Digital Cash Flow: The Richest Software Developers In The World

As the years have gone by, the world has become increasingly dependent on digital software and life online in general. Software is needed for basically every facet of our lives in modern society as there is an app for almost everything under the sun, with names like Twitter owner Elon Musk leading the way. Not to mention, with the rise of cryptocurrency, social media, and digital platforms for shipping and marketplace transactions, software development has become an absolute necessity. According to Statista, e-commerce start-up companies in 2021 made up an industry of close to $114 billion U.S. dollars. And as of June 2022, the parent company of Google and the largest tech company in the world, Alphabet Inc., grossed $1.9 trillion dollars. Here are the 10 richest software developers in the world.


10 Elon Musk – $254 Billion

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Born in South Africa in 1971, Elon Musk’s rapid ascent to his current powerful position in the realm of technology business has associated his name alongside some of the biggest names in the world, such as fellow billionaire Jeff Bezos and the Stripe, Inc. co-founder, Patrick Collison. His success began in 1995 when he co-founded Zip2 with his brother Kimbal Musk, a business that offered online city guide software to newspapers and was coded by Elon himself. Since then, he has gone on to be the CEO of the electric car manufacturer Tesla, CEO of the spacecraft manufacturer Space X, co-founder of Neuralink, and was recently engaged in a $44 billion deal to buy the social network, Twitter. He currently sits at the top of the pyramid as the richest man in the world with a net worth of $254 billion.


9 Jeff Bezos – $165 Billion

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Another giant whose name frequently comes up when discussing the lives of rich and famous billionaires that aren’t entertainers like Fenty owner Rihanna and rapper/businessman Jay-Z is Jeff Bezos. Similar to Elon Musk, he rode the technology boom of the 1990s and founded the e-commerce behemoth Amazon in 1994, which grew his net to $165 billion. With the rise of digital retail sales skyrocketing, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic, Amazon has become as much of a household name as Walmart or Target, except on a global level. According to Investopedia, Bezos put his own $10,000 into the start-up business, and by 1999 it had grossed $1.64 billion in book sales. He stepped down as the CEO of Amazon in July 2021 but has also founded Blue Origin, a privately funded aerospace manufacturer dedicated to space exploration.


8 Bill Gates – $118 Million

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The name Bill Gates has been synonymous with wealth, power, and status for decades now. According to Celebrity Net Worth, his net worth currently stands at $118 million, and has held the position of the richest person in the world for much of the last two decades. But his financial success didn’t come from the vigorous campaign promoting the Covid-19 vaccine with Anthony Fauci. It came from the founding of Microsoft, the world’s largest software company, alongside his childhood friend and co-founder Paul Allen. As the chief software architect of Microsoft, Gates has produced numerous personal computers, consumer electronics, apps, and gaming entertainment such as the Xbox. Microsoft itself is worth $2075 billion, of which Gates holds a 1.3% stake, equaling $29.1 billion.

RELATED: A Look At Elon Musk’s Philanthropic Journey

7 Larry Page – $106 Billion

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Next to Elon Musk and Sergey Brin, Larry Page is one of the youngest billionaires in the world, with a net worth of $106 billion at only 49 years old. And it would make sense that Page and Brin are in close age proximity since together, they co-founded an internet search engine in 1998 that most people live by today – Google. Page served as Google’s CEO in 2001, and again between 2011 and 2019. Google has remained the dominant search engine, outperforming Bing, Yahoo, and AOL. In addition to owning Google, Page also purchased YouTube in 2006, and after acquiring Android, Inc. in 2005, he released the Android phone in 2008 in collaboration with Google. In 2015, he also formed the Alphabet company, a product of Google.


6 Sergey Brin – $102 Billion

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Born in Moscow, Russia, Sergey Brin moved to the United States with his family in 1979 when he was just six years old, a move that would eventually change the entire course of his natural life. As you may have already concluded, Brin’s rise to success mirrors that of his Google co-founding partner, Larry Page. The future technology giants met at Stanford University in 1998 while studying for degrees in computer science. Together they launched the Google search engine which went public in 2004 as well as their new parent company Alphabet in 2015. According to Forbes, Brin stepped down as the president of Alphabet in 2019 but remains a 6% shareholder in the company, totaling $87.3 billion. His combined assets and shares give him a net worth of $102 billion.



4 Steve Ballmer – $99.3 Billion

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Shark Tank billionaire Mark Cuban isn’t the only big-money investor who owns a basketball team. Among many other feats he has accomplished in life, Steve Baller is also the owner of the Los Angeles NBA Team, The Clippers. However, this investment was much later in his career in 2014. Much earlier in his life, Ballmer’s first risky investment was dropping out of Stanford University’s MBA program at the persuasion of Bill Gates to join Microsoft, making him the 30th employee at the tech company. He even succeeded Gates and the Microsoft CEO in 2000 and maintained that position during the time when Microsoft bought Skype in 2011 for $8.5 billion. Today, he’s sitting pretty with a net worth of $99.3 billion and a 4% ownership stake in Microsoft, making his share the greatest of all individual shareholders.


3 Larry Ellison – $96.1 Billion

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Out of all the multi-billionaire magnates on this list, Larry Ellison has the most inspiring of them all. Born to a 19-year-old single mother in New York City in 1944, he later dropped out of the University of Chicago to pursue computer programming in California. After working for a few electronic companies such as Ampex and Precision Instruments, the latter for which he was vice president of research and development, he founded Software Development Laboratories in 1977 with his partners Ed Oates and Bob Miner. Two years later, the company released a commercial relational database program called Oracle which became so popular that Ellison changed the company’s name from SDL to Oracle Systems Corporation in 1982. Today, Oracle has become the world’s second-largest software company with a net worth of $210.82 billion. He also holds an equity in Tesla of $13 billion and Ellison himself has a net worth of $96.1 billion.


2 Satoshi Nakamoto – $45.8 Billion

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The world of digital currency and technology, for the most part, is fairly transparent except for the fact that the transactions often don’t require physical interaction. One of the highest-valued digital currencies that have produced the most millionaires in recent times is Bitcoin. According to Cointelegraph, Satoshi Nakamoto is the pseudonym of the person or group of people responsible for creating Bitcoin, the true identity of Bitcoin is still a mystery. Albeit, he is credited with starting the digital finance revolution and for influencing other forms of premium cryptocurrencies like Ethereum as well as Altcoins like Dogecoin and Shiba Inu. According to Notebook Check, as of January 2022, Nakamoto’s net worth is $45.8 billion.


1 Patrick Collison – $9.5 Billion

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Here’s a bit of motivation for young entrepreneurs out there with plans of entering the world of technology and e-commerce. It’s no secret that online businesses have become a demand, especially with the world leaning toward a cashless existence sped along by the Covid-19 pandemic. It would appear that when Patrick Collison and his brother John Collison birthed the idea for Stripe while together in college at MIT, they had no idea their online transaction processing business would be competition for a veteran business E-commerce business like PayPal. Patrick is the CEO and face of Stripe and at only 33, has a net worth of $9.5 billion according to Forbes.

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Sources: Celebrity Net Worth, Investopedia, Forbes

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