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Digital Natives: Billionaires are the New Millionaires
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
The digital age has made a lot of people a lot of money.  Of course you have the Google guys, we all know how Google makes its money, and then of course how Google made the YouTube guys rich.  There is a saying that "Youth is King", well this has become most evident in recent years with an increasing number of young billionaires capitalizing on the digital world.   Things such as social networking, online videos, and the like.  In 2007, reports suggest that there were 946 billionaires.  Of these billionaires, many are in the 50+ age group, but it looks like that is starting to change.

Forbes has released a great article on the next Bill Gates outlining some of the world's newest and youngest billionaires.  You might recognize a few of the names, but here is a look at some of the digital moguls out there.

Yoshikazu Tanaka - with an estimated net worth of $1.6 billion, at age 32, Yoshikazu is the second youngest self-made millionaire.  His fortune was a result of the creation of social networking site Gree.  Gree has been transformed into a mobile gaming site.  GREE offers various functions, such as profile, diary, community, photo, mail and other functions,to personal computer (PC) users.

Mark Zuckerberg - ah Mr. Facebook his self.  At age 25, Zuckerberg is worth an estimated net worth of $2 billion.  While a sophomore at Harvard, Zuckerberg started the social networking site Facebook for College and University students, when in May 2006, Facebook was launched to the general public.  Having purchased the domain facebook.com for an estimated $200,000, Zuckerberg has turned the popular social networking site into an $11 billion company.

Ma Huateng - one half of the Chinese version of the "Google Guys".  At age 38, Ma is worth an estimated $3.8 billion.  Along with Zhang Zhidong, Huateng started Tencent, China's most popular online chatting platform.  It's QQ.com site is the World's 11th most popular web site (based on data from Alexa).

Zhnag Zhidong - the same age as his counterpart, Zhang is worth a reported $1.4 billion having started Tencent in 1998.  The Tencent Group is a leading provider of Internet service and mobile value-added services in China.  With a vision "to be the most respected Internet company", Tencent has grown to become China's largest and most used Internet service portal.

Larry Page - ok we all know of the success and history of Google.  So it is no surprise that Larry Page is under 40 years old (he's 37) and is worth around $15 billion.  With Google's stock up over 80% since last year, Google continues to roll and the Google Guys continue to improve their wealth.

Sergey Brin - a year younger than his counterpart Larry Page, dropping out of Standford's computer science PH.D program and starting on a project named Backrub has profoundly changed Brin's life.  Google continues to "organize the world's information" and has redefined online advertising and made the Google Guys wealthy and famous.  Not to mention the coolness of their company's name becoming an actual verb in everyday language.  Becoming a billionaire at age 32 and 33 is quite an accomplishment.

The digital world has allowed the creative and innovative talents of digital natives to be shared with the world.    Many of us are enjoying the fruits of their labor.  Is there anyone who does not use Google or Facebook?  While there have not been any game changers that will become the latest Internet darling, you can expect to see more digital natives and younger billionaires on the horizon.  Dot.com bust?   No way, the digital era is still unfolding and there is lots of room for improvement and innovation.  As a result billionaires are becoming the new millionaires.

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posted by Jody @ Tuesday, January 26, 2010  
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