10 Successful Companies started by Dropout Entrepreneurs


“I heard your friend from school just got promoted”

“Mrs. Gupta’s daughter just got a mind blowing job offer from her college placements!”

We have all heard something like this more than once in our lives. The pressure of having a college degree in your hand is faced by everyone. What happens if you drop out of college? You become the “black sheep” of the family .Job prospects? Zero! Is all of this really true though?

Let’s take a look at the education qualifications of the men who run 10 of the most successful companies in the world right now and see for ourselves:

1) Apple Inc: Steve Jobs and Steve Woznaik

Jobs (age 21) and Wozniak dropped out of Reed College and started the company out of Jobs’ parents’ garage, a company that is currently worth more than $700 billion. The men who gave us the iPhone and changed the face of communication dropped out of school after the first semester and recycled bottles and cans to make ends meet. Jobs were worth $11 billion at the time of his death and Woznak is currently worth $100 million.

2) Whatsapp: Jan Koum

This instant messaging app was founded in 2009 by Jan Koum dropped out of San Jose State University to work with Yahoo! but left it to join Facebook but failed. He thought about whatsapp after he bought an iPhone and realized that the App Store was going to open a whole new platform for apps. Whatsapp was acquired by Facebook in 2014 for $19 billion and is now the most popular instant messaging app globally.

3) Ford: Henry Ford

He is the man who literally helped shape the world as we know it. Ford dropped out at the age of 16 and founded the Ford Motor Company in 1903.Gave the world the famous Model T and the assembly line system by 1908. He was worth $199 billion at the time of his death and his legacy was worth $118.3 billion in 2009.

4) Zara: Amancio Ortega

Zara is a name that everyone loves and knows all over the world. It was started by Amancio Ortega who dropped out at the age of 14. He started off with one store in downtown Galacia, Spain and now has over 2000 stores located across 88 countries. Ortega was ranked as the second richest man in the world by Forbes and is currently worth $72.3 billion.

5) Facebook: Mark Zuckerberg

I am sure you have heard about Facebook. Zuckerberg dropped out of Harvard when he was 19 and came out with something that drove the world crazy! What started off as a random Saturday night of coding for a college programmer is now the second highest traffic website in the world and is worth $245 billion making its founder worth a whopping $53.2 billion.

6) Google: Larry Page and Sergey Brin

Yes, they are the people you can thank for all the reports and essays you copied off the internet a day before the deadline. Page technically graduated from University of Michigan but dropped out of his PhD at the age of 21. Google started off as a research project as a part of their PhD program. Who knew a research project could eventually change the face of the internet? Google recently got featured in Forbes’ World’s Most Valuable Brands List and is worth $367.6 billion.

7) Disney: Walt Disney

Mr. Walt Disney is known as the most influential animator of all times, he gave us a world of magic and wonder and showed us things we thought were impossible. Walt dropped out when he was 16 and founded Disney in 1923. Mr. Disney’s baby is now worth $179.5 billion.

8) Virgin Group: Richard Branson

Branson dropped out at the age of 16 to start a magazine called Student, ironic isn’t it? He later started a mail-order record business which eventually became a chain of record stores called Virgin Records. The brand grew rapidly and now includes an airline and 400 other ventures. The brand is currently valued at $5.54 billion, getting its founder’s net worth up to $4.9 billion.

9) Twitter: Evan Williams and Jack Dorsey

These two dropouts are responsible for the tweeting and the chirping on the internet since ’06. Williams dropped out at the age of 19 and Dorsey when he was 20. Dorsey, who was an undergrad at NYU at that time, introduced the idea of an individual using SMS service to communicate with a group of people. When Twitter came into existence, it did not replace anything but paved its own path towards something completely new. It is currently worth $18 billion.

10) Dell Inc: Michael Dell

Michael founded Dell while he was still a student at the University of Texas at Austin; he started selling upgraded personal computers from his dorm room. He eventually dropped out of school to focus more on his venture and got his license from the state of Texas to bid on larger contracts. Dell is currently valued at $30 billion.



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