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Can a College Dropout Still Become Successful? 

What do Michael Dell, Founder of Dell Inc., Travis Kalanick of UBER, and Bill Gates, Co-Founder of Microsoft, all have in common? After being accepted into the colleges of their choices, each of these founders saw something more significant on the horizon. After taking a giant leap of faith and dropping-out of their respective universities, they led a life that resulted in the title of “Multi-Billionaires.”

Michael Dell, Founder of Dell, Inc.

    Dell, a native Houstonian born in 1965, showed an inexplicable interest in computers and business as early as the age of fifteen. From stripping retired Apple computers down to the bone solely to examine the inner workings of such a mysterious piece of equipment to riffling through large sums of data for the Houston Post to increase their customer base, Michael Dell showed promise in the world of technology and the business empire he would later come to build. 

    The University of Texas at Austin was Dell’s University of choice and would later be known as the place wherein the sparks of Dell, Inc. began to fly. After realizing that no computer company on the market was choosing to exchange business directly between the company and the customer, Dell decided to step into a role that had yet to be filled. Starting small with only a $1000 fund pulled from his personal savings account, he began to repair and sell computers to his fellow University students. 

Outgrowing his customer base and realizing he was making more money running a business in college than he would if he continued in his degree path, Michael Dell dropped out of college. Unbeknownst to Dell at the time, this was the wisest financial decision he could have made and thrust him into a life that would result in becoming a billionaire. In only the first year of his business, Dell raked in six-million dollars in sales, became a billionaire by the year 2000, and would later go on to be worth over thirty-billion dollars. 

Travis Kalanick, CEO of UBER

    Nearly an even decade later, in 1976, Travis Kalanick was born in Los Angeles, California. Kalanick’s love for the world of computers and coding shined its light in the early years of middle school when Kalanick became trained in the work of computer coding. Later on in his life, Kalanick’s desire to feed his knowledge of computers led to an educational journey through computer engineering at the University of California, but only until 1998.

    This decision wasn’t entirely in vain, however. Along with a few fellow UCLA students, Kalanick aided in launching a start-up company by the name of “Scour, Inc.” Life seemed to be going well for young Kalanick, or so it would appear. Unfortunately, Scour was sued for copyright just a few years later and ultimately went bankrupt and stumbled upon an unfortunate state of nonexistence in 2000, leaving Kalanick high-and-dry, without a degree or anything to show for his time out of school. 

    After yet another business venture and additional personal and business milestones, Travis Kalanick went on to sell his exceptionally successful business “Red Swoosh” for some nineteen million dollars as well as becoming a Co-Founder of UBER, a ridesharing company, in 2009. UBER faced push-back from the local taxi companies and other competitors but ultimately pulled through and now holds a revenue of over fourteen billion dollars and has ushered its CEO, Travis Kalanick, into the coveted position of being worth over two billion dollars. 

Bill Gates, Co-Founder of Microsoft

    Born in 1955, Bill Gates created his very first software program at only thirteen years old. A few years later, in high school, along with his peers, Gates co-founded Traf-O-Data, a system created to collect traffic data for the local government. As he finished out his high school career, Gates was accepted into Harvard University. As he journeyed through a semi-peaceful and mundane freshman year, Gates was unaware of the promise he held within himself and the trillion-dollar business he would come to found. 

    Just when Gates was under the impression that he would complete his degree plan at Harvard University, graduate, and go on to lead a typical college graduate life, he instead found himself dropping out of University during his Junior year. Partnering with a childhood friend by the name of Paul G. Allen, Gates would come to co-found Microsoft, a trillion-dollar technology company. Gates is now worth more than one hundred and seven billion dollars all because he found himself staring into the eyes of opportunity and took the next right step towards success. 

Do I have to drop out of college to start my own business?

    By no means do you need to drop out of college to start your own business, but if this is something you feel confident in, avoid simple mistakes and don’t be misinformed or unprepared. You can visit this article by TRUiC to find all the information and resources you’ll need to take the next steps in starting a business. Whether you drop out of college for a once in a lifetime invention or you’ve already graduated, there is no wrong time to pursue your professional dreams. As long as you are willing to work hard, be informed, and take a leap of courage, your fear is the only thing holding you back.


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