Meet The World’s Youngest Billionaires – Part II
After this year’s list of the world’s top money makers was released, we thought it’d be a good idea to scour the rankings to bring you the youngest and most interesting of the bunch. Ladies and gentlemen, part II:
Eduardo Saverin (30)
After starting off with Mark Zuckerberg yesterday, part II picks up with the Facebook mogul’s arch-nemesis, former best friend, first investor and, technically, co-owner — all in one. After Saverin’s finest hour, which was dramatically reenacted in “The Social Network,” the Brazil native embarked on a lengthy legal battle against Zuckerberg after the Facebook CEO attempted to dilute Savarin’s share in the immensely valuable company.
He was awarded a 5% stake in Facebook, which fully explains his net worth of $2.2 billion. He now spends his time residing in Singapore — he denounced U.S. citizenship — and now invests like a “crazy man.”
“I believe there's a new Facebook out there to be found,” Savarin said. “Where? My guess is in healthcare.”
John Arnold (38)
If Dan Gertler was the villain of these group of rack stars, John Arnold is certainly the hero. This hedge fund manager started his own company Centaurus Advisors, LLC. with the $8 million bonus that he received from Enron right before the disgraced energy company became, well, disgraced.
Arnold was never found of any wrongdoing in the Enron scandal and proceeded to build Centaurus into a billion dollar entity, which in turn got him a $2.8 billion net worth valuation. In 2012, however, he announced that he would enter early retirement to focus on a life of philanthropy along with his wife. The couple is a part of Bill Gates and Warren Buffet’s Giving Pledge — rich people giving away half their fortunes, basically — and started the Laura and John Arnold Foundation. Their mission statement:
“The Laura and John Arnold Foundation strives to produce substantial, widespread and lasting changes to society that will maximize opportunity and minimize injustice.”
Can’t help but love these guys.
Nicholas Woodman (37)
There’s two words we have to give this man before going any further: self made. The Cali native went on an indefinite hiatus, filled with lots and lots of surfing, and while that might sound anything from lazy to irresponsible, it’s the trip that landed him billions. After drastically failing with his previous venture, “funbug,” Woodson was motivated to perfect his next idea, cameras that are nimble and effective enough to be tethered to a surfers wrist.
The company behind the idea, GoPro, released its first waterproof camera in 2004. Nearly ten years later, Woodson has a $1.3 million net worth valuation to show for it. He credits his fear of failure as the main motivator for his success. Just check this excerpt for a feature on him in Forbes.
“I was so afraid that GoPro was going to go away like Funbug that I would work my ass off,” he says, recalling days where he was the company's only employee, acting as its truck driver, salesman, product designer, customer service support and product model. Says Woodman of his “constructive fear”:
“That's what the first boom and bust did for me. I was so scared that I would fail again that I was totally committed to succeed.”
Maxim Nogotkov (36)
Before becoming the head of Svyaznoy, which is the second-largest phone retailer in native Russia, Nogotkov is said to have first exercised his entrepreneurial senses through selling computer programs while in school before going on to sell cordless phones. Today, along with Svyaznoy, the father of three heads Svyaznoy Bank, which he founded in 2010. After 2012, Maxim jumped 46 places in Forbes’ overall billionaires list and checks in at a $1.3 billion net worth valuation.
Sean Parker (33)
At 19, Sean Parker created Napster after raising $50,000 for his first money-making project. Napster was an instant hit, the first of its kind that allowed users to shares music which, ultimately, was the downfall of the company. The music industry eventually, through various lawsuits, took Napster down, but the precedent was set. Parker was at the head of something great. If there ever was a reason to make “bouncebackability” an official word it would be because of Parker’s resume.
Parker has gone from Napster, to a lawsuit, to Plaxo a social networking program that collaborated with Microsoft Office, to Facebook after seeing the site in its early days on his girlfriend’s screen at Stanford, to being thrown off FB’s board after being found with cocaine by the police, to Spotify, to Votizen, to Airtime… but most importantly Spotify. The, legal, music streaming company made its U.S. launch in 2011 and hasn’t looked back since. All together, Parker’s ventures have earned him a net worth of $2 billion.
Photo credit: WENN