The initial Internet gold rush ended abruptly, destroying many startups and established online businesses alike. But the Web richly rewarded businesspeople with the savvy to foresee technology trends and beat competitors to the next big score. For these whizzes, the Internet has bloated their bank accounts to extremes.
You may notice some famous names missing from this list. Bill Gates, Larry Ellison and others have also proven their business acumen and cemented themselves as owners of radical wealth. But they made money on computer software and hardware, not just the Internet. Instead, this list focuses on the eager youngsters who harnessed the wild, unpredictable ways of the Web and steered their way to consistently outrageous profits.
It's no surprise that household names such as Google and eBay have contributed to many early retirement funds. Thus, you won't be shocked by some of the names and companies on the following pages. However, you may be amazed at just how wealthy some relatively young businesspeople have become, and how little time it took them to get there. Keep reading to see how the Internet's star players made their fortunes, and to see just how big their Web-fueled piles of cash have become.