Mark Pincus, with his company, the online gaming giant Zynga Network Games Incorporated, is the most popular maker of games on Facebook like Mafia Wars, CastleVille, and Farmville. Bloomberg news considered Pincus as the Godfather in the Silicon Valley version of Mafia Wars. In his words about the gaming network that he had created, “I was after this dream of starting an internet treasure. An internet treasure is a service that you can remember life before and you can’t imagine life without it.”
In pursuing the next big thing in Silicon Valley, anyone striving to make it big wants the approval of Reid Hoffman, the founder of LinkedIn and an angel investor to several start-ups like Facebook, Zynga, Airbnb, Flickr, Groupon, Digg and Shopkick. He also served as a former executive of Paypal and worked in the early 1990s at Apple Computers. Reid Hoffman has the characteristics of a great entrepreneur—a visionary who sees something that the rest of us tend to overlook.
Larry Page and Sergey Brin are the two Stanford Ph.D. students who developed the search engine, Google. They developed Google as a research project at Stanford University to improve the way people search for the information in the Internet. Google’s major earnings come from AdSense seen throughout the search engine and its other services such as Gmail, YouTube, Google Earth, and Google News.
Mark Zuckerberg is the baby–face multi-billionaire, Harvard dropout and founder of the biggest social networking site, Facebook—now with over one billion users. Mark started Facebook during his college days at Harvard in order for the students to connect with one another. Facebook made networking a hit because of the way it helps people connect and interact with each other through its wall, instant messaging, like button, and image tagging.
WikiLeaks founder, TIME Magazine’s “Readers’ Choice,” one-time “Person of the Year” and the “Amnesty International UK Media Award” winner – Julian Assange has earned praise from human rights and public speech organizations across the globe for holding international governments and multinational banks responsible for their actions by exposing their internal undertakings.
Melinda Gates is the co-founder and co-Chairman of the world’s largest philanthropic association, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation with over $34 billion dollars in its war chest to combat disease, famine, education and give back the decency and necessities of life to those less fortunate throughout the developing and underdeveloped nations around the globe. Recognized as one of the most powerful and influential people in the world, her ambition is to end polio and malaria diseases, as well as AIDS and tuberculosis.
Less than thirty years ago, Nicholas Negroponte, the founder of One Laptop Per Child organization and initial investor of Wired Magazine, predicted that telephones will become wireless and the television will become wired. We could just imagine how bewildered people of the 1980s were upon hearing that “outrageous” statement. They might have thought of Nicholas then as delusional or, to be kinder, just gravely mistaken. It took only one event for his prediction to come true—the advent of technology.
Most businessmen frown at Richard Branson’s transformational leadership. He’s the kind of leader who does not mind leaving his pedestal to show his rank and file employees how he wants the job done. In short, Richard leads by example. Employees look up to him not because he is the boss, but rather, because they respect the man for what he has achieved and is still achieving. By boosting his people’s morale, Richard turns mediocre employees into excellent ones.
How many entrepreneurs have the decency and ethics to care less about profit? How many of them are sincerely inclined to create honest-to-goodness jobs? In this capitalist-driven age, most will not believe such a business person actually exists. Yes, the late Anita Roddick was very much a real person, a shrewd entrepreneur, and a woman of worth. Yes, she did not care less about generating income if it would trample on anybody’s rights. And yes, she is believed to have donated all of her wealth to charities before she died.
Despite his small frame, Jack Ma is a force to be reckoned with. He is the man who founded Alibaba.com, China’s now number one e-commerce site. At his first touch of the computer keyboard, Jack knew that the Internet is the next best thing that is to happen to China. Jack Ma is currently valued at 3.4 billion dollars by the Forbes Magazine as of October 2012.