The top 5 entrepreneurs in 2013 are those individuals who have really understood the power of innovation in an economy where few people innovate. These individuals are unique because they drive the biggest and most valuable companies in technology. They have worked hard and achieved a lot, even though it’s still day one for most of them.
#1 – Elon Musk
Elon Musk is the guy we have been talking about for the last days. We have already nominated him the best entrepreneur of the year for his work at Tesla Motors, SpaceX and for the innovative concepts that he has introduced this year in design and transportation systems. He’s the guy you want to listen to in the room. With a net worth up to $6.7 billion, he could just retire and enjoy his life, instead he keeps building things. We believe he’s addicted to innovation and that’s the kind of entrepreneur we would love to see more often. He was also part of the Paypal mafia, the biggest group of people that today is ruling the Silicon Valley.
#2 – Mark Zuckerberg
When we were looking at the NASDAQ opening bell ringing and the Facebook’s stock price dropping, we were all laughing. The most expected IPO in the last years was a complete failure. However Mark Zuckerberg is back and now he is the one who’s laughing at us. With stocks priced at $54 per share and a market capitalization of $132B, Facebook doesn’t look the weak company that couldn’t handle the public market anymore. Thanks to a turnaround strategy in mobile advertising and the first ads in the billion dollar acquisition, Instagram, it seems investors have started trusting the young CEO headquartered in Menlo Park.
This guy has still got a lot to do, because he needs to find the best way to turn 1.1 billion active users per month in a flood of money. Advertising on mobile is working really well, since people are quickly switching to smartphones devices, instead of using the desktop version. The only thing we criticise to Mark Zuckerberg this year is to have launched Internet.org, a campaign that aims to spread the use of internet worldwide, but that will end up increasing Facebook’s revenues. NGO should be used for charity, not for lobbying.
#3 – Marissa Mayer
Marissa Mayer started with a shy cry when she got her role at Yahoo, but now she’s ruling like never before. The company is gaining the impressive momentum that has lost through the years and thanks to the dozens of acquisitions made in 2013, they are also gaining value and talented people. Marissa, in the past twelve months, has acquired 12 companies, including one in China and UK. The hottest deals she has been able to close are Summly and Tumblr, which was acquired for a billion dollar valuation. Although she has tried to diversify her portfolio from Analytics to Online gaming, they main focus was on social recommendations.
The acquisition we have been talking about a lot was Summly, since the company was ruled by a seventeen years old guy who hasn’t finished high school yet. Nick D’Aloisio took the right decision and sold the company to Yahoo. In a couple of seconds he got a job without a degree and a million dollar net worth, which is still undisclosed.
#4 – Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos wasn’t supposed to be on the list, even though his company has almost doubled its valuation in the last twelve months. However we have decided to add one of the most controversial and interesting entrepreneurs of the last years for another reason, the Amazon Prime Air. With the Prime Air, Bezos has showed us that he hasn’t forgotten the real meaning of innovation and that at Amazon, they are still working to create beautiful things to deliver their products on time. Robots will be faster, more efficient and will let us live our life in peace, instead of working for years and years.
#5 – Evan Spiegel
When you are 23 years old and you are running the best startup in 2013, you probably don’t have the rationality to understand that your boat is fragile. That’s why Evan said no to one of the richest tech CEOs and founders, Mark Zuckerberg. He rejected Mark Zuckerberg’s offer of $3 billion for the acquisition of Snapchat. On the other hand, he was able to close an investment of $50 million with an almost $2 billion valuation. He’s part of the dropout generation. He left Stanford with just three classes to finish his degree.
He makes the list because he has got 400M photos shared per day on Snapchat and because he’s either out of mind or a genius. The choice is up to you.