Biggest success: Giving headhunters their greatest tool ever
Before there was LinkedIn, there was: SocialNet
Social media platforms are great, especially when they can get you a job, but Hoffman was sure that romance was the way to go. Hoffman started SocialNet, a platform for “online dating and matching up people with similar interests, like golfers who were looking for partners in their neighborhood”. It received some initial traction, but oddly enough, Hoffman decided to partner local newspapers, which only referred a few customers a month to the site.
Hoffman eventually abandoned ship to become Paypal’s COO, and poor SocialNet was sold to MatchNet in 2001. Aww.
Best known for: Being a multi-billionaire who loves to wakeboard with naked women
Biggest success: Anything with the word Virgin attached to it
Before there was Virgin, there was: Virgin, the record shop on Oxford Street
Before Virgin became the record label and airline brand, it was initially a record store, named after how inexperienced they were in business. This inexperience showed through, when Branson was questioned on selling records that had been declared export stock in Virgin stores. To keep him from going into court, his mother, Eve, had to re-mortgage the family home to pay for the settlement.
Needless to say, he’s probably paid her back for that boo-boo by now.