12 wildly successful companies started by people in their 20s

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Whether they dropped out of college, spent hours holed up in their childhood bedroom, or quit their day jobs to take the risk, these young entrepreneurs were determined to take their ideas to the next level.

Some had the dream of taking down a powerhouse, while others had no idea just how big their idea would become. Regardless, these young innovators were able to recognize gaps in the market and their drive created products and websites we now use daily, paving the way for future entrepreneurs.

Here are wildly successful companies that were started by people in their 20s.

1. Steve Jobs was 21 and Steve Wozniak was 26 when they started working on Apple in Jobs’ parents’ garage

The pair founded Apple in 1976. The following year, Apple Computer Inc. was officially born, and Michael Scott was brought in to serve as president and CEO (Jobs was believed to be too young and inexperienced for the role).

Apple is now estimated to be worth $1 trillion.

2. David Karp, who founded Tumblr when he was just 21, would deepen his voice on phone calls to be taken more seriously

Tumblr, the micro-blogging and social-networking site, was founded by David Karp in 2007, when he was only 21. Karp, who worked out of his bedroom in his mother’s apartment, admitted he used a deep voice on phone calls and lied about his age when working with other adults.

Karp’s lies proved a success, as he is now worth more than $200 million, and he’s only 33.

3. Emily Weiss was waking up at 4 a.m. to work on her beauty blog before going to work at Vogue. Finally, she quit her day job and launched Glossier

At only 25, Emily Weiss launched “Into the Gloss,” a blog dedicated to women’s beauty. She would work on the blog between 4 a.m. and 8 a.m. before going to work at Vogue.

At 29, Weiss quit her day job, raised $2 million in funding, hired a small team, and Glossier was born. It created minimalist products aimed at all ages and skin tones for relatively inexpensive prices.

The company is now valued at over $1.2 billion, and Weiss is only 34 years old.

4. A 23-year-old Richard Branson named his record label Virgin Records because he was so new to the business

At 20, Branson had earned enough money from his first record store to start Virgin Records in 1972. Named “virgin” because he was so new to the business, the label launched when he was 23 and went international when he was 30.

Virgin Records signed the Rolling Stones, the Sex Pistols, Peter Gabriel, and even Paula Abdul. Branson’s empire grew to include Virgin Atlantic in the 1980s.

According to Forbes, he is estimated to be worth $4 billion. He is now 69.

5. Stephanie Korey and Jennifer Rubio created Away in their late 20s after meeting at Warby Parker — another company started by 20-year-olds

Stephanie Korey and Jennifer Rubio, who met while working at Warby Parker, decided to start a luxury travel and lifestyle brand. Away makes “everything you need away,” according to its website. Starting from a simple suitcase, Away grew so popular that it expanded to organizers, bags, and accessories.

Back in May 2019, Forbes estimated co-founders Korey and Rubio were worth an estimated $130 million each. Korey is 31 and Rubio is 32.

6. Neil Blumenthal, David Gilboa, Jeffrey Raider, and Andrew Hunt launched Warby Parker while studying at the Wharton Business School

In 2008, while studying at Wharton School of Business, Neil Blumenthal emailed his three best friends in the middle of the night, asking why glasses aren’t available online.

The four friends immediately agreed to start designing an online eyewear company. Initial responses were not positive, as people had hesitations about buying glasses online before trying them on. So they decided to give customers the option of trying on five pairs of glasses at home before buying, which proved to be wildly successful.

Warby Parker officially launched in 2010, when its founders were all in their late 20s. Business took off immediately when, within days of the company’s launch, GQ called Warby Parker the “Netflix of eyewear.”

In 2018, Vox reported that Warby Parker was valued at $1.75 billion.

7. Michael Preysman was 25 when he started Everlane, a clothing company known for its commitment to transparency and sustainability

At only 25, Michael Preysman co-founded Everlane, a direct-to-consumer clothing company dedicated to “radical transparency” and sustainability.

Preysman started Everlane in 2010 while living in San Francisco. On its website, the company listed exactly how much each item cost to make, what a fast-fashion company would charge for it, and how much Everlane is choosing to charge.

In 2016, Everlane hit $100 million in revenue, and its popularity has skyrocketed in the last year or so.