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5 Famous Geeks Who Never Finished College

I dropped out of college couple of years ago and it was the best decision I ever made in my life.

While I am not as (financially) successful as some of geek drop-outs who inspired me. I have done better (financially) than most of my friends who did graduate from the same college I dropped out from and most importantly I enjoy what I do. Do you need to graduate from a college in order to be successful in life? If you can open a book and read, there is absolutely no reason why you can’t have the same knowledge you will get by graduating from a college. The only difference is a piece of paper that will cost you ~50-100k (if in US) and 4 years of your life.

Ok maybe its a bit simplistic view against college but its not very far from the truth. When I dropped out of college I constantly needed inspiration from success stories of geeks who made it big but never finished college. These are the five successful geek personnel who inspired me the most:

1) Michael Saul Dell:

Geek Creed: When he was 15 he used to take apart Apple II computers and rebuild it just for the hell of it. He dropped out of University of Texas to run PC’s Limited (now Dell) at the age of 19.


2) Steve Jobs:



Geek Creed: Apple Computers with Steve Wozniak – NeXT Computer – Pixar Animation. Dropped out of Reed College only after one semester.

3) Bill Gates:


Geed Creed: Best known for Microsoft. Dropped out of Harvard to start a software company with Paul Allen. After more than 30 years, Microsoft is still one of the largest software companies in the world.

4) Paul Allen:

Geed Creed: Paul Allen was the other half of Microsoft with Bill Gates the same way Steve Wozniak was a partner with Jobs on Apple. He dropped out of Washington State University to work as a programmer.

5) John Carmack:


Geek Creed: Cofounder of id Software and lead programmer of famous games such as Wolfenstein 3D, Quake, Doom. He dropped out of University of Missouri only after 2 years to work as a freelance programmer.

Final Words:

You don’t necessarily have to be a (computer) geek to drop out of college and make it big. There are many successful and famous people who made it big without ever getting a college degree. Yes, some of them got lucky but most of them took proactive steps that put them in the right place at the right time and you don’t need 4 years and a lifetime worth of loans to be there.

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