Daniel Ek THEN:

His music streaming experiment Spotify had just entered the U.S. and had 10 million active users and was worth $2 billion.


Today (see page 104), Spotify streams 70 million songs to nearly 400 million users across 184 markets. It’s worth $50 billion; Ek is worth $4.4 billion.

Drew Houston THEN:

Dropbox, the file storage and sharing company that Houston cofounded in 2007 at age 24, was already one of Silicon Valley’s hottest startups, with 200 million users.


A billionair­e since

2014, Houston is still CEO of Dropbox, which went public in 2018 and has a $10 billion market cap; the company says it has more than 700 million registered users.

LeBron James THEN:

The Miami Heat forward, then 27, was an NBA allstar and owned a small stake in the Liverpool F.C. soccer club.


The superstar has won four titles with three teams: the Heat, the Cleveland Cavaliers and his current squad, the L.A. Lakers. Off the court, he has earned over $1 billion from deals with Nike and Walmart as well as from his appearance in Space Jam: A New Legacy.

Dustin Moskovitz

Once the world’s youngest selfmade billionair­e, the Facebook cofounder left in 2008 to start workproduc­tivity toolmaker Asana. By 2012, it was launching early versions of its software.

Asana, which went public in September 2020, has more than 100,000 paying customers and roughly $350 million in annual revenue.

Ben Silbermann

Pinterest wasn’t an overnight success. Silbermann and his cofounder, Evan Sharp, spent several years fooling around with a shopping app called Tote before shifting to digital pinup boards. Things


clicked: A year after a desktop version launched, Pinterest had a $270 million valuation.

Monthly users rose 37% last year to 459 million, due to a burst of new interest in the lifestyle app during the pandemic. Silbermann remains

CEO of the company, whose market cap is now $30 billion.

Kevin Systrom THEN:

Instagram was 14 months old and had just seven employees. Still, 15 million had used its filters to jazz up their photos.


Systrom sold Instagram to Facebook months after his Under 30 appearance. It now has over 1 billion users but faces concerns about its effects on teens’ mental health. Worth $2.2 billion, Systrom hasn’t run it since 2018. His most recent project: a Covidtrack­ing website he built in spring 2020.

Mark Zuckerberg THEN:

Eight years after Zuck started Facebook in his Harvard dorm room, his social network had amassed 845 million users—and was readying for its $100 billion May 2012 IPO.


Now called Meta, the company has 3.6 billion users across Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp as its market cap hovers around $1 trillion. But amid declining interest from young users and a tarnished brand, Zuckerberg is shifting his focus to virtual reality and a still unproven idea for a metaverse.

“I feel really satisfied with what I’ve accomplish­ed so far, but also I still have some runway ahead before I reach 30.”

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