5 Ways to Make A Billion Dollars
Chris is a member of The Motley Fool Blog Network -- entries represent the personal opinion of the blogger and are not formally edited.
The other day a friend and I were talking about billionaires – what strategies have today’s entrepreneurs used to make a billion dollars? And how can today’s entrepreneurs reach 10-figures?
They use simple strategies, it seems. Below are five stupid-simple strategies that today’s most renowned CEOs have used to become ultra-billionaires. Can you join them?
1. Convince everyone to use your product – Facebook (NASDAQ: FB)
You no longer have a choice. And neither do your friends. Or your parents. Nearly everyone, from North America to Europe, has a Facebook account. With more than 800 million users, and a forecast that calls for 1 billion users worldwide sometime in 2012, Facebook has become the world’s most-used social platform.
And how did Zuckerberg build it? By making a platform that no one could do without. People across the globe are obsessed with attention – becoming their own celebrities. Facebook has essentially created a way for people to turn themselves into celebrities and to give them their own followers. When you build a platform that big where users constantly share information about themselves, monetizing it becomes the easy part. And that’s why Zuck became the youngest billionaire ever.
2. Convince everyone to buy your product – Oracle (NASDAQ: ORCL)
When Oracle CEO Larry Ellison founded Software Development Laboratories in 1977, he probably did not realize that it would give him a net worth in the mid- $30 billion range. The firm’s first project was a database management system for the CIA, but the company doubled sales seven years in a row on its way to its current customer base of 380,000.
Many of today’s businesses operate or interact with Oracle’s database systems, and the company is still entering new businesses. Most notably, Oracle bought Sun Microsystems in 2009, now directly competing with Hewlett-Packard.
3. Get everyone to wish they didn’t use your product – Las Vegas Sands (NYSE: LVS)
Let’s face it – gambling is something that some love and many, many more love to hate. Sheldon Adelson has built a net worth in the mid- $20 billion-dollar range by putting gambling locales across Las Vegas and southeast Asia. Last year his firm earned $9.4 billion.
4. Buy up everyone and everything – Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK-B)
This one’s obvious. Do you drink Coca-Cola? Warren Buffett owns them. Ever buy a stock rated by Moody’s? Yep, them too. Know anyone that uses an American Express card? Check.
Warren Buffett’s staggering $44.7 billion net worth has come from buying hundreds if not thousands of great businesses. Buffett is well-known for wanting businesses that boast a strong “moat” around them – meaning they have pricing power in their industry, they are insulated against competitive threats, they are in growing industries, and that technology does not pose a significant threat to the business.
5. Convince everyone to use your product, then stalk them – Google (NASDAQ: GOOG)
For some reason the same ad keeps following me from web page to web page. Thanks, Google. Google’s founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin struck gold when they built the Google Search Engine, a must-have for every internet user. Other search engines, like Yahoo!, which runs using Microsoft’s Bing, produce results that are far less relevant than market-leading Google’s.
Right now there are millions of consumers whose home page is Google – and have a Google search bar in the upper-right corner of their browsers – which are probably Chrome – and they even have Gmail accounts. Kudos, Google, for being something that most people can’t live without.
So there you have it – 5 surefire ways to make a billion dollars. But as with any idea, the hardship isn’t in creating the idea, the trouble comes with implementing it.
ChrisMarasco has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. The Motley Fool owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Facebook, Google, and Oracle. Motley Fool newsletter services recommend Berkshire Hathaway, Facebook, and Google. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.If you have questions about this post or the Fool’s blog network, click here for information.