The following is a guest post by Jaime. Her bio is at the end of the article.
With the rise of social networking, several iconic social media tools have achieved epic success. Considering the brilliant minds behind these platforms, there are some similarities among these Chief Executive Officers. From some generation trends to the awards received as they developed their million-dollar platforms, these men share many common successes.
Mark Zuckerberg – Facebook
The controversial genius behind arguably the world’s largest social network, Mark Zuckerberg broke onto the tech scene with Facebook when he was only 19 years old. Mark started programming software when he was in middle school after learning BASIC programming language from his father.
Continuing into high school, he built a software package called Synapse Media Player. Credited as an early Pandora, Synapse used artificial intelligence to “learn” the listening habits of users. Mark posted Synapse to Slashdot, where it was ranked 3 out of 5 by PC Magazine.
After leaving Harvard University in his sophomore year to devote his time to Facebook, Mark became the youngest billionaire in history in 2011 when his personal net worth was estimated at $17.5 billion.
Pete Cashmore – Mashable
Much like Facebook’s founder, Pete Cashmore launched Mashable in 2005 at the young age of 19. Pete’s goal with Mashable was to create a platform that made technology news accessible and understandable for the mainstream reader. By the end of the first six years, Mashable has drawn over 12.5 million unique visitors monthly.
In 2011, he received an honor from the World Economic Forum when they named him as one of their Young Global Leaders for the year. This honor is reserved for young adults under 40 who have a strong commitment and dedication to helping shape society thorough a strong leadership conviction.
David Karp – Tumblr
Continuing the trend of young social media entrepreneurs, David Karp launched Tumblr in 2007 when he was 20 years old. David’s interest in technology and graphics started young, and he interned with Fred Siebert, the animation producer, when he was 14 years old. He worked for UrbanBaby as a software consultant before leaving in 2006 to pursue the development of Tumblr.
In 2010, David received the honor of being named one of the top 35 innovators in the world under age 35 by the MIT Technology Review TR35.
Garret Camp – StumbleUpon
Garret Camp was one of the founding four behind the StumbleUpon platform. Garret graduated from the University of Calgary with a Masters in software engineering. In 2007, he received the MIT Technology Review TR35 award as one of the top 35 innovators worldwide under the age of 35.
Launched in 2001, eBay purchased StumbleUpon in 2007, holding control of the company until Garret and several investors bought it back, taking control of their company once again in early 2009. As of 2011, StumbleUpon had recorded over 20 million registered users.
Dick Costolo – Twitter
Dick Costolo took the reigns as CEO of Twitter in October 2010 when then-CEO Evan Williams went on paternity leave. Originally intended to be a temporary fill while Evan was away, Dick became the permanent CEO shortly thereafter.
Dick graduated from University of Michigan, gaining a bachelor’s degree in computer science. Despite his technology studies, the theater bug bit him when he was rounding out the needed credits for his degree, leading him to pursue improvisational comedy routines in Chicago after graduation despite offers of employment from the technology industry.
One of the co-founders of FeedBurner in 2004, Dick worked for Google after the internet search icon purchased the company in 2007. In 2009, he left Google to fill the role of Chief Operating Officer at Twitter. Dick is also credited as a member of the National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee, as appointed by President Obama.
Jeff Weiner – LinkedIn
LinkedIn is the social network for business connections. Jeff Weiner is the current CEO of the company he joined in December of 2008. Weiner has a strong background in executive-level positions, with a resume that includes positions as a Vice President with Warner Bros., Executive Vice President at Yahoo! for over seven years, and several Board of Directors seats.
No stranger to the board rooms, Jeff brought LinkedIn to its IPO in May, 2011. He has been quoted as saying that while Facebook is a great platform for your friends, you simply don’t want your prospective employers seeing the images of that keg party. LinkedIn is different, and is a business-centric platform.
One of the key things illustrated here as we explore each CEO is that with a diverse background found across the board, it is possible for virtually anyone to be where they are. Each of these men had a vision of what they wanted to create and brought it to life, though in different ways. Ultimately, each has served to shape our world as we know it today, an environment of instant information and 140-character communications.
Jaime is an avid hiker and skier who loves to write in her spare time for CenturyLinkQuote.com– home of Century Link.