It seems like all of the top famous entrepreneurs lists are obsessed with net worth. And, while net worth is a great measure for some standards, it doesn’t really measure “fame.”
When coming up with this list, I tried to take other factors into account to determine who the truly most famous entrepreneurs are. I used a mix of social media metrics, and search results to determine who could be considered the most famous.
Since I first created this list in 2012, a lot of things have changed over the years. It’s worth noting, due to my methodology, historical figures are not being ranked. As famous as Henry Ford is, I just couldn’t locate his Twitter or Instagram accounts.
Top 10 Famous Entrepreneurs List
|1||President Donald Trump||The Trump Organization|
|5||Oprah Winfrey||Harpo, Inc.|
|6||Warren Buffett||Berkshire Hathaway|
|8||Mark Cuban||Investor and Various Companies|
|9||Michael Bloomberg||Bloomberg L.P.|
Fame List Results
A lot has changed since my last list update and it is really neat to see. Below is a bit more insight into what brought these entrepreneurs to the top of my list.
#1. Donald Trump
Whether you like it or not, President Donald Trump was the most famous by a wide margin. Becoming President of the United States probably helped quite a bit. I think critics and supporters can both agree he’s a master of social media.
He got his start in real estate and parlayed that into a successful media career. Many people may point to the fact that some of his businesses did go bankrupt, but that is certainly different than a personal bankruptcy. Regardless of the success or failure of a business, this list is about fame, and it would be hard to turn on a TV and say he isn’t the most famous entrepreneur alive right now.
#2. Bill Gates
Bill Gates is a mainstay of nearly any of these lists. I mean, he did kind of revolutionize the personal computer. Oh, and he was the richest person in the world for a long time. He is ubiquitous in the news cycle and he has a stellar social media presence. He’s also an overall likable guy. Given his very positive philanthropy initiatives and his playful appearances on talk shows, I think I’d be remiss to omit him from this list.
Even more to Bill’s credit is the fact that he can make a billionaire seem down-to-earth (even if he doesn’t know how much Rice-A-Roni costs). He’s an inspiration to college dropouts everywhere (even though he doesn’t want people dropping out of college)!
#3. Mark Zuckerberg
It should come as no surprise that the owner of the world’s largest social network made my list. What may come as a surprise is that he isn’t #1. I’m sure part of that is because he is so busy running that network. The bigger reason is probably because the other services I used to measure popularity are rivals to his business.
I used Twitter, Google Search, Google News, Instagram and Facebook for my metrics. Given that he has a very weak presence on Twitter, and Bill Gates and Donald Trump trounced him in search and news results, this is why “Zuck” got 3rd on my list. Hopefully he won’t lose any sleep over this.
#4. Elon Musk
The last few years have been quite the ride for Elon. Between sending cars into space, landing rockets, and building one of the most talked about car brands on the planet, it’s amazing he’s had anytime for social media.
Like him or not, Elon has cultivated a massive following of loyal fans who believe in the missions he has laid out. It’s a rarity these days to see someone so well-known connect on such a micro level with regular folks.
He has also had a significant number of controversies over the last couple of years, but I’ll cut him some slack because it must be pretty difficult to function when you have so much weight on your shoulders and so many critics waiting for something they can talk about.
#5. Oprah Winfrey
I’m also surprised that Oprah just made her way onto the list. I’m not sure if she has worked on her social media and search engine presence, but I’m sure she must have been in my raw results years ago. Whatever she did worked, so keep it up!
Oprah has spent the last few decades building a loyal television viewership and has successfully moved beyond the TV to magazines and her own television network. She also has a line of food. There’s no stopping this tycoon.
#6. Warren Buffett
I think the thing that surprised me most was Warren Buffett’s presence on the list at all considering I used social media and search results for my rankings. Did you know Warren Buffett has a Twitter account? I didn’t! I’m sure he’s not the author, but he still has an account. I mean, I can’t blame him! Unsurprisingly, he also has tons of results in search engines.
Warren Buffett may not consider himself a master of social media, but his various sound bites and words of wisdom have carved their way into many Instagram and Twitter feeds and spawned countless YouTube videos filled with his wisdom. Warren Buffett is most certainly a famous entrepreneur.
#7. Richard Branson
This list wouldn’t be complete without the fun and flamboyant Richard Branson. He’s a big thinker, with big ideas and he’s just crazy enough to try them. His sense of adventure paired with his larger than life personality has helped propel him from a high-school dropout to one of the most successful people on this planet (and perhaps, soon, off this planet).
He has a fantastic presence on social media and makes memorable appearances all over the internet and television.
#8. Mark Cuban
Well-known for his presence on TV’s “Shark Tank” show where inventors pitch their ideas to a panel of investors in hopes of obtaining funding. Mark Cuban is also the owner of the Dallas Mavericks basketball team.
Before becoming a television mainstay Mark had a very successful career in building businesses and investing in businesses which has made him who he is today. He also has a knack for self-promotion and you can find him on Twitter and Instagram.
#9. Michael Bloomberg
When people think of famous entrepreneurs (especially when considering social media standing), many probably wouldn’t think of the 77 year old founder of a news, analytics and data service for the financial industry and former mayor of New York City, but here he is!
He (or his team) maintains an excellent social media presence, which I’m sure is buoyed by his desire for higher office. Regardless, he has kept the news cycles and others firmly aware that’s he’s still here, and still extremely successful.
#10. Jeff Bezos
For anyone who knows anything about Jeff Bezos, you might be surprised he’s on the list. For others, you might be surprised that he is #10, instead of #1. I mean, he is the world’s richest man now, isn’t he? The reason for being #10 is largely his reclusive lifestyle. I.E. he didn’t really seem like he wanted to be famous.
Jeff Bezos was never one for the limelight, and this accounts for the disparity between him being the world’s wealthiest person, and the lack of internet coverage and following. Don’t get me wrong, he has a large number of news articles about him, but beyond that, he’s kept a surprisingly low profile online.
Did your favorite entrepreneur make this list? Did I forget someone that you absolutely know should’ve made it? Let me know in the comments.