6 College Dropouts Who Made Millions

Before I go on, I want to make sure we make this clear: I am in no way advocating that anyone drop out of college.

I am a  strong believer in the value of a college education, both in its contribution to personal development and to future success. And in monetary terms, the numbers bear us out: People who go to college, in general, go on to earn more money than those who don’t.

A 2002 U.S. Census, for example, found that someone with a bachelor’s degree earns, on average, over $20,000 more a year and nearly $1 million more over her or his lifetime than a high school graduate.

But then there are those few exceptions who defy convention, dropping out of college or graduate school and becoming gazillionaires anyway.

While I’m not in favor of dropping out of college, I do like a good story, and here I have a chance to tell five of them.

So here are the flukes, the statistical freaks, the six wayward college dropouts who went on to find computer-geek fame and make multibillion-dollar fortunes on some of the most innovative technology platforms of the last 20 years.

1) Bill Gates, Microsoft

Possibly the most world-renowned example of post-dropout success, Bill Gates made the bold decision to leave Harvard his junior year, in 1977. Long before Windows became a worldwide rampant technology, contested monopoly, and household name, Gates was just a slacker college student.

“I had this terrible habit of not ever attending classes,” Gates said.

Gates left Harvard to devote his time to what would later become the world’s largest software company in Microsoft, a venture he had started in 1975 with his childhood friend Paul Allen.

Now 53, Gates is worth an estimated $50 billion. Forbes has ranked Gates as the richest man in the world every year for over a decade, and Gates has given millions to various philanthropic causes.

The foundation he and his wife created in 2000, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, has embarked on what some are calling the most ambitious charitable project in history, with an endowment from the Gates’ of more than $28.8 billion (as of January 2005) earmarked for global health and learning initiatives.

2) Steve Jobs, Apple

Just eight months older than Gates and the father of the Mac, that technological nemesis to Gates’ Windows, Steve Jobs followed a similar path to post-dropout mega-riches.

Jobs’ biological parents were dead-set on his getting a college education, and before Jobs was adopted, his adoptive parents had to promise that they would send him to college.

In the fall of 1973, Jobs’ adoptive parents spent their life savings to send him to Reed College in Oregon, where Jobs found the mandatory college courses pointless and uninspiring.

As he told Stanford University’s graduating class of 2005 in his commencement address, “After six months, I couldn’t see the value in it. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out.”

Although he formally dropped out of Reed, Jobs hung around the campus for another year, showing up only at the classes that piqued his interest.

Jobs got his first job with Atari in 1974 and then in 1976 co-founded Apple Computer with his high-school friend, Steve Wozniak.

Jobs was ranked 49th in the Forbes 400 Richest Americans of 2006 list and has a current estimated net worth of over $5 billion.

With the trendsetting family of iPods and iPhones, sleek laptops and desktops, intuitive and user-friendly apps, and a series of visually stunning OS X operating systems, Apple continually sets the industry benchmark for innovations in hardware design, user interfaces, and digital entertainment.

3) Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook

With a net worth estimated at $1.5 billion and believed by some analysts to be the country’s wealthiest man younger than 25, Mark Zuckerberg, like Gates, is a Harvard dropout.

After launching Facebook school-wide from his dorm room at Harvard in February 2004, Zuckerberg began devoting more and more time to his program, gradually spreading it to other schools.

By that summer, Zuckerberg and his roommate Dustin Moskovitz had released Facebook to nearly 30 schools, and the website was growing too popular to be run part-time. Like Gates before him, Zuckerberg dropped out to make his technology start-up his sole focus.

Since then, Zuckerberg has received (and turned down) a $900 million buyout offer from Yahoo and pushed Facebook toward overshadowing MySpace as the most popular and fastest growing social networking site in the U.S.

Only 23, he’s Facebook’s CEO and retains control of the company.

4) Shawn Fanning, Napster

Widely known as the man who delivered peer-to-peer file sharing to the masses, Fanning is the mastermind behind Napster, the first-of-its-kind music-sharing application.

In the spring of 1999, as a 19-year-old freshman at Northeastern University in Boston, Fanning wrote a simple program that would allow users to search for and share music files over a peer-to-peer network.

The test version of Fanning’s program was a viral hit, downloaded by thousands of users and with traffic quickly outstripping Napster’s capacity. By the fall of that year. Fanning decided to drop out of school to move to Silicon Valley.

Although Napster drew the enmity — as well as the many-headed legal team — of the Recording Industry Association of America and of member band Metallica, in particular, for allowing users to illegally download free music, Napster forever changed the entertainment industry, forcing it to contend with the advent of digital media.

Fanning resigned from Napster in 2002 and went on to found SNOCAP, another music-sharing platform designed to let users access music inexpensively and legally.

5) Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Google

Larry Page and Sergey Brin were busy cooking up Google while they were still aspiring Ph.D. students in the computer science program at Stanford. The pair later went on leave from the Ph.D. program to make Google their primary focus.

Since its launch in 1998, Google has become the world’s dominant online search engine, a provider of popular free e-mail and Web tools, a cutting-edge innovator, a highly sought-after employer, and a profitable public company with stock prices reaching almost $750 a share at their recent peak.

Both just 33 years old, Page and Brin are now billionaires with net worths of about $13 billion each, ranked 27th and 26th on the Forbes World’s Richest People of 2006 list, and still pushing the Google monolith and fortune-making machine forward.

courtesy:  NextStudent.

Ceevee-A Job Seeker’s Holy Grail!

Since I came at you last time with the Career Builder speil, I thought I would share another one of the job searching jewels I found. The site just celebrated it’s one year birthday last month but it is already creating quite a stir in the online job market. Below is a webworker review of the site, enjoy!

If you’re looking for work, whether a full-time position or a series of gigs, sooner or later you’ll need to send in a copy of your resume. This simple request can be the cause of a surprising number of problems. Depending on what type of software you used to write your resume, you may find that a prospective employer can’t open it, winds up with a corrupted copy or refuses to take the chance of opening a file that might contain a virus. One of the easiest solutions to these problems is posting your resume online and simply sending your prospective employer a link.

CeeVee simplifies the process of posting your resume online. The team behind CeeVee is working on developing more tools that will help employers and employees connect, but the minimalist approach to resume-building taken with CeeVee makes it a particularly useful tool.

Your account, when you first log in, is essentially a fill-in-the-blanks resume. It has space for a small photo and your contact information, but the biggest sections are reserved for your summary, skills, experience and studies. If those sections don’t really match how your career has progressed, you can delete sections in the sidebar, as well as add sections like awards or languages. Filling in CeeVee’s resume is a fast process; the part that took longest for me was figuring out what dates I had actually worked in particular jobs.CeeVee - quick & painless résumé management-1-1

There are other features for creating your resume, such as a selection of themes, allowing you to switch between modern, classic and plain text. The emphasis, however, is on simplicity: You’re on the site to get a resume written and up.

Once you’ve completed your resume on CeeVee, you can mark it as public. You can use a URL you’ve selected for it: ‘http://www.ceevee.com/yourname.’ That sort of link will probably be a little more user-friendly for a prospective employer than a long, complex link. You can also use CeeVee to generate a PDF or to print your resume. In these cases, you’ll wind up with a professional-looking resume with a clean layout.

CeeVee - quick & painless résumé management-3-1If you’re trying to get your resume out and around to as many people as possible, just in case someone in your social network has a lead on a job, CeeVee provides several resume-sharing tools. The site can generate code for a badge for your own blog or web site. You can also share your resume on Twitter or Facebook with one click.

The simplicity behind CeeVee is a major benefit when you look at the many resume sharing sites already available. Some offer you the opportunity to gather recommendations from your past colleagues or earn verifications from your employer, but if you need to get a resume up in time for that phone interview you have in an hour, those features aren’t going to help you. And for employers that may not be as comfortable with social media, CeeVee’s straightforward approach will be much easier to manage. The site’s tagline is “quick and painless resume management” and CeeVee lives up to it.

iMake Money: Surveys (CashCrate)

Rating:rank6_gold

Well, here it is, Cash Crate-this was actually my first survey “program” I guess you could call it, and I was pleasantly surprised when I found out how it worked for myself. In case you’re wondering, CashCrate is a simple, easy way for broke college students to make some extra cash while putting off studying and homework, in fact I try and take a few surveys on my phone while waiting in lines, waiting in traffic, or waiting in general.

Before you move on, please read this as it is sort of an introductory lesson and it lays out a list of things you should do first so that you can take less time and effort into completing the surveys.

General Review

I signed up with CashCrate about three months ago, and since then I’ve earned a nice chunk of change to put into my loan fund. Like many others, I discovered CashCrate by coming across a glowing review about it on someone’s blog. They talk about how easy it is and how it’s their favorite way to make money online. I’m usually pretty skeptical about these things, but curiosity got the best of me this time. I decided that the only way really find out was to sign up and try it out myself. Could it really live up to all the rosy pictures people paint about it?

The Good

It’s not a scam. You really do get paid to do things. In this case, you complete offers. Some of them are free, and some of them aren’t. For some offers, you just have to complete a form with your contact info. For others you have to sign up for a free trial and remember to cancel it before it’s over, so you don’t get charged. With a $10 minimum monthly payout, it doesn’t take much effort to get there. If you have a credit card, completing two of the free trial offers is enough to put you over $10.

The Bad

It’s boring and tedious. Unless your lifelong dream is to become a professional offer completer, you’ll probably get really bored with completing these offers. There are ways to automate some of the repetitive tasks like filling in your contact info, but you’re still filling out form after form. For most people, this gets old really fast. Also, keep in mind that you have to be responsible enough to cancel the trial offers before they are over. Otherwise, you’ll get charged a fee which will most likely end up costing you a lot more money than you’ve earned.

The Ugly

Spam. You’re giving out your contact info to companies, so obviously, they’re going to be contacting you to try to sell stuff. As if we’re not already bombarded by enough solicitors, completing these offers will inevitably result in even more. Be prepared for it by using a separate email account to complete the offers.

These are just my impressions of CashCrate so far. I feel that they’re a lot more honest than the reviews I’ve found on other sites. The offers are easy to complete, but it’s tedious. Some people may be able to handle this, but others may not. I think the only way to find out is to try it out for yourself.

The Practical

Ok, so are you ready? If so, disregard the review above…well not totally but I’ll tell you why later.

Remember the stuff we did with Firefox in the last post? Well here’s where it comes in handy.

  1. Sign up with CashCrate using the above banner, remember to use real credentials as this is how you will get paid.
  2. Once you do that, you’ll be directed to a page where you complete offers:offers
  3. For example purposes, I’ll select the exxon mobile survey (I generally shy away from surveys that require my credit card.)

exxon mobile surveysxipper1

sxipper 2

-Remember the Web of Trust Addon? Well it’ll be triggered here, just ignore it (as a general rule for CashCrate, you can go ahead and ignore WOT warnings since you don’t add personal info)

-Remember the Sxipper addon? Well here’s where it comes into play. In the second image you see the blue squares throughout the form, that shows that Sxipper has info for that field (if it’s gray then it does not). As shown in the third image, select the appropriate persona and double check the information and you’ll be clear to hit submit.

-Once you submit, do not go any further! You do not need to do anything else to get credit for the survey (not always the case though).

-Head back to cashcrate and take a look at your pending earnings

pending earnings

In general, you’ll receive an email within the hour confirming your survey and the money will no longer be pending…this is not always the case and if it stays pending, your best bet will be to try another survey.

exxon mobile survey confirmed

That’s basically it. However, in order to really rake in some good money, you’ll need to work the referral system a bit, which is not too hard. For each person you refer to CashCrate, you’ll receive 20% of your referrals’ earnings, and a $3.00 bonus for each referral who earns at least $10.

if you have any concerns, questions, or comments, feel free to leave them below

iMake Money: Surveys

For the second post in the series, I”m going straight into one of the ways to make legitimate money online…surveys. These can be a bit time consuming, and your earnings won’t be “ballin!” but you could make enough to buy those new Jordans you’ve been eyeing.

Before we delve deeper into this highly volatile opportunity, there’s a few things I need to communicate with you.

  1. I will only post sites that I have personally used and reviewed.
  2. I will post my referral link in an effort to support TFP and so as to be able to relay member emails easier.
  3. I crosscheck my reviews and opinions with several scam buster sites as well as built-in Firefox Web of Trust.
  4. If there’s any site you want reviewed and I did not cover, please, PLEASE send me an email : thefrugalpupil@gmail.com.

Before we move on, I highly recommend that you get a few things

  1. Get Firefox.
  2. Once you get Firefox, it is highly important that you also get these add-ons here.

Just about all the add-ons don’t need any input from you once you install and restart firefox, they protect your privacy. The one addon you need to customize is Sxipper, which manages your personal information. Once in Firefox, go to Tools>Addons>Sxipper>Options and create a new profile/persona  called “Surveys.” Once done, fill in the information (it would be best not to put your real information, and definitely don’t fill out very personal info such as SS or bank info)-fyi you’d want to put a real address with matching area and zip codes because most surveys check for such consistencies. Play around with it and once you’re pleased we can move on.

Once you have all these things set, just sit back and wait patiently for the next post in the “iMake Money” Series (it will be later today for all you eager beavers) as I have some last minute references to work out.

next in the series: CashCrate.

iMake Money: They Want Your Blood

Introducing a new series: iMake Money, which, as the name implies, will dish out some info on how you can pick up a few extra bucks.

Donating plasma – If your area has a plasma donation center, check it out. Commonly found in big cities, these places take blood donation a step further by withdrawing plasma from your system. Some people don’t take well to plasma donations and some can’t give due to health issues. You should be in good health and have a relatively high iron count to be considered. Call a center in your area for specifics. These centers will usually pay at least $20 to $30 and some will pay more depending on the location. Though some find it a little shady because they’re getting paid, donating plasma is like donating blood. Someone in need will receive what you’re willing to give and you’ll come out with a small reimbursement for your time.