ll find that the entrepreneurs in our list below all came up with an invention. They didn’t replicate something that people were already doing, and there was a genuine need for their service/product in the market. If you are talented enough to produce, market, create and research a product that people need (and not just want), you have the capability to become one of the youngest billionaires.

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Credit: ​Flickr, Ryan Morse

Of course, there’s plenty of other work that is involved other than having a great idea. But, it all begins with a belief in yourself and ambition over experience and expertise. Don’t ever give up and keep striving to succeed, no matter how hard it gets. All the while, don’t ever stop learning and networking. The moment you think you know it all is the moment you kill your business potential.


The World's Youngest Billionaires

If you still need a push to leave your desk job, why not take a page from the book of those who have already done so? The youngest billionaires below would not be where they are today without a bit of risk.

Mark Zuckerberg

Worth: $56 billion

Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg demonstrated his entrepreneurial spirit early on in life. At the age of 12, he created a messaging program called Zucknet, as well as coding computer games for his friends, without any experience. Whilst in high school at Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire, he created a product which AOL and Microsoft were interested in buying from him. However, he rejected offers in order to focus on his own ambitions.

When Zuckerberg started Harvard University in 2002, he became recognized as a skilled developer. It was during his studies that Facebook was born. Using his skills, he hacked into the school administration’s ID files to uncover pictures of his classmates. He then uploaded these pictures to an app called Face Mash. Harvard ordered it to be taken down, but it received 22,000 page views in the first hours it was created.  

19-year-old Zuckerberg created Facebook during his sophomore year on February 4, 2004. Three Harvard seniors opened a lawsuit against Zuckerberg of having stolen the social media platform idea from them. Facebook was originally built as a communication platform for University students, before then expanding to worldwide users. Now, the platform is visited by 400 million people every month.

Tom Perrson

Worth: $3 billion

Tom Perrson is a man of many wonders, though has made most of his fortune from the global retail H&M. His grandfather Erling Persson was the founder of the shop, before he passed it down to Tom.

After graduating from Met Film School in London, he moved into the film industry. Currently, he is working in movie production in Sweden where he is contributing to being one of the youngest billionaires. Sometimes, he travels back to London to live in his family’s property to see relatives. He took over H&M in the year 1947, to add to the 187 Swedish billionaires.

Tom currently has at least $2.2 billion from H&M and his brother, Karl-Johan, is the present CEO of the company. The family members are all shareholders of the global store, making each of them billionaires in their own rights.

John Collison

Worth: $1 billion

27-year-old John Collison and his brother, Patrick, are the cofounders of Stripe, an online payment platform for online stores. John is originally from Ireland and is the world’s youngest self-made billionaire. Although, he’s self-made and put in a lot of work himself, he admits that Stripe wouldn’t be what it is without the hard work of hundreds of employees.

The company has been valued at $9.2 billion in 2016, and was designed to transform how companies accept online payments. Its favourite huge companies are currently Lyft and Facebook.

Collison was always a hard worker in education, and was accepted into Harvard before he even took his final exams. But, before he started college, he had already become a millionaire by launching a software which made it easier for sellers to manage their eBay transactions. Despite his young success, Collison always had a vision of going to college, where he studied Physics, in 2009. By the end of the following year, he dropped out of college and headed to Silicon Valley with his brother to build and develop what would become Stripe. The company made its public debut in 2011 and aimed to simplify how consumers processed payments through websites without users having to register and create an account.

Evan Spiegel

Worth: $3 billion

27-year-old Evan Spiegel is one of the youngest billionaires in the world. Spiegel cofounded the photo-sharing app, Snapchat, with his former Stanford classmate, Bobby Murphy. The pair began the creating process in 2011, and six years later, he became the youngest public company CEO. The latest social media platform is popular amongst millennials, and over 170 million people use Snapchat every day.

Spiegel owns around 18 percent of Snapchat, but he and Bobby still have control over the board if necessary. He was given a $800 million bonus for taking his company at the valuation of $33 billion.

Spiegel grew up in a Los Angeles enclave just east of Malibu. He is the older son of two lawyers, and his parents divorced when he was just in high school. He went on to spend his early years at a school in Santa Monica called Crossroads, which costs tens of thousands of dollars each academic year. Amongst Spiegel, other billionaires and celebrities went here too, including Kate Hudson, Jonah Hill and Tinder cofounder Sean Rad.

The family were members of exclusive clubs in Santa Monica, including beach and tennis clubs. They employed a full-time housekeeper and often went on trips to Europe. Spiegel even commented that him and his family live “in a bubble”.

Lukas Walton

Worth: $14 billion

32-year-old Luke Walton is the grandson of Walmart’s founder Sam Walton. He inherited the fortune when his father, John, died in a plane crash in 2005. He now owns stakes in Walmart, First Solar and Arvest Bank, though doesn’t have to work to become one of the youngest billionaires ever.

Walmart is currently worth $246 billion with 2,300,000 employees. The company marks its territory as number 24 on Forbes’ Global Successful Companies.

Walton acts as the Director of the Walton Family Foundation, which had more than $2.7 billion in assets and donated nearly $400 million to education, healthcare, arts and environmental causes. He is also active in clean technology funds in the energy sector and works to understand the motivating factors of businesses and to help achieve their environmental goals. This is an apparent part of his personality, as he studied Environmental Science and Economics at Colorado College in 2010.

Lukas strongly believes in living life to the maximum and with purpose. He attributes his care and passion for the environment to his parents.

Garrett Camp

Worth: $4.8 billion

39-year-old Garrett Camp cofounded Uber in 2009. The Canadian earns a spot as one of the youngest billionaires for his ground-breaking ventures. This also includes the development of StumbleUpon, which he later sold to eBay for $75 million.

Since May 2017, Uber has facilitated over five billion rides, by allowing customers to request a taxi and track the journey without making a phone call. Camp, along with Travel Kalanick co-founded Uber and the service launched in San Francisco just over a year later, before branching out to other U.S. cities and international regions. Uber spent $10.7 billion in nine years in expenses, but is still considered as the top service for transportation.

In May 2013, Camp founded Expa – a global network for entrepreneurs to offer support and advice for businesses and companies. Since its launch, Expa has raised funds worth $150 million.

Camp believes in taking risks to grow as a person and businessman. He attended a small school when he was young, and then moved to the University of Calgary to study Electrical Engineering. It was during his educational years that he developed a team of like-minded friends to birth StumbleUpon. It became successful quickly, and raised adequate funding in its early days.


Do You Know More of The Youngest Billionaires?

We hope you enjoyed the list of our favourite youngest billionaires. Each are unique and we value their drive and work etiquette to succeed. All of the above have one thing in common: they never let anyone or anything divert their focus. If you take anything away from their life experiences, let it be their thick skin and ability to network. You may have a dream, but you need support and talent from others to lift it off the ground. 

Do you have some people you’d like to add to this list? Share your inspirational youngest billionaires in the comments.

Related article: How to Network With the Goal of Creating Lasting Business Relationships

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