From food stamps to billionaire
Jan Koum is a Jewish Ukrainian American immigrant that unfortunately collected foodstamps when he was 16 years old at the North County Social Services office in Mountain View and it was in this location where he signed the deal to sell WhatsApp to Facebook for $19 billion netting him an estimated $6.8 billion.
Aged 16 Jan Koum emigrated to the USA from Ukrainia due to a growing anti-Semitic environment. His subsequent years were financially tough. Koums mother took up babysitting and Koum got a job sweeping the floor at a food shop to make ends meet.
By the age of 18 Koum developed an interest in computer networking and regularly read books on it. It was this fascination that led to him joining a hacker group , later he got a part time job as a security tester and joined a course at University.
After University he went onto work at Yahoo where he gathered a reputation for having a no nonsense attitude and as his future business partner Brian Acton puts it “Neither of us had an ability to bullshit”.
In 2000, Koum’s mother died of Cancer and his future business partner Brian Acton reached out to help Koum by inviting him over to his home and playing football with him.
Late in September Koum left Yahoo stating that working on their advertising system was depressing because it didn’t improve people’s lives.
Koum and Acton traveled South America whilst deciding what to do next and both of them applied for jobs at Facebook and failed. Later Koum applied for a job at Twitter and also failed to get it.
In 2009, Koum bought an iphone and this made him want to create an app that would allow him to see which friends where able to take calls by setting statuses. The early app crashed a lot during testing. Koum got disheartened and was encouraged to stay the course by Acton.
The breakthrough came when Apple launched push notifications, this enabled the WhatsApp application to ping everyone in the users network. Acton noticed his Russian friends were updating their status in a jokey manner. It was at this point that Acton realized he had unintentionally made a messaging service. Later Acton came on board and helped to raise over 1 million dollars in capital from his Yahoo friends. Acton and Koum coded in a coffee shop in California.
The great thing about the WhatsApp service was that it showed someone had received a message, was platform independent and was free. Acton hated the fact that messaging was like a cash cow for many carriers and was using outdated technology and compared it to a fax machine.
The company quickly started bringing in revenue but in the first few months they had to cover the high costs of sms verification (they were using old sms carriers) which emptied Koums bank account.
In 2009 they added the send a photo feature and added a $1 price tag. User growth skyrocketed.
Famously during a staff lunch someone asked Koum why he wasn’t promoting to the press and media more about the app. Koum said “Marketing and press kicks up dust,” Koum replied. “It gets in your eye, and then you’re not focusing on the product.”
More capital was raised for the business and user growth continued to explode. In February 2014 the business was sold to Facebook for $19 billion.
Believe it or not millionaires do not grow on trees. They are actually quite hard to come by. However, they do exist. Millionaires are not a myth. They make their millions in various ways. Some inherit it from their family. Others make it the hard way they earn it. Some earn it by being famous movie actors. Some are famous entertainers. Some sign million dollar sports contracts and yet others are simply outstanding entrepreneurs who followed a dream. Adi Saravanan is one of the latter. He is an Accountant by trade and a very clever one at that. He certainly had a head for finance and it would lay the foundation before him that would lead to extreme financial success.
It did not take him long to find prospering job positions in finance. He landed a sound position where he marketed the service of financial items for Sanmar Financial Ltd. He also found great success working in the Accounting and Treasury Department with Ashok Leyland Finance Ltd. These positions called upon his passion for finance and earned him much respect and admiration in the business community. He has come a long way since earning his Engineering degree from the University of Bharathiyar and earning his Degree from the University of Periyar in Business and Finance Mgmt. He worked long and hard to earn his BA and Masters but it all paid off for him in the end. It has paid off to the tune of making him a millionaire.
His progress in the world of finance in the information technology field has been enlightening. So much so that he was able to co-found Allsec Technologies. He holds the position of President there and leans on his entrepreneurial spirit to develop creative ways to enhance the operation. He offers strategically sound financial wisdom that is hard to find anywhere in the market. He continues to prove over and over again that education is only one of the key factors in success. It also takes that entrepreneur attitude that is a driving force for success. It takes passion and persistence and he has plenty to go around.
Ever since he co-founded Allsec over 11 years ago he has done nothing but improve the overall situation of the business for profit organization. His company continues to offer outstanding technical support and financial services that are beyond imagination. His company expands across many horizons from payroll options to web solutions. His financial services extend from retail to the health care industry. Although much of his success has been in India and the Philippines he is in the process of expanding his services to the USA and the United Kingdom. He has faced adversity and overcome the obstacles that business entails and is all the better for it. He is a true self made millionaire and one of the growing number of entrepreneurs that have obtained success through unlimited passion and dedication to a dream.
It is hard for most of us to imagine being a millionaire, nevertheless a billionaire. The average guy in the world today is struggling to keep his head above water. Working from payday to pay day. When most of us hear about someone being rich, we think they are some lucky people. But is it luck? Or is it something more? Yes, some people are lucky enough to be born into money. Yes, some are lucky enough to inherit money. But there are a lot of millionaires and billionaires out there, who have earned every cent they have. They have either invested wisely, started a company that has done very well or maybe even come with a product that has done very well. A lot of it may depend on what part of the country that they live in. Some businesses do better in different parts of the world.
These people are all entrepreneurs. They are people who have had a dream of some kind. They were determined to not let their dream die. They had faith and belief in their dreams and did not let anyone or anything stop them. I am sure that they may have had people tell them they were crazy or it is never going to work. But a great entrepreneur only listens to what he feels. He will work out the kinks and proceed in what he believes. These people are self-made. And the person that we are talking about in this article is definitely a man with all of this. This man is Alijan Ibragimov.
So what did he do that made him a billionaire? Him and a couple guys that were not only business partners but also friends constructed a metal and mining empire in Kazakhstan. This was in the 1990′s. But eventually they brought together a bunch of businesses in 2006. He was born and raised in a neighboring Kyrgyzstan. Both of these places are in central Asia. He is co-owner of Eurasian National Resources Corporation. It is the biggest generator of ferrochrome. One of the ingredients for stainless steel. Eurasian National Resources Corporation is one the biggest businesses in Kazakhstan. They have over 67,000 employees. A year ago they produced an 800 million dollar profit.
One of the things that may have helped them business do so well is the close friendship that the three partners have. They are very close as are their families. Alijan is married and has 6 children all of them are boys. Both of his partners are also family men. And the three of them are often seen vacationing together. The only difference being is their religion. He is a devout Muslim. And Machkevich is Jewish. They are all three in agreement that family is very important.
He is without a doubt, a billionaire. He is worth over 1.2 billion dollars. And that is to this day, that number is sure to jump before it is all over with.
Have you ever wondered how some people have millions or even billions of dollars while others struggle from week to week to keep their head above water? Is it just luck? Or do these people deserve everything they have. Of course there are probably several opinions to that question. Some may say that it is all luck and that some people have better luck then others. Yes, some people may be lucky enough to be born with a silver spoon in their mouths or to inherited riches but this is not the case with most millionaires and billionaires.
A lot of billionaires make their money by being a true entrepreneur. What I mean by this is they know what they want and they go after it. They have the few qualities that are a must for someone to make it, to gain the riches that we are talking about today. They have determination, determination to go and do what needs to be done. Determination not to let anyone stand in the way of what they want to do. They have faith. Faith in their dream or their ideas. They have faith in themselves. They also have belief, again in themselves and in their dreams. The billionaire that we are going to talk about today is definitely a true entrepreneur. His name is Ihor Kolomoyskyy.
He is from Kiev, Ukraine. He went to college at Dniepropetrovsk Metallurgical Institute. He graduated with a Master in Science. He became best known for his controlling in the Privat group. The Privat group is a group of very influential men who have all control over things like steel, oil, chemical and energy and even the food supplies in Ukraine. For example, this group owns the coke companies.
He also co-owns the PrivatBank. Which is the biggest bank in Ukraine. In the last year, he sold his interests in coke and ore to Lanebrook Ltd. In doing so he received in return, money and shares in Evraz.
What we know by all that he controls and all that he owns is that he is a very influential man. He has the ability to make people listen. The ability to get what he wants. He has friends in high places so to speak. The group has a lot of control with a lot of the media with Ihor being the leader this gives him much prestige. He has good relations with politicians and also sponsors professional sports.
Right now the group is involved with a heated conflict with the other major group in Ukraine, Interpipe Group. They actually criticize each other in public. All of this is over a Plant, that they both want control over.
He is worth about 1.2 billion dollars at this point. He is married and has 2 children. He has got where he is today because he is an entrepreneur, a true businessman, clear to the soul. A man who was destined to be something great and never let himself down.
There are a lot more millionaires and billionaires in this world then you would ever think, hundreds upon hundreds of them. Even though it may hard for the average person to imagine that there are that many people who have more money then they will ever be able to spend, there are. These people have earned their money in so many ways. Investments, companies that they have started and some are just lucky enough to inherit it. But there are those who just get a brainstorm about some kind idea that they may have, they run with the idea and the next thing they know, they are raking in the money. Gary Goldberg is one of these people.
His idea came to him in the way of his young son. His little boy was repeatedly getting sick. After being taken to the hospital several times over a period of time, it was discovered that he had an allergy that had to do with dust mites. This put him on the road of studying to find out more about dust mites. He discovered that they are on all bedding and that a lot of people suffer from allergies because of them. So his idea was born for a company that would sell allergy barrier bedding products. He would not be the first company to come up with this idea, but all the other products that he checked out were not very comfortable or could they be washed. He found them to not be effective. After a lot of testing, he came up with a waterproof, breathable fabric. So in 2006 his company named Clean Brands was developed.
Their biggest customer is Jet Blue. They purchased pillow and blankets sets to use on their hundreds of flights a day. Another thing that he was able to do at Clean Brands was to create different products at different prices so that he is able to sell in places like Wal-Mart and other stores like that. The company was a huge success and he is now worth millions of dollars.
In all of his success and his wealth, he has managed to keep his modesty. He says that he will stop being concerned and looking for ways to better his company and for better ideas on his products. He has not gone out and spent lots of money on lavish things. He has not bought any homes or fancy cars or anything like that. He has bought himself a few nice guitars and that is it.
When asked if he had any advice for any other entrepreneurs, his answer was basically to not ever let anyone stop you from your dream. If you believe in your idea, then stay true to it. He says he heard it all when he first came up with his idea, people thought he was crazy, but look where he is at today. He is one of the world’s millionaires and he did it on his own.
All parents enjoy playing little games with their children from time to time. We are told that playing games with our children helps their little brains to develop and their personalities to become better rounded. So, we play all sorts of games with them to help with their overall adjustment. Some parents buy games at the local department store that are geared towards fun or education. That is the normal pattern followed. Then there are those who make up little games to deliver fun and education to their toddlers. That is all good but one parent took it a step further. Jera Deal, a 34-year-old housewife from Illinois turned her family’s game into a fortune.
She and her husband Brad had developed a game that was meant to assist their toddler to learn the letters of the alphabet. They created a game of letter finding that could be played almost anywhere. There was no game board and no pieces of any kind. This activity was geared towards finding letters in architecture and nature. Sometimes you can find sticks or stones in the shape of a letter. You can find letters in many things around you if you just look. She began to take pictures of these and then use them to play with her daughter. Little did she know that she had stumbled upon am entrepreneurs dream. She had found a niche in the gift giving market and it was about to explode.
While she was helping out at her daughter’s preschool class it was announced that the teacher was getting married. She was torn over what special present she could come up with that would create a special memory that would last a lifetime. She took it up with her husband Brad and they came up with a very clever idea. They went through the photos of letters that they had taken and spelled out the bride to be last name. In addition they framed these letters and created a quaint little keepsake. The teacher loved the gift and so did everyone who saw it. Can you say entrepreneur fever?
She knew that they had stumbled upon a unique gift idea. They decided to create a website in 2005. ‘Sticks and Stones’ was born. They put together a catalog of their favorite letter pictures in frames and began the effort of marketing it everywhere they could think of. Getting your brand out there can be a long and tiresome journey, unless you think out of the box. The new business was starting to hold it’s own but they needed a big break. That break came in the form of Oprah Winfrey. They visited her show and somehow managed to get her attention and offer her a free gift from their company. Oprah loved it and the rest is history. Oprah wanted one to give to Tom Cruise and family. Her endorsement gave ‘Sticks and Stones’ an incredible boost.
This young entrepreneur had taken a game played with her child and turned it into a multi-million dollar empire. Through it all this family has remained grounded. Their entrepreneur spirit has made many of their dreams come true but they remain devoted to their community and the family that made it all possible.
Billionaire has a nice ring to it, but do you ever wonder how people come to have that much money. I am not talking about stars, actresses, actors, or entertainers. I am talking about everyday people like you or I. Millionaires and billionaires come into their money in many different ways. Some inherit the money, some are just born into money and some just make some great investments. Of course there are some that just come with great inventions or business ideas. This would be the case with David Duffield. He made his money off a software company called PeopleSoft’s, that he co-founded with a partner.
He attended Cornell University where he received degrees in Bachelor of Arts and Science and also in Master of Business Administration. When he first graduating from the university, he worked at IBM. Then he went on to start Information Associates. At this company they worked at producing systems for higher learning. He also started Integral Systems. In 1987, he and his partner started a business called PeopleSoft’s. The business is a software company. He was the backbone of this company. He was the one with the visions and the drive to make things happen. Eventually the co-founder stepped away from the company but he stayed on as CEO. But he to walked away from the company. He did stay as chairman. At one point he returned as the CEO for a short time but again stepped down. The company was sold to Larry Oracle a year ago for a ten billion dollar deal. This was done in a takeover, but helped make him a very rich man. Duffield says he may return to the software business someday.
He has done many thinks in his career and has been rewarded in some great ways. Cornell University, where he graduated from, has a research center that is named after him. This happened after he donated 20 million dollars, in honor of his parents. It is used for studying nanoscience. He also purchased a lakeshore estate in Nevada for 50 million dollars.
He who likes to stay busy, still works to this day. He works in another software firm who has a staff of about sixty. He is married to Cheryl Duffield, who is a board chairman for private schools. They have 9 children. They adopted six of them. They both have a great love for dogs and do a lot of different things to try and protect them.
He now wants to build a 72,000 square foot house. This would be a custom built home three stories high. It would even be bigger then the White house. But a lot of neighbors are complaining that it will be way to big for the neighborhood. Some people insist that he is trying to take over the neighborhood and are fighting to have it stopped.
He is no doubt one of the world’s richest billionaires and he is not done yet.
There are plenty of ways to make a million dollars out there but finding the way and making a million dollars seem to be two different things. Sometimes it just takes being in the right place at the right time. It takes luck. However, it also takes dedication to an ideal and the determination to succeed at all costs. Some have that driving force that separates them from the rest. That never-ending desire to accomplish the goal regardless of the sacrifice that has to be made. Chris Lighty is one of those people. He is one of the unfortunately precious few that becomes millionaires at a very young age. How did he do it? Read on.
He started from the bottom up. He began his journey to riches by toting boxes of records. That is right he was carrying them, not making them. That was his big break in the industry of music. He realized from the very start that he wanted to spend his workday in a luxurious office not as a box carrier. He had a knack for management. After all, his mom had entrusted in him the responsibility of making sure his younger family members got off to school and back all right. Sometimes that can take some heavy management skills. He grew up in Bronx, New York and the decade of the 80’s introduced the world and him to a little known music called rap. Rap and hip-hop engulfed the young man and he knew he had found his way.
Through hard work and persistence in 1990 he was able to create Violator. Not just another record company Violator also comprised of a marketing group and artist management. He also created the Brand Asset Group with the Warner Music Group. He was able to really shine in the area of placing artists with various brands to create magic. Some solid artists have called Violator home from Macy Gray to LL Cool J. He has not stopped there however. He is involved in film deals and television opportunities that will expand his horizon. He has been able to think outside the box and be creative in his business approach. There is no doubt in his mind that his persistence paid off.
Just a few years ago his two company’s had made 11 million collectively. That is a far cry from the change he made carrying records in crates years before. He is proof that hard work and determination can pay off. He became a millionaire in his 20’s and plans to make many more. But it is not just about the money. It is about the ability to express a dream and watch it come into reality. He did not set around and dream about become a young millionaire entrepreneur, he went out and became one. He has come a long way since his young days in the Bronx but he has never forgotten those a long the way that helped him get there.
We all wish that we could become rich or at least come into enough money to be able to live comfortably without worrying about how we are going to pay the electric bill next month. But how many of us have the determination to go out there and make a lot of money? So, not surprising, the people that do have that determination to go after their dreams and make them become a reality are the ones with the money. Sometimes people start a business just from their desire to help others, not realizing that this desire will bring them millions. This is the case with David Kim. He had a desire to tutor kids. It was a real passion of his that ended up making him millions.
He lives in Georgia. He attended Harvard in 1997. This is where he started his passion for tutoring younger kids. He felt like he could relate to them and he was really able to help them improve in all areas. He realized that there were not many places that these kids could go to get tutoring. So this is where the idea for starting a business in tutoring started.
He wasted no time in getting this dream started. He started hiring tutors and it was off. He was surprised at how fast the tutoring business took off. He named the business C2 Education. When he saw how great the business was doing, he started offering franchise opportunities. He only offered it to people that truly understood his motives and reasons for the business. He wanted people to understand that the company was not just about making money that the services that they were offering would affect every kid that asked for help. It would help path the future of that person. As of today there are 40 locations of C2 Education and 112 are franchises.
One of the things that he makes sure when hiring tutors for his company, is that he expects excellence. All people that he considers hiring for the company must go through some pretty tough academic, personality and teaching tests. He has some top people working for him, with very high degrees from top-notch schools.
When he was asked when he knew he had made it, he answered very modestly, that he did not feel like he had made it yet. He feels success with every kid that they help. He says that this was what was important when he started the business and that is what is still important to this day.
The advice that he gives to other people wanting to start their own business is to have confidence and determination. Be prepared to work long hours and get right in there and get the job done.
He is now worth close to 50 million dollars, for sure a millionaire in his own right. But maybe what he does, helping kids to be better prepared for their futures, makes him more of a rich man then any other person in the world.
Do you ever wonder why some people struggle all their lives to just keep their head above waters and some people make millions of dollars? Maybe they were raised in the same town, same state, same schools but one is destined to be poor all their lives while the other goes on to make millions. But there could be a very good reason for this. Everyone has dreams, but some people have the determination to carry out those dreams and make them work. Maria Peevey is one of these people. She grew up knowing what she wanted out of life and she went for it. Her determination paid off and now she is one of the world’s millionaires.
She was born in the Bay area. She knew from a very young age that she wanted to own her own company. She was not sure yet what she wanted it to be, but she knew she would follow her dreams. She considered herself a little strange as a young girl. While other kids wanted dolls for Christmas, she asked for office supplies.
After college she worked in a marketing firm. She had a bad breakup with her boyfriend. A friend sent her weekly uplifting cards. This was where she got the idea for the greeting card business. She started the business in 1999. They were greeting cards with cute sayings, sayings that had meaningful quotes. Usually things that woman say to another woman. The business was called Simply She’s. It took off very well, and the cards were eventually sold in about 23 countries and in 8000 boutiques.
But she did not stop there. She had the awareness as a pet owner herself, to see that people were pampering their pets more and more. Especially with people whom kids had all left home and they began to see their pets as substitutes. She came up with the idea to produce pet wear. Fancy collars and shirts and so on for dogs. But she wanted the products to be something that all people could afford. She went straight to one of the world’s biggest chains, Wal-mart’s. They were sold on her idea and soon cleared off shelves for her line. Over 3000 Wal-mart stores started carrying Simply She’s products and in the first week alone the company took in over 2 million dollars. Now the company carries over 700 pet apparel and accessories. The business has also sold their products on QVC.
Along the way to her climb of success, she has also published books, note cards and journals. She has also started a kids line called Simply Wee. She also has a Simply Cat line. She is also pushing to start a green pet food and treats line. So her road to success is far from over. The only question is what is next?
She is no doubt one of the world’s millionaires, all because she had a dream and never wavered from it.