Are you searching for the list of most famous entrepreneurs in the world? Well, you’ve come to the right place.
“An entrepreneur is someone who jumps off a cliff and builds a plane on the way down.” ― Reid Hoffman
Fortunately, we’ve a ton of entrepreneurs to look up to whenever we need the inspiration to work on your own ideas instead of others. This post is all about comprising the list of some of the best entrepreneurs to follow in the modern age.
Table of Contents
- So what is entrepreneurship anyway?
- 10 Most Famous Entrepreneurs of Modern Age
So what is entrepreneurship anyway?
Honestly speaking, there are way too many definitions for the word “entrepreneurship”. In Steve Jobs perspective, entrepreneurship is all about doing really crazy things to accomplish amazing things. It’s simply putting a dent in the universe.
The idea of entrepreneurship revolves mostly around having an Idea, working on it until it is materialised, face challenges daily, competing with others in your industry and ultimately increasing the profits of your business.
If you want to be a successful entrepreneur, make sure to have a clear vision, work hard on your goals, have the right team and be consistent for next few years.
After all, entrepreneurship is all about working super hard, reaching out your targets, making profits and attracting the right customers so you can survive even in the run.
Enough said about entrepreneurship, lets now directly jump into the list of some of the best entrepreneurs you can follow in 2020 and beyond. The good thing is that, you can also find the famous entrepreneurs quotes (where we compiled one for each one of them).
10 Most Famous Entrepreneurs of Modern Age
1. Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos sits at #1 spot in the “world’s richest people” and he’s the founder of Amazon which is the largest eCommerce marketplace used by millions of customers worldwide.
Who is Jeff Bezos?
Jeff Bezos (full name is Jeffrey Preston Bezos) is an American entrepreneur, world’s richest investor and also a philanthropist who graduated from Princeton University.
On July 5, 1994, Jeff opened Amazon.com, named after the meandering South American river where he initially sold books across the US and in 45 foreign countries within 30 days. Later, he also started delivering CDs, videos, clothes, electronics, toys and more.
Now Amazon is the leading e-retailer in the United States with close to 232 billion U.S. dollars in 2018 net sales, that’s a whopping amount, right? Not only that, Amazon currently has over 300 million users and 2 million sellers worldwide.
Even in developing countries like India, Amazon is performing really well and competing with eCommerce giants like Flipkart (even dominating in few areas).
Here’s the famous quote by Jeff Bezos.
“A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person. You earn reputation by trying to do hard things well.” Jeff Bezos
What can you learn from Jeff Bezos?
Start small, grow big: If there’s ONLY one lesson you can learn from the founder of Amazon i.e Jeff Bezos, it is this: start small, grow BIG.
He initially sold books through Amazon.com (which was available only for US audience). Within 30 days after launching Amazon, it was doing $20,000 per week in sales. Then, he started selling other things too including CDs, toys, gadgets, clothes and so on.
It literally became the “bookstore” to “everything store” in no time. If you’re just getting started, instead of going for too many things, focus on one thing. Start small, be consistent and grow big. That’s what you can learn from the world’s richest person: Jeff Bezos.
Here’s the startup advice from Jeff Bezos.
“If you decide that you’re going to do only the things you know are going to work, you’re going to leave a lot of opportunity on the table. Companies are rarely criticized for the things that they failed to try. But they are, many times, criticized for things they tried and failed at.”
2. Bill Gates
William Henry Gates (popularly known as Bill Gates) is an American business magnate, investor, author and philanthropist. He is the founder of Microsoft foundation which he launched along with Paul Allen in 1975.
Who is Bill Gates?
Bill Gates is one of the world’s richest persons, from 1995 to 2017, Bill Gates held the Forbes title of the richest person in the world all but 4 of those years. He also is known for his philanthropist activities such as Melinda Foundation and is currently the 2nd richest person in the world after Jeff Bezos who has a net worth of $95 billion in 2018.
Here’s the famous quote by Bill Gates.
“If you can’t make it good, at least make it look good.”
What can you learn from Bill Gates?
Be your own boss and start early: One of the primary reasons Bill Gates had huge success because he started early. Whether you know it or not, he was only 13 years old when he started working with computers.
Yes, he had that passion towards computers at the early age and that’s what helped him to achieve massive success in the later years to start Microsoft.
Bill Gates became his own boss (although he partnered up with dozens of people including Paul Allen) at the early age. He didn’t waste any time working for others, so if you want to be like Bill Gates, start early and work on your own dreams.
3. Mark Zuckerberg
There are very few people who are not aware of Mark Zuckerberg as he’s the founder of widely popular social media platform Facebook.
Who is Mark Zuckerberg?
Mark Elliot Zuckerberg is an American technology entrepreneur and philanthropist who studied at Harvard University and he is one of the richest persons in the planet right now who has an estimate net worth of over $55 US billion dollars as of 2018.
He’s the ONLY person under 50 in the Forbes ten richest people list and also the only one under 40 in the “Top 20 Billionaires” list. His social networking company Facebook has over 2.2 billion active users monthly!
Facebook is undoubtedly the #1 social media platform used by everyone including students to marketers to leaders from all over the world.
Here’s the famous quote by Mark Zuckerberg.
“The biggest risk is not taking any risk… in a world that is changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.”
What can you learn from Mark Zuckerberg?
Don’t chase money: Mark Zuckerberg never seemed to acquire wealth. Here’s what he said once: “My goal was never to just create a company. A lot of people misinterpret that as if I don’t care about revenue or profit or any of those things. But what not being ‘just’ a company means to me is building something that actually makes a really big change in the world.”
So what does it mean? Money comes as a by-product. Don’t chase money, instead, focus on creating an amazing product (or service) that improves the lives of others. Then, you’ll eventually make money just like Mark Zuckerberg.
4. Larry Page And Sergey Brin
Lawrence Edward Page (commonly known Larry Page) is an American entrepreneur who co-founded Google with Sergey Brin.
Sergey Mikhaylovich Brin (popularly known as Sergey Brin) is also an American entrepreneur and investor who’s partnered up with Larry Page to launch Google which was founded back in 1997 September 15th.
Who are Larry Page And Sergey Brin?
Larry Page is currently the CEO of Alphabet (which is a Google’s parent company) and he has a net worth of over $53 billion dollars as of 2018.
Sergey Brin is currently the President of Alphabet who has a net worth of over $50 billion dollars as of 2018.
Both Larry Page and Sergey Brin had received the prestigious award Marconi Prize in 2004
Here are the famous quotes by Larry Page And Sergey Brin.
“We do lots of Stuff. The only way you are going to have success is to have lots of failures first” — Sergey Brin
“Always deliver more than expected.” ― Larry Page
What can you learn from Larry Page And Sergey Brin?
Invention and marketing are the keys to success: Here’s what Larry Page once said “Invention is not enough. [Nikola] Tesla invented the electric power we use, but he struggled to get it out to people. You have to combine both things: invention and innovation focus, plus the company that can commercialize things and gets them to people.”
What can you understand from it?
Google has succeeded because of two reasons: it satisfied the searchers wants (by giving the best possible results) and it also became the synonym for most people for the word “search”. If you want to succeed as an entrepreneur, find ways to market your products so they reach to wider audience.
Just inventing new things is not going to help you in this crowded market place as you’ve to go out and market yourself to bring more exposure and customers to your products (or services).
5. Richard Branson
Sir Richard Charles Nicholas Branson (popularly known as Richard Branson) is best known as the founder of Virgin group which comprises of more than 400 companies worldwide.
Who is Richard Branson?
Richard Branson holds the Virgin group and ranks 8th among wealthiest British billionaires by net worth. He’s also the first and only person to cross the Atlantic in the largest hot air balloon. He, later on, broke his own record by crossing pacific in a Virgin hot air balloon.
Looking for the famous entrepreneurs quotes?
Here’s the famous quote by Richard Branson.
“Business opportunities are like buses, there’s always another one coming.”
What can you learn from Richard Branson?
Enjoy what you do: Richard Branson enjoys his work and he parties hard. Whether you know it or not, he owns 2 private islands, one he rents out and the other island which is known as nectar island where he parties along with the celebrities including Mariah Carey, Kate Winslet, Oprah, David Beckham and so on.
He’s known for taking risks and he really enjoys what he does. Here’s the business advice from Branson.
“Entrepreneurship is not about getting over customers. It’s not about working on your own. It’s not about looking out for number one. It’s not necessarily about making a lot of money. On the contrary, it’s about turning what excites you in life into capital, so that you can do more of it and move forward.”
6. Steve Jobs
Steven Paul Jobs (popularly known as Steve Jobs) was an American entrepreneur and investor. If you’re using smartphones especially an iPhone, you probably know who Steve Jobs is!
Who is Steve Jobs?
Steve Jobs was the chairman, CEO and co-founder of Apple Inc which is now worth over $1 trillion dollars (yes you heard it right) and it’s also considered as one of the Big Four of technology along with Amazon, Google, and Facebook.
Steve Jobs was also the chairman and majority shareholder of Pixar, which is an American computer animation film studio founded in 1986.
Here’s the famous quote by Steve Jobs.
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steve Jobs
What can you learn from Steve Jobs?
Put a dent in the universe: Here’s what Steve Jobs meant when he said: “put a dent in the universe”. The “dent” is leaving your own mark and impacting the lives of the people in our universe, even if that change may be as small as just a “dent”.
Steve Jobs is known for his creativity and he literally changed the future of how we use our smartphones. Not only he came up with the ideas of iPhone, iPad and so on but he crafted them so beautifully that everyone wants to like them.
7. Larry Ellison
Lawrence Joseph Ellison (commonly known as Larry Ellison) is an American entrepreneur who is the co-founder of Oracle Corporation.
Who is Larry Ellison?
If you’re into technology or software, you must have heard about Oracle and Larry Ellison is the one who co-founded it along with Bob Miner, Ed Oates in 1977.
Here’s the famous quote by Larry Ellison.
“If you do everything that everyone else does in business, you’re going to lose. The only way to really be ahead is to ‘be different’.”
What can you learn from Larry Ellison?
Have a clear vision: One of the key factors that differentiate a leader from others is this: they all have a clear vision. A successful leader is one who is always thinking about the future, not just the present.
Larry Ellison had a clear vision and that’s the reason why Oracle is still one of the leading software companies which were actually started way back in 1977. Today the company does 37+ billion dollars in annual sales and has a market cap of over 160 billion dollars. Yes, you heard it right.
So if you’re going to launch a startup or company, make sure to think about the next generation and have plans for it.
8. Ritesh Agarwal
Have you ever heard of Oyo Rooms? If you’re an Indian who especially loves to travel might have already stayed at Oyo Rooms at least for once. Oyo Rooms was founded by Ritesh Agarwal.
Who is Ritesh Agarwal?
Ritesh Agarwal is the founder of OYO Rooms which is India’s largest hospitality company that mostly offers budget friendly accommodation with all kinds of neatness and safety features and it was founded in 2013.
Here’s the famous quote by Ritesh Agarwal.
“Start small, nail it and then make it big”.
What can you learn from Ritesh Agarwal?
Find the RIGHT mentor: Ritesh Agarwal from Oyo rooms had shortlisted for “The Thiel Fellowship” (he was amongst the top 1% of the candidates that applied) which is a 2 year program wherein fellows receive $100,000 and mentorship.
Not only that, all the candidates who had been selected for Thiel’s fellowship had access to learn from the foundation’s network investors including Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Page, Elon Musk, Peter Thiel and so on.
This mentorship program along with the fund had helped Ritesh so much so that he launched Oyo rooms which is now revolutionized the hotel industry in India! So look for the RIGHT mentors, implement what you learn and do it better – that’s how you can achieve success like Ritesh Agarwal.
9. Vijay Shekhar Sharma
Have you heard about PayTm? If you’re an Indian, chances are you’ll be mostly using it and if you’re not, just Googling the word “PayTm” tells you how popular it is in India. PayTm (Pay Through Mobile) is India’s biggest eCommerce payment system which also offers digital wallet which was founded by Vijay Shekhar Sharma.
Who is Vijay Shekhar Sharma?
Although the Paytm Payments Bank (which literally revolutionized the payment industry) is a separate entity in which founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma will hold 51% share, One97 Communications holds 39% and 10% will be held by a subsidiary of One97 and Vijay.
Here’s the famous quote by Vijay Shekhar Sharma.
“If you’re not the customer, don’t build it” – Vijay Shekhar
What can you learn from Vijay Shekhar Sharma?
Look for the opportunities: If you want to be successful, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel, sometimes you just need to look for the opportunities and do better than anyone else. That’s what Vijay did with PayTm.
Before the success of PayTm, there were other great alternatives like FreeCharge for mobile payments and recharges in India but the reason why PayTm succeeded, in the long run, is because it took the right steps at the right time (such as after “demonetization in India”, almost everyone started using PayTm including tea vendors).
So the key here is most successful entrepreneurs either create completely new and innovative products or they improve on the products of others. It’s as simple as that!
10. Elon Musk
How can we curate the list without including the REAL Iron Man Elon Musk himself? Elon Reeve Musk is a technology entrepreneur and also an engineer who holds multiple citizenships including South Africa, Canada and U.S. and famously known for SpaceX.
Who is Elon Musk?
Elon Musk is an all-rounder entrepreneur who was the co-founder of the famous online payment system PayPal. He is currently the founder, CEO, and lead designer of SpaceX, co-founder, CEO, and product architect of Tesla, founder of The Boring Company.
Here’s the famous quote by Elon Musk.
“When something is important enough, you do it even if the odds are not in your favor” – Elon Musk
What can you learn from Elon Musk?
Take risks: Elon Musk is someone who’s famous for taking risks.
What would you do if you had around $200 million by selling a company? Most of us would think that we’re settled in life, buy a big mansion including expensive cars, travel around the world, sit back and relax for the rest of our lives, right?
Here’s where the Elon Musk stands out from the crowd by taking risks. There’s one quote that sums it up all when Elon said “My proceeds from the PayPal acquisition were $180 million. I put $100 million in SpaceX, $70m in Tesla, and $10m in Solar City. I had to borrow money for rent.”
If you want to be like Elon Musk, don’t afraid to take risks. Even if the odds are not in your favour, if something is worth pursuing, do it instead of thinking about failures.
Here’s one bit of advice from Elon Musk about entrepreneurship: “It is important to view knowledge as sort of a semantic tree: make sure you understand the fundamental principles – the trunk and big branches – before you get into the leaves/details, or there is nothing for them to hang on to.”
FAQs About Entrepreneurs
Here are few important questions around entrepreneurship and popular entrepreneurs of today’s’ generation.
1. What is entrepreneurship?
The general definition of entrepreneurship is the process of designing, launching and running a new business (and ultimately making profits from it in the long run) i.e. a startup or a small business offering a product, process or service to customers to make profits.
2. How to become a successful entrepreneur?
There are actually no rules and guidelines on how you can become a successful entrepreneur. In fact, what worked well for someone else might not work at all for you. So instead of looking for shortcuts, follow these things to be successful.
- Work super hard: Look at any successful entrepreneur and you’ll notice one thing in common in all of them: they work extremely hard. In fact, people like Elon Musk works 100 hour weeks (16 to 18 hours a day) despite being a billionaire. Working hard is what gives them enough pump to change the lives of others.
- Take risks: No one succeeds from their comfort zones. If you want to become a famous entrepreneur, be willing to take risks. From Jeff Bezos to Mark Zuck to Elon Musk, everyone succeeded because they took risks and came out of their comfort zones.
- Be consistent: It doesn’t matter what industry you are in, if you want to be a successful entrepreneur, make sure to be consistent. That’s the only way to succeed as it takes to a lot of years to succeed as an entrepreneur as they say “behind every successful man there’s a lot of unsuccessful years.”
3. What are the qualities of successful entrepreneurs?
Are you wondering about what qualities make a successful entrepreneur? Here are few of the skills and attributes you need to develop to be able to succeed as an entrepreneur in 2020 and beyond.
- Improve your communication skills (including negotiation skills)
- Open minded
- Working with the right people
- Inspiring others to work hard
- Highly competitive
4. What are some of the best entrepreneurship quotes?
Are you looking for the best quotes to motivate yourself? Here are some of the best quotes:
“Don’t get distracted. Never tell yourself that you need to be the biggest brand in the whole world. Start by working on what you need at the present moment and then what you need to do tomorrow. So, set yourself manageable targets.” ― Jas Bagniewski, Co-Founder of Eve Sleep
“When you are building a startup, it’s difficult. Particularly, a startup that is expanding at the rate of Tinder. You have to give 100%, and you have to be committed. Solving the problem has to be personal or else you’re going to disintegrate.” ― Sean Rad, Co-founder of Tinder, Inc.
“Starting a company extracts so much energy and conviction that not having a clear-cut goal and meaningful mission can hamper your success. This is why, at Virta, our mission was clearly defined: reverse early type-2 diabetes in 100 million people by 2025.” ― Sami Inkinen, Co-founder of Virtua Health
“My advice is to focus on the importance of forging a long-term relationship, whether with colleagues, partners, or customers. It is often easy to get caught up in short-term decisions.” ― Sheila Lirio Marcelo, Founder of Care.com
“Start as small as you can. When I started SkinnyMe Tea, I had $24 in the bank, and I was entirely self-funded. If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product; you’ve launched too late.” ― Gretta Rose van Riel, Founder of Key Influencers
5. What’s the major difference between an industrialist and an entrepreneur?
That’s a very good question. An entrepreneur is someone who sets up a business (mostly starting from scratch) taking on financial risks in the hope of profits. An industrialist is someone who takes already the existing business (which is making profits) to the next level.
The best example for an entrepreneur includes Jeff Bezos from Amazon. Amazon is his own business which he started from scratch and making billions of dollars in profits every single year from it.
The best example for an industrialist includes Mukesh Ambani from Reliance Industries which is a Fortune Global 500 company and India’s most valuable company by its market value which was originally founded by his founder Dhirubhai Ambani.
Reliance was already making huge profits since its inception and once Mukesh took over the business after the demise of his father, he grew it by multiple folds, started few more ventures and now became one of the richest people in the world.
That’s the reason why we’ve not included Mukesh Ambani in this list (instead we listed people like Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg and so on).
Final thoughts on the list of famous entrepreneurs to follow in 2020
Entrepreneurship is all about taking risks, being bold, working extremely hard and building great products that people actually use. It doesn’t matter what field you are in, if you want to be a successful entrepreneur, learn from others who are already doing well.
Hope you’ve enjoyed this article on famous entrepreneurs to follow in 2020. If you like this post, please share it with others and let us know if you’ve any questions in the comments below.