These top 10 billionaires are the insanely rich only in the technology category, since there are others with much bigger asset worth in other categories. But in this tech category alone the “poorest” only has a net worth of $17.6 billion. All of them are males. Four of them dropped out of college. All come from only two countries: China or the U.S. The source of their wealth ranges from online messaging, online selling, computer assembly, new operating systems, to social networks. With their fortunes they are donating significant sums to their favorite charities or buying professional sports teams, while a couple want to go to Mars. Each of these billionaires and their businesses has made a great impact on the daily lives of millions of people.
Bill Gates – U.S., $90 billion (Microsoft)
In this category and elsewhere, Gates is the richest man on the planet. With a $90 million net worth, he is poised to be the first trillionaire in history. Gates has been a billionaire since Microsoft went public when he was 30. No longer the company’s CEO, he is now a member of Microsoft’s board and focuses his time on philanthropic work.
“Pony” Ma Huateng – China, $17.6 billion (Tencent Holdings)
Not to be confused with the other billionaire Ma, Pony Ma is a Chinese internet entrepreneur, founder and CEO of Tencent Holdings, Ltd., one of the biggest telecommunications companies in China. Pony Ma earned his B.S. in software engineering in 1993, and in 1998, with four friends, launched the Tencent QQ, which became very popular in China. Tencent soon became the largest instant communication service network in China, encompassing web portals, e-commerce, and multiple social networks.
Michael Dell – U.S., $20 billion (Dell)
Michael Dell was studying to be a doctor at the University of Texas in 1984 when he started a company called PC Ltd. building computers. He dropped out of college to pursue building computers full time. By the time he was 23-years-old, Dell, the company he opened, went public and Michael was worth $18 million.
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Jack Ma – China, $22 billion (Alibaba)
Just 20 years ago, Jack Ma was a modest English teacher who never could have even dreamed of being rich. In 1995, Ma visited the United States for the first time. He had recently started a side business, a translation company, to help capitalize on a recent Chinese export boom. It was during this visit to the U.S. that a friend showed Ma the Internet for the first time. In 1999, Jack brought 18 friends and family members together in his apartment and spent two hours pitching them his vision. Every single person bought in, giving Ma $60,000 to start Alibaba. Recently, Alibaba.com officially became the largest Initial Public Offering of all time, its net worth matching that of Facebook. In market cap, it is $30 billion bigger than eBay and Amazon combined, making its founder the richest person in China.
Steve Balmer, U.S., $24 billion (Microsoft)
Steve Ballmer dropped out of Stanford’s MBA program in 1980 to join his old Harvard friend Bill Gates at Microsoft. He was the company’s first business manager and the first to become a multi-millionaire on employee stock options. Ballmer was eventually made CEO of Microsoft. In 2014, Ballmer paid $2 billion to acquire the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers.
Sergey Brin – U.S., $37 billion (Google)
Sergey Brin co-founded Google with Larry Page in 1998, after meeting at Stanford a few years earlier. Today, Brin oversees Google’s parent company Alphabet as its president. He is the person behind Google’s project to provide Wi-Fi to rural communities using high altitude balloons.
Larry Page – U.S., $38 billion (Google)
Larry Page is the slightly wealthier Google founder. These days, Page is CEO of Google’s parent company Alphabet. It was Page who came up with the algorithm at the heart of Google’s search engine, which compiles results in a specific ranking.
Larry Ellison – U.S., $40 million (Oracle)
Larry Ellison is the founder of Oracle, one of the largest software companies in the world. He is so wealthy that he owns Lanai, one of the Hawaiian Islands. Ellison lives in a $200 million house on 45 acres in Silicon Valley.
Mark Zuckerberg – U.S., $50 billion (Facebook)
Mark Zuckerberg famously developed Facebook while he was a student at Harvard. He subsequently dropped out to concentrate on Facebook. If you’ve seen that infamous film supposedly about him, half of what was featured never even happened.
Jeff Bezos – U.S., $65.1 billion (Amazon.com)
Jeff Bezos wrote the business plan for what would become Amazon during a cross country road trip with his wife. He single-handedly revolutionized the way we buy books, and virtually everything from deodorant to chandeliers to scripted streaming television series. He also owns the Washington Post, as well as the space exploration company Blue Origin, and its dream to travel to Mars.