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3 Successful College Dropouts from Gen Y


They’re not as familiar as Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg. You might not even know their names, but these young college dropouts pretty much run the internet.

1. Matt Mullenweg

After dropping out of the University of Houston in 2004, Mullenweg worked for CNET in San Francisco, with the understanding that he could keep working on his side project … which became WordPress, the blogging platform that currently supports 16 percent of the internet.

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2. Stacey Ferreira

Still only 20 years old, Stacey Ferreira has been working her startup since high school, together with her brother Scott. Last year, she dropped out of NYU when Sir Richard Branson announced he’d be investing in her company.

The story of how she met Branson in the first place is like a case study in a textbook for budding entrepreneurs. Via Twitter, Branson asked people to donate $2000 to charity, for a chance to meet with him over “intimate cocktails.” Ferreira and her brother borrowed the money from their parents, went to Miami, and impressed the magnate — despite the fact that Ferreira wasn’t technically old enough to drink at the time of the meeting.

3. David Karp

Still only 26 years old, Tumblr founder David Karp not only didn’t graduate from college — he dropped out of high school. The site is now the 9th most-visited on the web, and Karp is a multimillionaire.

Tell Us What You Think

We want to hear from you! What do you think enabled these famous drop-outs to succeed? Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter, using the hashtag #MakeItHappen.

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(Photo Credit: TEDxYouth@SanDiego/Flickr)

Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
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