In the vast world of business, there certainly is space and opportunity for anybody, regardless of age, who dreams of starting and owning his own company. Nowadays, more people are living their entrepreneurial dreams at a young age.
We all know Mark Zuckerberg, the 33-year-old co-founder and CEO of Facebook – today’s most popular and top social media network. The name Kevin Systrom (34 years old) probably also rings a bell as he is the co-founder of social media site and photo-sharing app Instagram. Now billionaires, they are considered two of the most successful and inspiring entrepreneurs under 40 years old. But Zuckerberg and Systrom aren’t the only ones deserving to be on that list.
Here are five other entrepreneurs under 40 we can take inspiration from:
Brian Chesky, 36
Co-founder and CEO of AirBnB
For industrial designer Brian Chesky, the best idea came during one of his life’s lowest points. In 2007, he and roommate (co-founder) Joe Gebbia couldn’t afford to pay the rent for their apartment in San Francisco. That’s the time when the Industrial Designers Society of America was hosting a conference in the area. So, they bought mattresses, rented out their apartment, made their “Airbed and Breakfast” idea a reality, and the rest is history. AirBnB is now a huge and successful online marketplace and hospitality service company with more than 200 million check-ins and multi-billion dollars in revenue.
Turn your passion into profits! This is so true for Sophia Amoruso, who at age 22, took her passion for thrift shopping and vintage clothing and created her own eBay store selling her vintage finds. Following the success of her online store, she founded Nasty Gal, which was named by Inc.com as one of the fastest growing companies of 2012. However, the company filed for bankruptcy in 2016 and was later acquired by Boohoo Group. The name Sophia Amoruso, though, still lingers with her best-selling autobiography, #GIRLBOSS; the Netflix comedy series of the same title; and now a media company/community she named Girlboss Media.
Neil Patel was caught by the entrepreneurship bug at an early age. From selling burned music CDs, black boxes, and automotive parts in high school, he is now a best-selling author, internet marketer and conversion expert. He also not only founded and runs Kissmetrics, QuickSprout, and Crazy Egg. He also helps big companies like Amazon, HP, and GM increase their revenue.
Kathryn Minshew, 32
Co-founder and CEO of The Muse
Former management consultant Kathryn Minshew saw the need for job-related resources online that would cater to modern, professional women. This led her to build the career-development platform The Muse, together with Alexandra Cavoulacos and Melissa McCreery in 2011. Since then, the company has received several awards and recognition and has raised over $20 million in total funding from more than 20 investors.
David Karp, 31
Founder and CEO of Tumblr
This high school dropout and young entrepreneur started learning HTML at age 11 and became an intern at the animation company Frederator Studios at 14 years old. With his exceptional skills and knowledge in designing websites for businesses, he founded and launched the microblogging platform Tumblr with computer engineer Marco Arment in 2007. In 2013, Tumblr was acquired by Yahoo! for $1.1 billion. Currently, it hosts almost 400 million blogs.
Notable business investor Ron Conway once said, “Anytime is a good time to start a company.” No matter your age, as long as you have the idea, passion, and determination to build a business, then you can make it happen. With the success that these entrepreneurs under 40 have accomplished and continue to achieve, they certainly are an inspiration for aspiring and existing entrepreneurs of all ages!
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