Books can tell you about stories of valour, teach you movement of planets or jolt you with facts, but what it really takes to be a true leader? The general perception that a college degree would make us successful in life is simply a myth! You don’t really need a college degree to prove that you’re worth something. That’s why we present you a list of successful entrepreneurs who left college to start their empires.

Larry Ellison- Oracle

Larry Ellison

Born to a Jewish mother, Lawrence (Larry) Ellison is the world’s 5th richest man in the world with a fortune of US $48 billion. He left his college, Illinois, in his second year. At the age of 22, he moved to Northern California to shape his dream and founded Oracle.

“When you innovate, you’ve got to be prepared for everyone telling you you’re nuts”

Richard Branson- Virgin Groups


Branson started his first business at the age of 16 when he launched his school magazine called Student. His performance in school didn’t help him much because he has dyslexia and now his net worth is more than US $5 billion. In 1972, he initiated a chain of record store Virgin Records and named it so because there were only virgins working with him.

“You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing, and by falling over”

Ralph Lauren- Ralph Lauren Corporation


The premium men’s wear founder Ralph Lauren wanted to be a movie star when he was young. He dropped out in his second year from Baruch College, USA and worked as a sales assistant for Brooks Brothers. In 1967, Ralph Lauren started his own store selling neckties under the name Polo. Soon after, he won the Coty Award for his line of menswear.

“Style is very personal. It has nothing to do with fashion. Fashion is over quickly, style is forever”

Subhash Chandra- Zee Network


The chairman of Essel Group, Subhash Chandra, revolutionised Indian television industry when he launched country’s first satellite tv channel called Zee TV in 1992. You’d be glad to know that he dropped school after class 10 to join his family business. Zee channels have now a reach of more than 959 million people across 169 countries.

“Do not kill an idea due to lack of money”

Pete Cashmore- Mashable

pete cashmore

Cashmore is the founder of the popular blog Mashable which he founded at the age of 19. Pete Cashmore suffered some health problems when he was 13 and during the recovery period, he spent his time home surfing internet on his computer. That’s when he got the idea of writing his own blogs and hence, Mashable. He has an estimated net worth of US $95 million.

“We are really competing against ourselves, we have no control over how other people perform”

David Karp- Tumblr

david kurp

David Karp is the founder of microblogging and social networking website Tumblr. He started learning HTML at the age of 11 and soon designed websites for different businesses. Karp attended Bronx Science school, dropped after one year and started homeschooling. Tumblr is now worth US $800 million and has more than 555 million daily visitors.

“Good products are built by people who want to use it themselves”

Matt Mullenweg- WordPress

Matt Mullenweg

The website you’re reading this blog on, is a WordPress theme. Matt Mullenweg dropped out of University of Houston in 2004 and started developing WordPress when he was 20 years old. WordPress has now more than 130 million unique visitors per month and powers 23% of the web.

“We are much better at writing codes than haikus”

Arash Ferdowsi- DropBox


Arsh Ferdowsi is a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) drop out which led him to launch file hosting company, Dropbox, in 2007. He is currently serving in at the capacity of co-founder and CTO for his company.

“The Los Angeles riots were not caused by the Rodney King verdict. The Los Angeles riots were caused by rioters”

Steve Jobs- Apple Inc

steve jobs

The list will be incomplete if we do not mention Steve Jobs. He was the co-founder, chairman and chief technology officer of Apple Inc. He dropped out from Reed College, Portland after the first semester. He then travelled through India to seek enlightenment and study Buddhism. In 1976, Steve Jobs released Apple 1 computer. The company now manufactures smartphones, tablets, desktops, laptops, and smartwatches.

“It’s not the customer’s job to know what they want”

Mark Zuckerberg- Facebook

Mark Zuckerberg

According to a study, a person logins to facebook at least 8-10 times in a day. It was founded by Mark Zuckerberg after he dropped out of Harvard University in 2004. He moved to Silicon Valley to dedicate his full time for the website which is now the world’s largest social network with more than 1 billion active users.

“Successful people only have two things on their lips- silence & smile”

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