A “school-university-job” scheme is appropriate for most of people. However, what happens if you skip the second step? Some people will probably lose the opportunity to build a brilliant career. Other people, however, can achieve their goals no matter what. This post will show you 10 successful and rich people who didn’t bother get a university degree.
- Evan Williams
Co-founder and former CEO of Twitter
Evan Williams spent a year and a half in college in Nebraska before leaving it and starting freelancing in IT sphere. He had worked with Hewlett-Pack and Intel and then started the blogging platform Blogger with his business partner. In 2003 Google bought this platform. The next project for Evan was Odeo podcast. He met Biz Stone and Jack Dorsey, the future co-founders of Twitter, there. In 2006 the era of Twitter began.
- Jan Koum
Co-founder and CEO of WhatsApp
Jan Koum grew up in the suburbs of Kiev. When he turned 16, he moved to California with his mother. He entered a university and studied Math and Computer Science. After some time he left college books behind and got a job as a network engineer at Yahoo. He had worked there for nine years. In 2009 he got an idea of an instant messenger that got popular very soon. In 2014 Google bought this service for 9 milliards.
- Sir Richard Branson
Founder of Virgin Group
Richard Branson didn’t even finish high school, not talking about college. However, that didn’t get on his way of becoming successful. He is just a born entrepreneur. He started his first business, the Student magazine, when he was 16. When he was 19, he created Virgin, the company that dealt with delivery of music albums. The business was successful and allowed Branson open his audio recording studio, Virgin Records. In 1980 Branson also opened several tourist agencies and an airline. Today Brandon’s corporation consists of more than 200 companies in 30 countries.
- Russell Simmons
Co-founder of the record-label Def Jam
Russell Simmons studied sociology in college, but then he got interested in producing and left it. His first producing experience was organizing parties in Harlem and Quince. In 1979 he became a producer of his friend, rapper Kurtis Blow. In five years, he met a famous producer Rick Rubin and together they founded the record-label Def Jam. They signed LL Cool J, Beastie Boys and Public Enemy. In 1999 Simmons sold his share of the company to Universal Music Group for $100 million.
- Michael Dell
Founder of the Dell Computers Corporation
Michael Dell could have become a doctor if he had stayed in the university. However, he did leave to create the Dell Computers company. He got interested in computers in 1980-s, when this sphere was quite undeveloped. Dell started to make and sell computers. During the first year of work, the Dell Company made 6 millions of dollars. In 1992 Dell was named the youngest CEO on the Fortune-500 list. Now Dell Computers is one of the biggest PC manufacturers in the world.
- Stacey Ferreira
Co-founder of MySocialCloud.com
Stacey Ferreira co-foundered her first start-up with her brother and friend when she was at school. It was an online storage of network passwords MySocialCloud.com. The project was sponsored by Richard Branson and his business partner. A bit later Ferreira got into a university, but left it soon, moved to Los Angeles and concentrated on MySocialCloud.com.
- Ralph Loren
CEO and the president of Ralph Lauren Corp
Ralph Loren entered a college in New York but in two years he left it and joined the army. When he got back, he started working as a shop-assistant at Brooks Brothers, but this job didn’t last long for him. In 1967 Loren opened his own company that made ties. Later he created his own fashion line. Now his company also produces home furnishings and perfumery.
- Sean Parker
Co-founder of Napster, CEO of Brigade Media
Sean Parker became famous as one of the founders of Napster and the president of Facebook. His talent for information technology was noticed when he was in school. He won a school contest in Virginia and was noticed by the CIA. He worked on different projects for it for a year and earned $80 000. This fact helped him convince his parents to postpone college for a while.
Afterwards he created Napster with his friend. This project helped him get the knowledge and the skills that he used when investing in other high-tech companies including Facebook, Spotify, Airtime and WillCall.
- John Mackey
Co-founder and CEO of Whole Foods Market
John Mackey studied Philosophy and Theology in the Texas University, but left it to co-found SaferWay, a store of healthy food. In two years SaferWay merged with Clarksville Natural Grocery and this new company got the name of Whole Foods Market. With time this local business grew into a big profitable trading network with more than 340 stores.
- Dov Charney
Co-founder and CEO of American Apparel
Dov Charney started selling clothes when he was a school student; he was selling T-shirts from the US to Canadians. Some time ago, he entered a university, but left it in 1990, borrowed $10 000 from his father, moved to South Carolina and started American Apparel. The company got popular and in 2006 Charney sold it for $360 million but kept the job of the CEO.
Reading the stories of these people you cannot but think “How on Earth did they do it?” University teaches you lots of things, but some people are just so talented that they don’t need it.