Top 30 Successful Online Business Gurus and Why They Are So Effective


If you’re looking for inspirational figures that will help you get started with your own online

Success is what you make of it

business by providing real-life examples of successes and failures, this list of the top 30 most successful online business gurus may be just what you need. For decades, business professionals have relied on the experiences, successes, and failures of their predecessors to increase the likelihood of business success. has compiled its list of the top 30 entrepreneurs under 30 years of age in 2012, so check it out and get inspired. Keep reading for our own list of the inspiring and incredible.

1. Larry Page of Google: Page was enrolled in a Stanford computer science course when one of his professors encouraged him to continue his exploration of the mathematical properties of the World Wide Web. He listened to this advice, and a few years later founded Google, the most-visited website on the Internet.

2. Jeff Bezos of Amazon: Bezos was a Wall Street trader in the computer science field when he came up with the idea for online commerce on a road trip from New York to Seattle. He left his business and started in his garage. Today, it’s the largest ecommerce site on the Internet.

3. Jerry Yang of Yahoo: Yang was an Electrical Engineering graduate student when he partnered with David Filo and created a website called “Jerry and David’s Guide to the World Wide Web.” This “guide” was simply a directory of other websites organized in a systematic hierarchy. The website would be renamed Yahoo after only four months of being operational.

4. Pierre Omidyar of eBay: At age 28, Omidyar sat down at the computer during a long weekend and wrote out the initial code for an internet auction site. He posted the code for this site on a website that was originally dedicated to providing information about the Ebola virus. EBay is one of the most successful websites on the Internet.

5. Nathan Myhrvold of MSN: Myhrvold left his teaching job at Cambridge to perform a computer startup company in Oakland, California. When Microsoft purchased the technology he created, they hired him to be the chief technology officer. One of Myhrvold’s creations was MSN, the Microsoft news network.

6. Max Levchin, Peter Thiel, and Luke Nosek of PayPal: These gentlemen started the Cofinity company to enable Palm Pilot devices to make online payments. When the company merged with, Paypal was created. The site has since exploded in worldwide popularity.

7. Jeff Robbin of iTunes: Robbin is a computer engineer and entrepreneur who made waves when he created the SoundJam MP device that was able to play MP3 music files. Apple bought the technology and renamed it iTunes, and Robbin continues to be the lead software designer for the powerhouse music program.

8. Marhsal Vace of Reuters: An expert in the financial world, Marshal Vace started as a contributor to Reuters, the international financial reporting website. Now, he is a major contributor and one of the top online earners worldwide.

9. Jay Walker of Priceline: Walker was a digital entrepreneur, and Priceline is considered his special brainchild. Walker’s company, Walker Digital, is closely tied with the origins of this travel-booking website that featured William Shatner as its spokesperson.

10. Mark Schroeder of Expedia: Mark Schroeder has worked for years to make one of the top-selling travel-booking sites on the Internet. A combination of clever marketing and social media engagement has made this website hugely popular.

11. Reed Hastings of Netflix: Reed Hastings created the idea of an online video rental and queue management service, and the service exploded in popularity when Netflix was created. Since its peak, Netflix has divided its services into physical disc deliver and online streaming, but it continues to be successful.

12. Terry Jones of Travelocity: Jones joined the ranks with Expedia and Priceline when he helped to create and establish Travelocity as an effective travel-booking website. Effective advertising and clever social media marketing strategies have made this site hugely effective.

13. Nick Swinmurn of Zappos: Swinmurn’s big break occurred when he worked for Inspired by the “anything is possible” attitude encouraged by Autoweb, Swinmurn founded an online shoe sale website called It eventually became Zappos, and reached a billion dollars in sales before being sold to Amazon.

14. David Litman of Litman’s incredible skills and entrepreneurial vision helped to get off the ground. Today, it is one of the most popular hotel-booking websites on the Internet.

15. Erik Prince of AOL: America Online, now merged with Time Warner, is a huge conglomerate business that invests in websites and brands across the Internet. Essentially, Erik Prince and AOL encourage the development of new, profitable websites with unique content and a variety of different subjects.

16. Jeff Katz or Orbitz: Orbitz is another impressive travel-booking website, and this one was started by the entrepreneur Jeff Katz. Katz used a combination of computer programming and deal brokering skills to ensure that customers got the best possible deals when using Orbitz.

17. Robert Brazell of Overstock: Started in 1999, Brazell has taken Overstock to annual revenues of over 800 million dollars.

18. Tom Anderson of MySpace: MySpace, a social networking site, was started by Tom Anderson, who wanted to create a place for people to connect and share their moods, comments, and favorite music.

19. Niklas Zensstrom of Skype: Zensstrom created Skype as a next generation technology for connecting people to one another in new and exciting ways. The video chat website sees $550 million in revenue each year.

20. Zhang Chaoyang of Sohu: Gaming, advertising, and a search engine were combined  by Chaoyang to create Sohu in China. He realized that one-stop websites were the wave of the future.

21. Robb Brock of With $400,000,000 in sales annually, Brock directed to the top of the ecommerce market.

22. Eric Baker of StubHub: Eric Baker was a Stanford Business School student when he started StubHub as a concert and venue ticket exchange website.

23. Jack Ma of Alibaba: Jack Ma helped develop this family of Internet businesses in China by linking retail and payment platforms, shopping sites, and search engines together.

24. Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook: Zuckerberg created the network to connect people at his college with one another. Facebook is now the largest social network in the world.

25. Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim of YouTube: These three men wanted a social place to share online videos and visual content. YouTube, owned by Google, has the most video content on the web.

26. Mark Vadon of Blue Nile: Mark Vadon wanted to capitalize on ecommerce websites for the luxury and jewelry market, so he created Blue Nile to fill the niche.

27. Stephen Kaufer of Tripadvisor: Kaufer’s travel-booking website grew to an annual revenue stream of over $250 million in just a few short years.

28. Mark Getty of Getty Images: Mark Getty wanted to create a stock photo website that would be available to businesses, news companies, and consumers alike. Getty Images is one of the most successful stock image companies in the world.

29. Garry Itkin of Bidz: Itkin worked to create a competitor for eBay, and today has an annual revenue stream of over $200 million.

30. Henry Jarvis Raymond of NYTimes: Raymond has led the conversion of the New York Times to an online format, and he may have rescued this newspaper powerhouse from suffering the fate of other U.S. newspapers.

This is a list of the top 30 online guru earners, and learning from these Internet geniuses will help boost your own online success.

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