Striking it rich in tech

Updated 9:55 AM ET, Sat February 7, 2015
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In perhaps the most famous entrepreneur story of the 21st century, Mark Zuckerberg and several classmates founded Facebook from a Harvard dorm room in 2004. Facebook now has more than 1 billion users worldwide, and Zuckerberg himself is worth about $30 billion, making him one of the world's richest men. Steve Jennings/Getty Images for MerchantCantos
A number of entrepreneurs have parlayed tiny tech startups into millions, or even billions. The latest to hit the jackpot: WhatsApp founders Brian Acton, left, and Jan Koum, who sold their mobile messaging service to Facebook for $19 billion in cash and stock. Peter DaSilva/The New York Times/Redux
Jack Dorsey, Evan Williams and Biz Stone, left to right, started Twitter in 2006. The fast-growing company went public last year and is now worth more than $30 billion, making them all very wealthy. Jemal Countess/WireImage for Time Inc.
David Karp founded Tumblr, the blogging platform, in 2007 when he was 20 years old. Last year it was bought by Yahoo for $1.1 billion. Larry Busacca/Getty Images for The New York Times
Aaron Levie launched Box, his cloud-computing company, from his college dorm room in 2005. It now has more than 20 million users, and Levie has said Box will likely go public in 2014. Matthew Lloyd/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Sergey Brin, left, and Larry Page founded Google in 1998 while graduate students at Stanford. The massive tech company went public in 2004, making them both billionaires. Michael Nagle/Getty Images
Reid Hastings, a former Peace Corps volunteer in Africa, founded Netflix in 1998. The company pioneered the use of DVD rentals through the mail and is now a leader in streaming video, with more than 40 million subscribers. KIMIHIRO HOSHINO/AFP/Getty Images
Kevin Systrom founded Instagram, the photo-sharing network, with Mike Krieger in 2010. In 2012, Facebook snapped it up for more than $700 million. EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images
Andrew Mason founded daily-deals site Groupon in 2008, turned down a reported $6 billion acquisition offer from Google and later took the company public. But he was fired as CEO of his company in early 2013 after Groupon began struggling. Johannes Simon/Getty Images
Snapchat was just a class project at Stanford University for Evan Spiegel. His classmates told him after his 2011 presentation that no one would be interested in an app that shared temporary photos. Now the company is valued at more than $860 million and Snapchat has reportedly turned down buyout offers of upward of $3 billion from Facebook and Google. Steve Jennings/Getty Images for TechCrunch
In 1994, Jeff Bezos left his job at a Wall Street hedge fund and drove from New York to Seattle, writing up his business plan for Amazon along the way. He started the company in his garage, banking on continued growth in internet use. Five years later he was TIME's Person of the Year and now he's worth an estimated $29 billion. David Ryder/Getty Images
At age 31, Dropbox founder Drew Houston is worth $400 million, according to Forbes. That's not bad for a guy who had the idea for the cloud storage tool because he kept forgetting his USB drives when he was a student at MIT. David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Ben Silbermann quit his post-college job at Google in frustration after saying he wasn't allowed to create products. Several years later the product he went on to create, Pinterest, is valued at nearly $4 billion. KIMIHIRO HOSHINO/AFP/Getty Images
In one of the tech world's most iconic origin stories, Apple began in 1976 with co-founders Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs tinkering in a Bay Area garage. The result? The world's most valuable technology company. Tony Avelar/Bloomberg via Getty Images