Personal fortune: 14.7$ billion
University: Dropped out from Harvard
As a young student at Harvard, Zuckerberg was approached by Cameron and Tyle WInlevoss who wanted him to write the sofware for a new social website called Harvard Connection.
Since Facebook, wich Zuckerberg subsequently created, was a very similar concept, the Winklevoss brothers have always maintained he stole the idea. This year, Facebook was floated on stock exchange. It was valued at $108 billion, briefly making Zuckerberg the younguest man in Forbes list of the world's 40 richest people.
The flotation became a fiasco as the company's valuation fell by $29billion as investors realized the price has been exaggerated.
Amazon: Jeff Bezos
Personal fortune: $18.4 billion
As a wall Street banker, Keff Bezos became fascinated by the growth of internet as a commercial platform. He quit his job to create Amazon.com, which could sell books cheaper than traditional shops because it did not have to pay local taxes. After forcing rivals such as Borders into bankruptcy, Amazon has enormously diversified its variety of products and is now the largest online shop in the world.
Apple: Steve JObs
Personal fortune: $8.3 billion
University: Dropped out of Reed College, Oregon
Steve Jobs co-fundated the Apple Computer Company in his adoptive parents garage in 1976. Although Apples were always seen as easier to use than other computers, PCs were much cheaper and by 1985 he was fired from his own company. Apple continued to decline, but Jobs did well thanks to his possession of Pixar Studios, the makers of Toy Story.
In 1996, Jobs returned to Apple, beginning its remarkable recovery. Guided by his obsession with good design, the company produced a series of hit consumer products from 2000 onwards. By the time of his death, it had become the most valuable company in the world.
The company is now led by Tim Cook, and design remains under the control of Sir Jonathan Ive, the British designer responsible for the iMac, the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad.
Google: Larry Page and Sergey Brin
Personal fortunes: 18.7$ billion each
While students at Stanford, Page and Brin began a research project to develop a better way of searching for information on the web. The early version of Google was housed on a server in Stanford that was partly built using Lego.
Google became a private company in 1998, and was floated on the stock exchange in 2004.
Its areas of research and development now go far beyond web-searching. It has been testing driverless cars for several years, has been working on robots, and is developing an elevator to go into space. Other ideas are being devoloped at its top secret research centre, Google X... but not even Google insiders know what they are.