When we talk about business, we often think about the people who are leading a revolution in the industry. You even think these people were born into wealth and have nothing in common with you. However, these entrepreneurs actually share some things with the common folk.
To find out about these similarities, here are some little known facts about the world’s most famous male entrepreneurs.
1. Tim Cook (CEO of Apple, Inc.)
Fact 1: Did you know he almost did not join Apple? In 1998, an agency called Cook and asked him if he wanted a job with Apple. At first, Cook ignored their calls. But, he later met up with Apple’s former CEO Steve Jobs and spoke to him about the job. After five minutes, he took the job and resigned from his old job.
Fact 2: Cook is never afraid to talk about other companies who are as successful as Apple. In one talk, he mentioned that Facebook is similar to Apple because of its vision. He also expresses his respect for these companies.
Fact 3: Despite the fact he is the CEO of Apple and earns $378 million, he still lives in a four-bedroom condo in Palo Alto that has a small yard. When asked about it, Cook says it reminds him of his origins. He doesn’t even get motivated with the monetary success and he does not see himself as someone who is superior.
2. Steve Jobs (former CEO of Apple, Inc.)
Fact 1: He used to attend calligraphy classes at Reed’s College secretly, which helped him for the font for the early Macintosh computers.
Fact 2: Have you ever wondered where the name “Apple” came from? Jobs and his friend, Steve Wozniak, got the name of the company from the Beatles’ “Apple Records.” Unfortunately, they did end up in a lawsuit for it. But, it was settled in 2007.
Fact 3: If he wasn’t the CEO of Apple, he would have been a Buddhist monk. After experiencing how the monks act on a daily basis, he was inspired to be one and even shaved his head. When he visited India in 1974, he was inspired to dig deeper into its philosophy.
3. Elon Musk (Founder and CEO of Tesla. Co-founder of Paypal)
Fact 1: Musk first got into computer programming when he first got his first computer when he was 10 years old. He studied programming by himself and it took him several tries to where he is now.
Fact 2: When he turned 17, Musk’s dad got him to tour the West to help him see the world. These travels allowed Musk to learn everything he needed to make decisions for his future company.
Fact 3: Musk believes that space is the next frontier that will help with human survival, especially now that Mother Earth is threatened by global warming among other risks. This led him to create Space X so humans can one day travel to other planets and continue with their survival.
4. Sergey Brin (Co-founder of Google)
Fact 1: When he and Larry Page were first starting on creating their first search engine, they named it BackRub. The search engine used Stanford’s servers until it ate a lot of bandwidth for the servers. They renamed it to Google in 1997 after they revised the word “googol.”
Fact 2: Brin is actually behind some of the unique services of Google such as showing the interior of buildings in Google Maps and sorting out Google+.
Fact 3: He and his wife Anne Wojcicki donated their children’s DNA to Anne’s business, 23andMe. They wish to help scientists to learn more about genes and see if these studies can help with treatments for hereditary diseases.
5. Warren Buffett
Fact 1: He was already interested in business as a young kid. He would sell newspapers, Coca-cola bottles and used golf balls when he was 6 years old. When he turned 10, he visited the New York Stock Exchange and later wished to be a millionaire before his 36th birthday.
Fact 2: He actually got rejected from Harvard when he applied for graduate school. Eventually, he enrolled at Columbia Business School where he followed his idol Ben Graham taught.
Fact 3: He met his wife, Susan Thompson, through Warren’s sister. Buffett once lost Susan’s love after he developed a close relationship with Washington Post’s head Katharine Graham. Buffett denied that he had a romantic relationship with Graham and proved his love for Susan, who eventually forgave him.
6. Jack Ma (Founder and CEO of Alibaba)
Fact 1: He worked hard to learn English and practiced it by being an informal tour guide for tourists visiting Hangzhou. He did this for nine years and allowed him to become fluent as his clients would help him learn the language.
Fact 2: He is never afraid to acknowledge his mistakes. He says that his mistakes helped him become who he is today and how his business stays strong. Most of the mistakes he would talk about in his talks deals with the company’s workforce, earnings and others.
Fact 3: The movie “Forrest Gump” inspired Ma to work hard for his vision. He once said that even if Gump wasn’t a genius, he focused on his goals and allowed him to succeed. He even compared himself to Gump and found some of Gump’s qualities to be perfect for a businessman like him.
7. Bill Gates (Founder and CEO of Microsoft)
Fact 1: Since he was young, Gates loved to read and would often be found reading encyclopedias and other advanced books that should not be easy to learn at his age.
Fact 2: Despite the fact he is famous, he is quite anonymous in Third World Countries. This was proven when he visited India for charity.
Fact 3: His children would often sing Bruno Mars’ hit single “Billionaire” to him as a way to tease him. They do replace the swears with the word “freaking.”
8. Bernard Arnault (LVMH)
Fact 1: He did not study business despite being behind one of the world’s most luxurious brands. He actually studied engineering during his college days. But, he had been working with the family business since he graduated and his first venture was in real estate.
Fact 2: When French socialists took over the government in 1981, Arnault exiled himself in Florida to protect his assets. During the socialists’ rule, they imposed high taxes and nationalized many companies.
Fact 3: Arnault is also a gifted pianist and would often play it during his free time. He was taught when he was little and it is said that this is one reason why he was able to connect with his second wife.
9. Ingvar Kamprad (IKEA)
Fact 1: Despite being a millionaire, Kamprad travels by public transport. The only public transport he does not use are taxis because he believes they overcharge.
Fact 2: Kamprad is a cancer survivor. He was diagnosed with prostate cancer but he was able to recover from it after getting surgery. He said that after the doctors told him that the cancer is gone, he considered it as the happiest moment of his life.
Fact 3: Despite his age, Kamprad said he will not retire from work as he aims to set an example for his workers. He even plans to help IKEA grow even more.
10. Chad Hurley (Founder of AVOS and co-founder of YouTube)
Fact 1: Hurley has a degree in Fine Arts which helped him during his job interview at PayPal in 1996. For his test, he was asked to design the company’s logos and it has impressed the company that Hurley’s design remains the company’s logo even at the present day.
Fact 2: YouTube was conceptualized after Hurley and Steven Chen wanted to find a way to share videos. While it is possible to share through emails, video files were too large. With this in mind, they came up with YouTube.
Fact 3: After he resigned from YouTube, Hurley worked on his clothing brand Hlaska. The name came from the US states, Alaska and Hawaii.
11. Mark Zuckerberg (Founder and CEO of Facebook)
Fact 1: He does not own any television sets and usually watches shows with his computer. He also prefers the great outdoors and plays fencing.
Fact 2: He sets challenges every year for him to be better. In 2009, he practiced putting on a tie every day and in the following year, he studied Mandarin.
Fact 3: Although Facebook took off like a jet, his family home remains the same. His family also still works in their dental business.
12. Richard Branson (Founder of Virgin)
Fact 1: He was not born from a rich family. His father was a barrister while his mother had to sell small knick knacks to make up for their expenses. Sometimes, the family would even cut expenses so they won’t run out of funds for that week.
Fact 2: Branson was not really good in school because he suffers from dyslexia. However, this did not stop him from building his career and even used it as a way to help him build his empire.
Fact 3: During Virgin Records’ early years, he actually produced a different rendition to “Baa, Baa, Black Sheep” that became viral in 1982.
13. Jeff Bezos (CEO of Amazon)
Fact 1: Bezos was actually born when his mother and father were teenagers. However, their marriage only lasted for a short time. When Bezos was 5 years old, he was adopted by his stepfather Miguel Bezos when he married his wife.
Fact 2: During his childhood, he would spend a lot of time on his grandfather’s farm. He would help take care of the animals and help maintain the farm.
Fact 3: In Amazon, he advocates the use and practice of office memos and notes. He writes and reads memos and makes his executives do the same thing. He believes that this practice will help executives be inspired to practice their thought processes and train their skills.
Behind every success is an interesting history that may have inspired a person to push them to where they are today. Hope these facts inspire you to do your best and know that these entrepreneurs are no different than you and I.
Any inspiring stories to share? Come and share in the comments below!
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