News Apr 28th 2017

Famous innovators in College

Marissa Mayer

It is a well-known fact that many of the leading figures in today's tech industry were college dropouts. However, this does not mean that they were not shaped by their time, now matter how brief, in higher education. Some lasted only a single semester, some lasted a little longer. No matter how long each individual spent in college, there is no denying that the common theme amongst the tech geniuses is a strange one. However, let's take a closer look at what some of these guys who actually did make it through college.

1. Larry Page – Google Cofounder

Google cofounder Larry Page attended the University of Michigan in the early 1990s. He grew up nearby in East Lansing, Michigan and chose to study engineering at college. As one might expect, Larry became close friends with other tech obsessed students, and he also became the editor of a newsletter than was put out by a computer engineering society. He has been described as “an opinionated, forward looking thinker – and a goofball”, and was also known as a risk taker.

2. Elon Musk – Tesla Cofounder

Elon Musk spent two years at Queen's University in Canada and then a further period of time studying economics and politics at the University of Pennsylvania. Musk's housemate at the time was called AdeoRessi, and he described Musk as “the biggest dork” he had ever met. Known to be a lover of video games, Musk spent a lot of his time playing computer games instead of studying. However, he was a naturally gifted student, and excelled in his classes despite his video game addiction. An early entrepreneur, Musk apparently used to charge students to attend his house parties.

3. Marissa Mayer – Yahoo! CEO

Marissa Mayer began studying at Stanford in 1993 and was an over achiever from an early age. She was the high school's Spanish club president and the captain of the debate team. Former classmates at Stanford describe her as being extremely serious and very smart, and it was in college where she changed her career path from medicine to computer engineering after discovering a love for programming. In her senior college years, she even began to teach younger students.

4. Mark Zuckerberg – Facebook Founder And CEO

Zuckerberg was already a computer genius by the time he arrived at Harvard in 2002. He is described as a kid who became easily bored, but that loved computers. He used to say that he liked to create things that he enjoyed and that he never wanted a real job. Students recall that when Zuckerberg was working on an interesting project, he would stop eating, socialising and sleeping until it was finished. These are early signs of the work ethic that would lead to him creating Facebook and changing the world.

5. Evan Spiegel – Snapchat Cofounder And CEO

Evan Spiegel left Stanford in 2011, three classes before completing his degree. He left in order to focus full time on the app that he had just created, Snapchat. Though technically classed as a college dropout, Spiegel was an active member of the student body. He was the social chair of his Kappa Sigma fraternity, where he met his fellow Snapchat founders Reggie Brown and Bobby Murphy. Showing entrepreneurial spirit, it is said that Spiegel used to host fraternity parties at his father's multimillion dollar estate, no doubt making contacts at the same time as partying. Snapchat was an app that Spiegel invented during a product design class.

Read all news