Caterina Fake (Internet RockStar)
Caterina Fake was one of the early entrepreneurs to glom on to the power of Web 2.0. While working on an online gaming product for a Vancouver-based company, Fake and her then-husband started Flickr as a side project.
It launched in February 2004 without a single penny of venture capital—and a little more than a year later it was acquired by Yahoo! for nearly $30 million. Building upon this success, Fake launched Hunch.com in June 2009 to capitalize on the Web’s recently discovered power for crowdsourcing.
Hunch is akin to Amazon.com's recommendations feature, except that it makes recommendations for everything. “You can use it, for example, to find a hotel in Dallas that you'd like, even if no one in your social circle has been to Dallas recently," says Fake.
The company just secured an additional $12 million in funding, and claims 1.5 million unique monthly visitors. Though she’s nothing short of a power player, sitting on the boards of both Etsy and Creative Commons, Fake proves that an engineering degree and an MBA (she has a bachelor's in English literature) aren't the hallmarks of a successful Internet entrepreneur.
Her advice to aspiring businesspeople? Drop out of college.
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By Joyce C. Tang
The Daily Beast