Just mentioning the word ‘start-up’ already puts the word Facebook in everybody’s mind and rightly so, as this is probably the most successful startup to date. Trailing behind are other big names like Groupon and Twitter which also rake in plenty of cash every year. There are millions of start-ups in the world and only a few make it really, really big. There have been plenty of guides trying to explain to people how to go about a start-up but I don’t believe there is one guide that can make yours a success all on its own.
With Twitter increasingly becoming the internet user’s social media network of choice, I think that the valuation of CEO Dick Costolo is still in its early stages. Twitter really only interested me in the start of last year even though it has been around for many years already. Currently each founder is valued at $286 million, a figure which is sure to rise over the next few years. Groupon has been successfully providing people with some of the best deals in their city and I personally use it very often. Eric Lefkofsky and Andrew Mason are the two owners of Groupon and have had an amazing three years up till now. Eric is currently valued at $1.6 Billion, is also co-founder of LightBank and is a professor at the University of Chicago School of Business.
Dustin Moskovitz was the roommate of Mark Zuckerberg and also worked at Facebook for a while. He dropped out of Harvard to take up his job at Facebook but in 2009 he gathered about $10 Million to start Asana. Asana is basically a project management system which helps with productivity in the workplace. Dustin is now currently valued at $2.7 billion. Staying with the Facebook side of things Eduardo Saverin, who is more commonly known for having his share in Facebook diluted, is currently worth $1.6 Billion. When Facebook moved its headquarters from Harvard to California, Saverin did not take the trip with Zuckerberg and decided to stay and work on advertising opportunities for Facebook. Saverin had his 34% diluted to 0.03% but it is believed that he secured at least 5% of the site in court, and is still listed as a co-founder of the site in its own biography.
Mark Zuckerberg steals the startup show though. The CEO of Facebook is currently valued at $13.5 Billion and Facebook is worth about $50 Billion after some investments from Goldman Sachs. Zuckerberg’s value increased drastically during 2010. There was a total of about 238% increase in his valuation from 2010 to 2011. He is only 26 years old and is listed as the 52nd richest person in the world. He has started a revolution in the world and I’m sure that his value and the value of the site is only going to get bigger in the years to come.
I read a post about startups that listed a few to look out for in 2012. Amoung the names mentioned were Dwolla and Skillshare. Dwolla interested me the most. They plan on providing a new secure payment method for social media networks like Facebook and Twitter. People will be able to connect their bank accounts to their Dwolla accounts. This will all help to decrease costs of credit card payments, as any payment over $10 will cost only $0.25 service charge which is much less than any credit card’s service fees. It will be interesting to see how well these start-ups fare in the year to come.