What were Steve Jobs and Richard Branson doing at 25?

At 25 Steve Jobs was on the verge of turning Apple into a household brand.

At 25 Steve Jobs was on the verge of turning Apple into a household brand.

Some of the most accomplished people prove that no two paths to success are alike.

While the Steve Jobses and Richard Bransons were already dominating the business world at 25, others took a little longer to hit their stride and saw their mid-20s as transformative years.

Here's what 10 of the world's most successful people were doing at 25.

1. Donald Trump

The young real estate developer was given control of his father's company, Elizabeth Trump & Son.

A Republican presidential nominee hopeful, billionaire real estate mogul and television personality, Trump grew up wealthy, but learned the vale of money from his father who had him pick up empty bottles for cash at their construction sites.

Photo: Reuters

2. Elon Musk

Musk was running his first internet company.

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Around 24, Musk dropped out of his PhD programme at Stanford to join the dot.com boom and launch his first internet company, Zip2, which provided business directories and maps.

Compaq bought the company for US$307 million ($456 million) four years later and Musk used the money to launch his next startup venture, PayPal.

Photo: Supplied

3. Eric Schmidt

Google executive Schmidt was building a deep background in computer science.

He spent six years as as graduate student at UC Berkeley, earning a master's and PhD by age 27 for his early work in networking computers and managing distributed software development.

He spent his summers at that time working at the famed Xerox PARC labs, which helped create the computer workstation as we know it.

Photo; Reuters

4. Jeff Bezos

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos had a cushy job in finance.

At 24, Bezos went to work at Bankers Trust developing revolutionary software for banking institutions at that time. Two years later, he became the company's youngest vice president. 

5. Larry Ellison

Oracle's Larry Ellison was working odd jobs as a programmer.

After moving to Berkeley, California, at 22, the self-taught computer programmer spent the next eight years going fromone technical job to the next at places like Fireman's Fund, Wells Fargo and AMPEX until finally landing at Amdahl Corporation, where he worked on the first IBM-compatible mainframe system.

Photo: Reuters

6. Marissa Mayer

Mayer was Google employee #20

At 24, Mayer became Google's 20th employee and the company's first female engineer. She remained with the company for 13 years before moving to her current role as CEO of Yahoo.

Photo: Reuters

7. Mark Zuckerberg

Zuckerberg was finally running a company that made money.

He had been hard at work on Facebook for five years by the time he hit afe 25. In that year - 2009 - the company turned cash-positive for the first time and hit 300 million users.

Photo: Reuters

8. Richard Branson

The Virgin founder was already running a successful multi-faceted company.

At age 20, Branson opened his first record shop, then a studio at 22, and launched the label at 23. By 30, his company was international.

Photo: Reuters

9. Steve Jobs

Apple's cofounder took his company public and became a millionaire.

By the end of its first day trading in December 1980, Apple Computer had a market value of US$1.2 billion. Jobs told biographer Walter Isaacson that he made a pledge at that time to never let money ruin his life.

Photo: Reuters

10. Warren Buffett

Buffett was an investment salesman in Omaha, Nebraska.

In his early 20s, Buffett worked as an investment salesman for Buffett-Falk & Co in Omaha before moving to New York to be a securities analyst at age 26. During that year, he started Buffett Partnership Ltd, an investment partnership in Omaha. 

Photo: Bloomberg

- This story was first published at BusinessInsider.com.au

 - BusinessInsider.com.au


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