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5 Billionaire college dropouts

I have nothing against education. But at times, education gives people false confidence. It makes people relax, trusting in the power of their certificates rather than in working hard.” – Rasaq Okoya.

Bill Gates1. BILL GATES-Net worth $79 BILLION

Bill Gates founded Microsoft together with Paul Allen in 1976 when he signed a contract with MITTS (Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems) to develop a basic operating system for their new microcomputers. Bill gates dropped out of Harvard at this time because of the numerous commitments he had at Microsoft. The big break for Microsoft came in 1980 when IBM approached them for a new BASIC operating system for its new computers. In the early 1980s IBM was by far the leading PC manufacturer.

However increasingly there appeared many IBM PC clones; (PCs developed by other companies compatible with IBM’s). Microsoft worked hard to sell its operating system to these other companies. Thus Microsoft was able to gain the dominant position of software manufacture just as the personal computer market started to boom. Since its early dominance no other company has come close to displacing Microsoft as the dominant provider of computer operating software.

“Don’t compare yourself with anyone in this world…if you do so, you are insulting yourself.” 
Bill Gates

mark z2. MARK ZUCKERBERG Net worth $27 BILLION

Born on May 14, 1984 to Edward Zuckerberg and Karen Zuckerberg, Mark was a child prodigy, programming and creating games at the age, when one is usually playing them. He repeatedly asserted his extraordinary potential as a computer programmer through different inventions. In his early teens he created a music player named Synapse as a school project using some help from a friend, which used artificial intelligence to understand one’s taste in music and created a play list accordingly.

Software bigwigs like Microsoft and AOL tried to buy it and even recruit Mark. But he refused both. Instead he went to Harvard in 2002. On Feb 4, 2004, with the help of his roommates, Dutsin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes and using the finance provided by another friend Eduardo Saverin, he launched what was called then, The Facebook. It was an instant hit, and soon made Mark the next big thing. He quit school shortly thereafter.

The biggest risk is not taking any risk… In a world that changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.

Mark Zuckerberg

Roman3. ROMAN ABRAMOVICH-Net worth $14.1 BILLION

He attended the Industrial Institute in the city of Ukhta in the Komi region of Russia, but dropped out before completing his degree. He briefly attended another college but dropped out (or was kicked out) a second time. Next, Abramovich spent some time in the Soviet Army, where glimpses of his future business acumen became evident. While in the army, he sold stolen gasoline to commissioned officers to make extra money on the side. After the army he landed a job as a commodities trader for a Swiss trading company called Runicom. After the Soviet Union fell it is alleged he made majority of his wealth selling off government asssets.

In 2003, he acquired London-based Chelsea Football Club for $105 million, and has since spent more than $800 million to fund the team. It is valued by applying its fiscal 2012 financial results, as reported by Deloitte’s sports Business Group. He also owns automobiles and helicopters, homes and a Caribbean island, a custom Boeing 767-300 called the bandit, and three yachts, including Eclipse, the world’s second-largest.

To tell the truth I cannot call my childhood bad. In your childhood you can’t compare things: one eats carrots, one eats candy, both taste good. As a child you cannot tell the difference.

Roman Abramovich


Ralph4. RALPH LAUREN-Net worth $7.1 BILLION

Ralph Lauren was born Ralph Lifshitz in New York City on October 14, 1939.Lauren attended Baruch College in Manhattan, where he studied business for two years. After a brief stint in the Army, Lauren took a sales job at Brooks Brothers. Lauren worked in retail before developing a line of neckties. Lauren never graduated from college, never went to fashion school, and would certainly not have seemed destined to head a global multi-billion-dollar luxury-goods company. The brand he established, Polo, is now one part of an empire that includes fragrances, home furnishings and luxury clothing. Lauren has used his personal fortune to amass a collection of rare and classic cars.

I was very influenced by movies; I was very influenced by a world that had a sense of dream.

Ralph Lauren

Dell5. MICHEAL DELL-Net worth $15.4 BILLION

Michael Saul Dell was born in Houston, Texas. His father was an orthodontist, his mother a financial consultant and stockbroker. From an early age, Michael Dell was fascinated by both business and electronics, and couldn’t wait to combine his two passions. His parents hoped that he would pursue the study of medicine, but in his first year at the University of Texas, he started a small business, selling computer disk drives out of his dorm room. At the time, personal computer users could only buy their gear at retail stores, and the choice of features was dictated by the manufacturer. Any customizing of memory or disk drives had to be done after the purchase. Dell purchased unsold IBM PCs from retailers at cost, adding additional memory and disk drives and selling them at prices ten to 15 percent below retail. With an initial investment of $1,000, he registered the business with the State of Texas. Minimal advertising quickly brought him a large customer base on campus, and outside contracts followed quickly. Within months he moved off campus, filling a large apartment with computer parts and assembling new computers from scratch at a fraction of the cost of the traditional retailers.


You don’t have to be a genius or a visionary or even a college graduate to be successful. You just need a framework and a dream.

Michael Dell


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