Information technology has changed just about every aspect of our lives. It’s enhanced the way we work, live, and play- not always for the better. There is a whole spectrum of computer users from the granny who occasionally sends out holiday emails to the phalanges-grinding office worker, to the fully obsessed Linux OS tweaker, (yes, we are accusing you of abusing stimulants- coffee counts). But in one way or another, everybody in the western world is somewhat dependent on some kind of computerized device.
Now, if you’re a technology oriented entrepreneur, the fact that everybody has a computer whether they know it or not- isn’t just an impressive factoid, it’s the clarion call to opportunity. You may think being a nerd is cool, and you may think you’re a great nerd, but I promise you- these characters have got you beat. What follows is a summary list of the 30 richest people in the tech industry.
#1. Bill Gates $79.6 Billion
If you don’t know who Bill Gates is, and you have a copy of Windows 10 that you didn’t ask for, you probably need to do a little bit of research. Bill Gates is the tech giant, and former BFF of Steve Jobs, who built his computer company from the ground up by assembling PCs in his garage when he was 16. This garage band nerd now owns the software for probably 75% of the devices in your neighborhood.
#2. Larry Ellison $50 Billion
This co-founder and former Oracle CEO is probably best known for his yacht collection. The reason that’s impressive is because it’s the database company that pays for the yachts, which means tech seems to be just a job to him. Imagine how successful he would be at it if computers were actually his first love.
#3. Jeff Bezos $47.8 Billion
Tech entrepreneur and investor, Jeff Bezos, is a major player behind the e-commerce culture that currently rules us all, Bilbo. It would be enough to say that he’s the founder of Amazon, but he’s also found success in the news media and in running a private space outfit called Blue Origin- because when you have this much money, storing it on the moon just seems natural.
#4. Mark Zuckerberg $41.4 Billion
This upstart founded a little startup you may have heard of called Facebook. It’s a cute little social media website that some of the people on this list have called the “Backup Internet.” Mark has evolved from an adorable young man with a geeky dream and a hoodie sweatshirt, (with Illuminati symbols printed inside it, [no kidding]), into a terrifying media tycoon with the power to censor whole nations.
#5. Larry Page $33.4 Billion
He’s a Google co-founder, which means if I say anything even remotely less than laudatory about him here, he could bury all my SEO content forever and ruin all my business endeavors completely- but I don’t know why I would even suggest that he is anything less than the shining face of the sun itself, because Larry Page isn’t just a god of a man with chiseled abs- he’s also extremely handsome and charming!
#6. Sergey Brin $32.8 Billion
This Russian-born computer scientist, philanthropist, and entrepreneur is the president of Google’s parent company, Alphabet Inc. Growing up in the Soviet Block left him with a strong impression of the chilling effects of Internet censorship. I’m looking at you, Zuckerberg. This has been a driving force for much of his inspiration and led him to be one of the greatest proponents of net neutrality.
#7. Jack Ma $23.2 Billion
This Chinese-born business magnate is known for both his mastery of negotiations as well as for his philanthropic endeavors. He’s the founder of a family of wildly successful Internet-based enterprises and is the first native Chinese person to grace the cover of Forbes.
#8. Steve Ballmer $22.7 Billion
This former chief exec. of Microsoft is also the owner of the LA Clippers. Over time, he slowly withdrew from his high-level positions in tech and gravitated toward his passion, basketball. He now runs a school dedicated to the sport. Today, you’ll hardly find any images of him taken outside of a gymnasium.
#9. Laurene Powell $21.4 Billion
Humiliating the Glass Ceiling at the number 9 spot, this tech giant used her clout to found the progressive Emerson College which is focused on social justice and environmentalism. She’s also a co-founder and the president of Board of College Track- a group which works to benefit disadvantaged students in Los Angeles, CA.
#10. Michael Dell $19.4 Billion
Chances are, you’ve got a stack of broken machines with this man’s name on them somewhere in your house- possibly even serving as a monitor stand for your current computer setup. That’s not to say that Dell computers are cheap. They are, affordable- and come in very low-price ranges. That means, if you’re in a pinch and need a computer fast- Dell could be the brand for you. Michael Dell has built his empire on this concept, but we assure you- his company also offers some very fine machines that you may not be aware of.
#11. Ma Huateng $17.9 Billion
Known on his home turf as Pony Ma, this tech magnate is the founder, president, executive board member, and CEO of Tencent Inc. It is one of China’s biggest Internet companies- which is not an easy thing to be taking into account the massive government regulations imposed on that kind of outfit in China. He’s been called one of the world’s most influential people and won global fame for surviving a successful lawsuit by AOL in 1998. That might not sound like a good reason to be revered, but take it from us- it was grueling.
#12. Paul Allen $17.5 Billion
Investor, musician, and philanthropist, Paul Allen also owns the Seattle Seahawks and has a multi-billion dollar investment portfolio. This co-founder of Microsoft is the world’s 45th most wealthy person. Remember that the next time you’re scrounging in your couch for gas money.
#13 Masayoshi Son $17 Billion
Relentlessly building up his already giant mobile telecommunications company Softbank, Son announced in July that his firm would be absorbing a semiconductor design company known as ARM Holdings for a cool $32 Billion. Son is expected to take over the position of president at Softbank early next year. Some people predict he will push the company to grow even more vigorously after that.
#14 Azim Premji $17.4 Billion
An Indian business tycoon and chairman of Wipro Ltd, Azim Premji is also well known and respected as India’s information technology Tzar. As far as we’re concerned- the title of Tzar is worth about seven billion, so you could arguably boot this high roller up to the number seven spot on our list.
#15 Shiv Nadar $14.4 Billion
An Indian industrialist and co-founder of HCL, Nadar is responsible for transforming the company from a mediocre performer to a dynamic force in the Indian IT market. He is perhaps most famous for funding the development of his country’s educational system through the Shiv Nadar Foundation- making him responsible for enriching the lives of billions of Indian people. Way to go, Shiv!
#16 Elon Musk $13.9 Billion
No list of tech billionaires is complete without ticking the Musk box. Elon Musk is not only an inventor and tech innovator of world renown. He’s also famous for experimenting with his own space program, and for his, (admittedly- very convincing), theory as to why it is astronomically unlikely that we actually DON’T live inside an enormous computer simulation somewhere on God’s high-end Dell computer.
#17 Robin Li $12 Billion
Founder of the search company Baidu. If you’ve never heard of it, just use Google to find it. Ironic, Yes?
#18 William Ding $11.7 Billion
One of China’s first Internet tech leaders, Ding contributed to innovations that underlie much of the technology we all use now. His company, NetEase has grown into one of the world’s largest mobile game companies, competing with many comparable American companies.
#19 Eric Schmidt $11.3 Billion
This chairman of Google’s parent company, is a major proponent of next generation technology such as self driving cars.
#20 Dustin Moskovitz $10.8 Billion
This tech luminary helped launch Facebook with his former roommate, Zuckerberg. He’s done a lot of big things since, but some say he still sends Mark drunken texts on weekends.
#21 Hasso Plattner $10.8 Billion
Head of an IBM splinter group, Plattner is now the head of a massive company curiously named SAP.
#22 Lei Jun $9.8 Billion
Cofounder of Xiaomi, Jun is one of the people responsible for the huge smartphone industry in China. Some credit him with erecting the suicide nets outside of the sweatshops, but he hasn’t responded to our calls to confirm it.
#23 Jan Koum $8.8 Billion
Cofounder of WhatsApp- which is now the world’s biggest messaging service. Rumor has it that Zuckerberg has tasked him to intercept all of Dustin Moskovitz’ text messages.
#24 James Goodnight $8.7 Billion
The founder of business analytic software company SAS, Goodnight has been at the head of the company for 40 years- which adds up to a lot of sass.
#25 Dietmar Hopp $8.7 Billion
Partner to Hasso Plattner, Hopp was another SAP boss until 2005, when he retired in order to have more time to spend with his money.
#26 Zhang Zhidong $8.1 Billion
This chief executive of Internet company Tencent, this youthful mogul retired at the tender age of 43. He is also the former classmate of Ma Huateng, who we suspect- doesn’t let Zhang live down how much richer he is than him.
#27 Pierre Omidyar $7.9 Billion
The 26th richest magnate on our list, Omidyar- the one time chairman of Ebay, and current board director of PayPal- owns about 7% of the online merchant, eBay. Last March, he launched a venture capital firm called Omidyar Technology Ventures, which he is funding independently.
#28 Eduardo Saverine $7.4 Billion
This Facebook cofounder has recently reinvented himself in the form of a venture capitalist- an enterprise which benefits a great deal from the large shares he still holds in Zuckerberg’s social networking juggernaut. He has interests in many different startups including a Singapore based real estate search service.
#29 Hiroshi Mikitani $7.3 Billion
Chairman and CEO of Japan’s largest and most influential online retailer, Rakuten- Mikitani shut down the company’s UK, Spain, Singapore, and Austrian offices earlier this year in a surprise move that shocked the Tech world. As he predicted, however, this has not hurt sales. Now everyone is clamoring to find out how he did it.
#30 Gordon Moore $7.1 Billion
One of the pioneering creators of the shining tech culture of Silicon Valley, Moore is a cofounder of the legacy tech company, Fairchild Semiconductor in 1957. He spent over ten years as that company’s CEO before retiring in 97. He is most well known for Moore’s Law- the prediction that computer processing power would double each year. His prediction has been consistently, if conservatively, correct for over 50 years and it has made him arguably the most famous name on this list.
Thanks for viewing! Enjoy more stories from our sponsors: