With the increasingly high cost of a college education, and a job market that appears anything but reassuring, there are plenty of reasons for young entrepreneurs to replace the expensive textbooks and cinder-block dorms for a business of their own.
Of course, starting your own company doesn’t come without its own heavy costs. Though we certainly don’t discourage students from pursuing any form of education, it’s hard to imagine a life without Microsoft, Apple, Facebook or Tumblr.
Not to mention a lot of those dropouts are filthy rich now.
1. David Karp, Tumblr
David Karp is best known for founding Tumblr. At the young age of 15, Karp dropped out of high school and began homeschooling. He never did get his diploma, but remains the CEO of Tumblr, which was acquired by Yahoo for $1.1 billion.
2. Ben Kaufman, Mophie
By his senior year of high school, Ben Kaufman had invented what started as an iPod charging accessory, called Mophie. The product won Best of Show at MacWorld 2006 — the same year in which Kaufman briefly attended Champlain College, where he lists his activities as “not going to class.”
He dropped out, and Mophie was acquired in 2007. Two years later, Kaufman went on to launch Quirky, a platform that allows inventors to submit their ideas. The inventions are critiqued and, if chosen, will be designed and manufactured by the Quirky team.
3. Dustin Moskovitz, Facebook
After two years at Harvard, Dustin Moskovitz dropped out to work full-time as the third employee at Facebook, the company which he helped co-found.
Forbes ranked him as one of the youngest self-made billionaires.