Everyone has a role model. Many of the most successful business and tech entrepreneurs talk about the people who inspire them. With tech giants popping up everywhere, it can be difficult for today’s burgeoning entrepreneurs to decide where to draw their inspiration from. Innovators aren’t just discovering new ways of doing business; they are pioneering entire new industries such as online marketplaces.
But success is just one facet of a great role model. Philanthropists, agitators, science advocates … the right inspiration has a set of ideals and passions that align with your own interests. Let’s look at a few giants in the tech industry and their additional areas of passion. Maybe you’ll pick a favorite!
While he’s becoming synonymous with Tesla, he didn’t actually found it. Rather, he saved the company from a financial downward spiral. That doesn’t mean he hasn’t been an entrepreneur! In his earlier career, Elon Musk was a successful entrepreneur from the very start. His first startup, which he formed after dropping out of his Ph.D. program, sold for $300 million.
Since then his credits include PayPal, and SpaceX. And that’s where the unique qualities of Elon Musk come into play: He doesn’t just have big ideas, he wants to take his ideas to Mars (literally). He is, arguably, the ideal inventor, and often gets compared to great scientists of the past like Edison.
Socially Conscious Entrepreneurs
Even as marketing becomes more of a digital medium, it seems people are seeking brands and business owners who connect with them on a personal level. Sometimes this involves large philanthropic actions and sometimes a much smaller community-centric focus. American culture has been gradually shifting to put emphasis on leaders who take social responsibility and citizenship seriously. Americans admire leaders who are close to their communities.
Some business magnates like Warren Buffet devote millions of dollars and considerable amounts of time to social endeavors. These almost certainly serve reputation and public relations goals, but some people, like Buffet, take on their social responsibility without cynicism and with genuine enthusiasm. Paul Allen, the cofounder of Microsoft performs a great deal of philanthropy when it comes to brain research, as well as marine and wildlife conservation.
For women who work in tech and for girls who dream of being innovators, there are a few extremely inspiring figures out there. Sheryl Sandberg is the COO of Facebook and one of America’s most influential business leaders. On top of her impressive feats when it comes to profitability, she’s an author with an international audience. She’s given a lot of credit for demonstrating the powerful role that women can take in the workplace, especially in tech.
Social media is changing the way we do business and folks like Sheryl Sandberg are at the head of the curve.
Some tech entrepreneurs become so influential and successful that the technology they pioneer has already changed the world and shapes the way we interact with each other. Sergey Brin and Larry Page founded Google out of a friend’s garage. As far as modern day entrepreneur stories go, it’s one of the most inspiring. Google exerts influence on marketing, usability design, development, and a host of other industries worldwide. They pretty much run the rules for internet marketing as a whole. For entrepreneurs who dream of changing the world, you can’t get much better role models!
Do you have inspirations that aren’t mentioned here? Let us know — there are plenty to choose from!