Have you got to the conclusion your job just isn't for you? If you consider a fresh start in technology, see how the tech gurus found their way.
by Natalia Alejarra
One in four people in the UK were considering leaving their jobs in 2016, according to an article by the Independent. If you are part of the discontent bunch, you may have wondered how would it be to become your own boss. If you have innovative ideas for a tech business then, good news! The technology industry’s growth is set to a prosperous decade. It is predicted that the demand for technology will triple over the next ten years, according to technology researcher and Times contributor Tim Bajarin. With such optimistic prospects and a market that is always open for good ideas, many allow themselves to dream of working those long hours for the good of their own pockets. Is it really possible to make ends meet venturing in the tech industry? If encouragement is what you need, here are the stories of some of the most successful tech business entrepreneurs and how they took their first step towards greatness.
If you never heard of this Steve, you are not to blame. The apple of Hollywood’s eye, Steve Jobs have a handful of featured films named after him. Wozniak, though less well known, was equally brilliant, being the one to invent the first Apple computer in 1976. His interest in electronics started while still at school. He studied engineering at Berkley and taught himself how to design computers (seriously!), spending hours in his room figuring out his own way through electronics. He met Jobs through mutual friends and, after creating Apple 1, they sold Wozniak’s scientific calculator and Job’s van to raise money to start their company at Job’s garage. The engineer left his job designing calculators and dedicated himself completely to develop new technologies. Lesson: true dedication and focus pay off.
How many people would leave a high-paid job and an ascending career to risk opening their own company? I couldn’t show any numbers, but common sense suggests me that not many. It takes courage to abandon the relative certainty of being someone else’s employee to work for yourself, especially when your business idea is novel. Founder of Amazon, Jeff Bezos was brilliant at school, got a Princeton diploma in computer science and electrical engineering and landed in a job in Wall Street. To many, that is a dream come true. Bezos, however, after making vice-president at D.E. Shaw, left his high-paid job to start an online business. Bezos realized the opportunity of an unexploited internet market and started Amazon in July 1994. The success was rapid. Forward 23 years and Bezos is the third richest person in the world, according to Forbes. Lesson: there is no set path to success.
Could you ever imagine what would be like to turn a passion of yours into a huge source of income, making you the richest man in the world for 18 years in a row? Hard life, we could all agree. If Bill Gates came to mind, you guessed right. Gates was a smart and competitive kid. He met Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen at school and remained in touch, getting together to develop a software for a microcomputer company in New Mexico. They delivered the software successfully, leading the company to hire Allen. Gates left Harvard to work with him. They started Microsoft 1975 but had issues with piracy and free distribution of their software. After legal battles to keep hold of their software rights, they continued to develop new software for different companies and got established in the market. Microsoft is nowadays considered one of the most valuable brands in the world. Lesson: the way to success is not always smooth.
If you grow up in a house cluttered with science magazines and old computers, it may lead you to being a very successful tech entrepreneur. Probably not everyone, but it was the case for Larry Page, Google’s co-founder. Both his parents were computer scientists, influencing his interests and leading him to pursue a career in the tech field. During his PhD at Stanford University, he met Sergey Brin, the other founder of Google and, together, they developed the search engine that would turn their life around. Google was founded in 1998, quickly becoming one of the main search engines for its innovative technology. Lesson: you can never tell if your idea is not going to take over the world.
Truth be told, these stories are not the kind you hear every day. It takes really dedicated people to land in such a prestigious place. However, it is refreshing to remember that there is nothing that can hold back someone when their mind is set for success. If it happen to them, why couldn’t it happen to you?