Alexandr Wang holds the distinction of being the world’s youngest self-made billionaire at 25. His US$1 billion net worth is derived mainly from Scale AI, the start-up he co-founded in 2016. The tech platform is currently valued at US$7.3 billion.
But Wang isn’t the only one who’s making waves in the tech scene. His former co-founder, Lucy Guo, is also enjoying much-deserved recognition. Forbes recently named her as one of the richest self-made women under 40, ranking second after Kylie Jenner with an estimated net worth of US$440 million. Other stars on the list include Taylor Swift, Rihanna, Maria Sharapova and Huda Kattan.
Given this impressive feat, how did Guo crack the male-dominated world of tech, and what’s she like outside the workplace?
Her parents did not want her to pursue a tech career
According to a New York Post profile, Guo learned how to code when she was in second grade. While some parents might encourage their children to pursue what they love, this was not the case for Guo, whose parents are both electrical engineers. Her mum in particular dissuaded her from entering tech, since it is difficult for women to be successful in the field.
But this did not stop the 27-year-old tech whizz. Guo eventually studied computer science at Carnegie Mellon but dropped out to pursue a Thiel Fellowship, founded by PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel. As per the fellowship’s website, it “gives US$100,000 to young people who want to build new things instead of sitting in a classroom”.