Remember those geeky kids in high school? The “Big Bang Theory” group that sat together in the back of the lunchroom? The one’s no cheerleader would go anywhere near? The uncontrolled acne, mismatched clothing crowd? Looks like those folks have the last laugh.

While most of the star football players have a zero chance of making it to a big pro-football payday, a large percentage of the acne table will be making big bucks and dating model quality females after their college years.

A Few Examples

  • Bill Gates: For a time the world’s richest man and creator of Microsoft. Net worth about $72 billion or so. Still chairman of Microsoft but spends his days working on his charitable foundations with his wife.
  • Larry Ellison: Raised by his aunt and uncle in Chicago. Dropped out of University of Chicago. Moved to California at 22 to work for Ampex Corporation. Founded Oracle with two partners and they recently purchased Right Now Technologies here in Bozeman. Signed the Giving Pledge committing most of his wealth to worthy causes. Net worth about $41 billion.
  • Mark Zuckerberg: One of today’s most well known geeks. One of the inventors of Facebook with a net worth of about $14 billion. He lives with his wife in a very average home, grows his own food, and lives a very modest lifestyle. Dropped out of Harvard in his sophomore year to take Facebook public from California.
  • Larry Page and Sergey Brin: Not exactly household names but their product is — Google. Each has a net worth of around $23 billion. The two met when they were PhD students at Stanford University and founded Google in 1998 after acquiring some startup capital. After starting their company in a garage in Menlo Part they now own about 16 percent of Google.
  • Jack Dorsey: Founder of Twitter that 140 character mini-texting environment. While a student at New York University he got the idea for real-time updates between friends and family. Net Worth: $1 Billion.

Some Final Thoughts

These are not the only geeks to hit the big time. There are many more that I could list. Michael Dell of Dell Computers worth $16 billion, Craig Newmark of Craig’s List worth $400 million to name just two more.

The lesson to take away from today’s blog is that America is still the land of opportunity. None of these entrepreneur’s came from big money. All of them had one important thing in common. They all had an idea and they simply would not be denied.

It didn’t happen for them by accident. They all had to flush out their own funding and startup costs. No handouts from Uncle Sam, there were no grants or subsidies awarded. They found a way to make it happen. And thankfully that’s still possible in the United States of America. What’s your big idea and what will you do today to make it happen?

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