Of the 100 richest people in the world today, a number have no college degree and were born into humble households, or without a family at all. Here is a look at what these underdog entrepreneurs have in common.
Technology is once again proving itself to be as good as gold. In the just-published Forbes magazine annual list of The World’s Billionaires, a number of list members owe their fortune to tech.
Oracle’s Larry Ellison eyes fellow billionaire’s Anschutz Entertainment Group empire, according to sources
Oracle Corp’s Larry Ellison, known for his taste for the finer things in life, is now intrigued by a multibillion dollar sports and entertainment empire.
Silicon Valley Most Viewed
Simon and David Reuben have rescued one of London’s most popular hang outs for entrepreneurs by buying the building.
Financial Times – Entrepreneurship
Living in a city is all glitz and glam, but having to park your car in a garage is one of the downsides. But don’t fret for long. If you head to Singapore, you can park your car in — where else? — your living room.
Why? Because you and your Lamborghini Aventador should never feel the pangs of separation. Instead, your wheels should sit adjacent to your dining room table and really feel like part of the family.
Owners simply use a thumb sensor to activate the biometric elevator in the Hamilton Parks apartment complex. Your precious metal will then rise up the 30-story building, to your floor, and stands ready behind glass until it’s time for your next ride.
However, are superheroes possible? I’m not talking about the real life superheroes that are roaming various cities across America, and around the world.
Batman and Ironman, definitely possible. We just need some billionaires with a penchant for justice. One all broody, one a genius, playboy – and we’ve got them sorted.
However, are the superheroes that are more than just charm and gadgets possible?
In this video from AsapSCIENCE, Mitchell Moffit take a look at the science behind Spiderman. In theory, if a nasty spider bite gave him a retrovirus, then yes, he could be real. Sure, he’d have hairy palms which may be a bit of a turn off for Mary Jane.
It just goes to show you that with the right thinking, the right information and logic applied, almost anything may be possible. Dream on Anthillians!
The science of Spiderman
Allen & Co.’s annual conference in Sun Valley, Idaho has a billionaire guest list. Check out which of Silicon Valley‘s most famous are expected to be there.
Mark Zuckerberg, Peter Thiel, and Warren Buffett walk into a room in Idaho…
It’s not the start of a bad joke, just a glimpse of the guest list for Allen & Co.’s annual media conference next week in Sun Valley, Idaho, reported Bloomberg.
The Lakeland, Florida-based investment bank hosts the annual high-profile conference, which also counts Google chairman Eric Schmidt, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, and Apple CEO Tim Cook among expected guests.
The event, now in its 19th year, is closed to the public, and the schedule is top secret. But for the last two decades, the event has served as a casual gathering for top media executives and billionaires from all industries to discuss deals. And more and more, those billionaires are Silicon Valley’s most powerful players.
For example, last year, Newark, New Jersey Mayor Cory Booker met Zuckerberg, CEO of Face book, at the meeting. Soon after Zuckerberg donated $ 100 million to Newark schools.
This year, tech investors Marc Andreessen and Peter Thiel are also reportedly expected to show up, in addition to Twitter CEO Dick Costolo, and Yahoo CEO Ross Levinsohn.
Another new attendee on the list is the CEO of video-game publisher Activision Blizzard, Bobby Kotick.
I don’t know about you, but I have always wanted “secure, military grade communications.” Not that I want to do anything mind-bogglingly stupid Anthony Wiener-style, or that I’m planning the imminent violent overthrow of western civilization.
Mainly just because it sounds cool.
That’s the promise of new iPhone app Wickr, which says that “the internet is forever, but your data doesn’t have to be.” The company’s slogan is Leave No Trace.
Well, never fear, because I’ve deleted the app from my phone. How’s that for no trace?
I was fairly excited at first: totally secure, completely private, I can erase my own emails on your device. I imagined setting an auto-destruct for 10 seconds, sending a friend a 10-page treatise on the mating habits of Visayan warty pigs, then laughing uncontrollably.
Juvenile, I know.
But that’s what the words “military grade” and “tactical” do to men: make them stupid.
Wickr, of course, is made by seriously smart people. Security guru Dan Kaminsky served as an advisor to the team, Forbes tells us breathlessly. Co-founder Robert Statica is the director of the center for information protection at New Jersey Institute of Technology. He even has good reviews on RateMyProfessor, although his profile pic might be a little Silence of the Lambs for some.
But there’s one small fly in this ointment of bursting intelligence.
The app only works if you’re sending email to people who already have a Wickr account. Which means that the first day you get this app, it is completely and utterly useless. To bring back an old network effects example, it’s like having precisely one fax machine. Uno. Eins. Un.
I guess you could email yourself.
Wickr says that the app is in use by many people in many different walks of life:
“Wickr is used by reporters, sources, senators, cops, freedom fighters, doctors, patients, lawyers, bankers, military, intel, boards, billionaires, celebs and college students.”
And I have no doubt that if I was a billionaire, I’d probably be able to force all my business associates, friends, and family to use whatever bloody email software I want, dammit.
But how on earth as a journalist can I ask my sources to not email me, not phone me, not Skype me, but instead have an iPhone, find an app, download it, create an account, connect with me, and then (and only then) communicate with me.
Of course, I may be completely wrong (and I know I can count on all of you tell me just how wrong I am, in the comments.)
Nico Sell, one of Wickr’s co-founders, responded to my emailed request for more information about how, precisely, the company was going to get scale, go big, and make the app useful for the first-time user.
“You must invite your friends to make it useful. This is why it is viral. Remember though, it is a free app that just takes a minute to set up with an easy invite feature.”
And maybe I’m all wet. Wckr seems to be doing something right. Sell continued, saying:
“We are already seeing hockey stick growth curve. Wickr is currently the 16th most popular social app right after Google+ and before FourSquare and Bump!!! People are going crazy for Wickr.”
That is astonishing. My curmudgeonly take? It’s temporary — due to a major publicity push — and will not last. My bet is that people use email for too many things and too many people to switch just for a few private messages to one particular app — especially with no Android version (yet) and no desktop app.
Am I wrong?
Sell’s email, by the way, is still in my inbox. I think I’ll keep it there for a while … just as long as I want to.
For those who are interested, here’s a visual tour through Wickr, right from the start:
Image credit: Vault/ShutterStock
Filed under: Entrepreneur, mobile, offBeat, social, VentureBeat
VentureBeat » Entrepreneur
Local social networking app FriendThem, a service that uses your Facebook account to find nearby friends or potential friends, is planning to sue Facebook. Or so the company tells VentureBeat, alleging that Facebook’s newly released and almost-instantly-pulled Find Friends Nearby feature is its idea.
In the notification from FriendThem, chief executive Charles Sankowich is quoted as saying: “I was amazed on Sunday to read that Facebook is blatantly stealing our idea with what they are calling, ‘Find Friends Nearby.’”
FriendThem’s app works by finding friends of your friends who are nearby and then allowing users to make a connection.
Sankowich goes on to claim that the feature was part of FriendThem’s trademarked materials, and that Facebook has aped the company’s marketing language. Then he threatens a lawsuit:
“We are consulting attorneys and assuming this is true and expect to commence a lawsuit very shortly. One would think that Facebook would have learned to play fair after being through the mud previously with legal difficulties, but now they are doing it again.
We may not be billionaires, but we are damn tough New York entrepreneurs, and we believe in this idea and will keep working to connect people.”
However, Facebook may not be guilty of what Sankowich alleges. It just acquired Glancee, a service that “helps you discover and connect with new interesting people around you,” in May. It’s entirely possible that the new Facebook local friend-finding ideas and technology came from that acquisition.
In addition, I’m not sure it’s common practice for companies planning a lawsuit to pre-announce their strategy, or to attempt to use the court of public opinion, before they’ve attempted the actual courts.
Facebook did pull the Find Friends Nearby feature out of its mobile app earlier today. Whether this has anything to do with the FriendThem announcement is unknown.
VentureBeat has reached out to both FriendThem and Facebook for comments and will update this story as we get responses.
Image credit: ShutterStock
Filed under: Entrepreneur, mobile, search, social, VentureBeat
VentureBeat » Entrepreneur
It’s scary trying to convince yourself and your team to follow you based on a “feeling.” But sometimes that’s the best thing to do.
The most frustrating advice I ever received came from a mentor who told me, “Just follow your gut.”
I had no idea what that meant nor how to do it. He made it sound as if my gut would suddenly appear in front of me and gesture for me to follow it.
Want to know why it’s so hard to follow your gut? Because it requires you to stop giving a damn about what everyone else thinks.
Entrepreneurs spend so much of their lives comparing themselves to others and measuring their progress by some impossible ideal. Covers of magazines show 20-something who became billionaires off their brilliant ideas. Your bank account, meanwhile, looks more than a little pathetic. (I know mine does.) You start to feel that, whatever success is supposed to look like, you’re not achieving it as well as the person next door.
So you worry that you’re going to make a flop out of this thing called life. And that gut you’re supposed to follow? It gets buried in the fear and envy and self-loathing. So, you pick up every self-help book you can find and seek out best practices. But you don’t get it right. You just keep stumbling. Until one day you wake up and say, “What have I got to lose?” That’s the day you dig our gut out and let it beckon us in the right direction.
But it’s a cycle. And your gut will lead you astray again. (Sometimes badly astray.)
My gut plagues me constantly. I have advisors and investors and consultants and cofounders and most of the time, not a single one of them agrees with my gut. It takes a great deal of effort to convince dozens of smart people that you should go in a direction because you “feel” you should. There’s no evidence. Just an instinct.
But the most brilliant inventions, companies, and ideas often come from people who persevered and listened to those feelings. How do you figure out whether it’s a brilliant idea or a crazy one? You can’t. But there is nothing worse than waking up one day and seeing a 20-something billionaire on the cover of a magazine with your idea.
So then, how do you follow your gut?
Stop giving a damn about what others think.
Remove fear. Ask yourself, “What have I got to lose?” Take yourself out of the position of a business owner who needs to pay the bills and put yourself in the position of your customer. What would be the coolest thing you would want?
That crazy thing that just popped into your head that you dismissed because, well, it was crazy? Go back there and explore it.
Don’t let anyone throw you off that exploration (I try to isolate myself as much as possible) until you and your gut are incredibly comfortable and have some good momentum.
It’s not actually that easy, but with lots of practice I’m getting much better at it. Hopefully you will too.