By: Morgan Mansfield/Sophomore Writer
At age twenty-seven, John Collison, became the youngest self-made billionaire in the world. Collison co-founded and became the president of the company Stripe with his older brother, Patrick Collison in 2010 when he was only nineteen years of age. As of March 2017, Collison’s net worth is $1.1 billion, having increased by over two million since 2016.
Collison grew up in Ireland and moved to the US to go to Harvard University in 2009 but dropped out a year later after brewing up the idea with Patrick during a vacation to South Africa. Stripe, however, is not their first company. The Collison brothers founded Auctomatic while they were still in high school which was a company that built software for eBay sellers. They sold their first company for $5 million while they were both still teenagers.
Stripe allows businesses and individuals to easily accept payments over the internet. It processes billions of dollars per year and is active in 25 different countries. When the company began, all of the work was done by the Collison brothers themselves, but today they have 750 employees in their San Francisco offices. It was a struggle at first to get the ball rolling and enlarge the company because it was difficult finding people to hire.
“We hired extremely slow at the beginning. It took us a year to get four people. It’s hard to hire as a very small company, and we wanted to make sure we found people who cared about what Stripe was doing,” said Collison.
Being the world’s youngest self-made billionaire is not the only thing Collison’s life is filled with. Collison is a licensed pilot, and enjoys running and hiking which he often does with his Stripe employees.
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Morgan Mansfield is a second year journalism student, taking on her junior year of high school. She spends most of her free time singing, playing, or writing music. Fascinated by the human mind, Morgan plans to obtain a degree in Clinical Psychology and become a therapist to help people work through their troubles.