Some people know how to live well.They work hard. They play hard. They have fabulous adventures and pursue exotic dreams.
It’s enough to make any normal human a little jealous.
It’s also enough to make anyone think a little more about their own passions and dreams.
After all, if these folks can do it, why can’t any of us push the boundaries of what we can achieve?
Charles River Ventures partner Bill Tai has combined his two favourite things in the world: funding startups and kiteboarding.
His MaiTai Kite Camp in Maui aims to teach entrepreneurs how to do the sport, which involves riding a contraption that combines a surfboard with a kite-like sail--through ocean waves.
Through the end of 2011, graduates of Tai's camp had generated $7 billion in wealth by going public or selling their companies, reports Kym McNicholas on Forbes.
Tai is also a sailor, windsurfer, and Olympic Ambassador for the International Kiteboarding Society.
Before founding a tech startup, Jeremy Bloom was an Olympic mogul skier. He also almost became a football player for the Philadelphia Eagles. An injury during training camp kept him from playing.
Today he's the CEO of online-advertising startup Integrate, backed by $15 million of venture capital from Foundry Group, Comcast Ventures, and Liberty Global.
Bloom also created a cool nonprofit called Wish of a Lifetime which grants wishes to people 65 years old or older across the country.
Osman Kent made his money by cofounding 3Dlabs and selling it to Creative Labs in 2002 for about $170 million.
He retired and became an aspiring music mogul with his own record label, Songphonic Records. He even bought an English mansion formerly owned by Roxy Music's Phil Manzanera, with its own recording studio.
He came out of retirement earlier this year when he found some irresistible new tech. He used it to found Numecent, which could change how the software industry makes and sells its products.
Daniel Raffel is the CEO of startup Snapguide. In the tech world, he's known for his work at Yahoo, which includes the development of Yahoo Pipes, an innovative technology for gluing Web services together.
But he's had two other fabulous lives. He cofounded two record labels (Lucky Kitchen and Apartment B) and performed music around the world. His passion for food also led him to study the culinary arts which landed him cooking for famous chef, Thomas Keller.
At 28 years old, Facebook cofounder and CEO is already the stuff of tech legend, having built a service that connects 1 billion people.
He's a household name. His life was the subject of a successful if contentious movie, The Social Network, based on a successful if contentious book, The Accidental Billionaires. He even did a cameo--under his real identity--on 'Saturday Night Live.'
Plus, he's fabulously wealthy and a newlywed.
By joining with prep-school buddy Bill Gates to start Microsoft, Paul Allen became one of the wealthiest men on earth.
He's used that wealth to enjoy his life. He's known as a collector of expensive stuff such as classic computers, real estate, and sports teams like the Seattle Seahawks and the Portland Trailblazers.
Sean Parker, of Napster and Facebook fame, is known coast to coast for his parties.
He was reportedly 'mortified' at the way Justin Timberlake portrayed him in the movie The Social Network. But the real-life Parker does throw lavish affairs at his New York mansion. Its name: Bacchus House. Parker's bacchanals have become the gathering place for an eclectic mix of artists, scientists and celebrities, reports the New York Times. He's also thrown epic launch events for startups he's involved in, like Airtime and Spotify.
Woz is the beloved cofounder of Apple. That is enough to inspire envy.
But he's also got a day job as the chief scientist of Fusion-io, another game-changing tech company. This one's creating a whole new way for computer servers to store information.
Woz is not just a technologist but an American geek hero. He's even the star of a new iPhone game, Danny Trejo's Vengeance: Woz With A Coz.
Zach Nelson isn't at the office running NetSuite, a cloud computing company founded by Larry Ellison, he can sometimes be found underwater. Nelson is an avid skin diver, meaning he leaves plunges into the ocean without a scuba tank, often to hunt for fish.
Nelson also owns a non-NFL football team in Nebraska, the Omaha Nighthawks, and he's an investor in hip real-estate blog network, Curbed.com.
Even with all he's donated to charity, Bill Gates is the second-richest man in the world. That's enough reason to envy him.
But he's also had an amazing personal arc. He started out as a sharp-tongued, brilliant-but-brutal businessman who steered his company into a massive antitrust lawsuit. Today he's known for his charity, working on some of world's most difficult problems like clean water and poverty.
He and his buddy Warren Buffett also created the Giving Pledge, a campaign in which they persuade other wealthy people to promise to give most of their money away to philanthropic causes.
Who wouldn't want to be Sergey Brin?
After becoming fabulously rich by cofounding Google, he now spends his time working on the most out-there projects that Google employees can imagine in his secretive division, Google X.
That includes awesome stuff like self-driving cars and the wearable computers known as Project Glass.
Billionaire Marc Benioff not only founded a company that changed software forever, but he's created a new philanthropic model of giving.
His 1-1-1 program encourages companies to give to charity as they grow, rather than waiting until the end of their lives. He donates 1% of his company's equity, 1% of its product, and 1% of employees' time to good causes.
That's cool and all, but what makes him really enviable is his sense of adventure. His life seems to be an endless escapade of exotic travel, walking on coals, bungee jumping, and other such stunts. To chill out, he practices yoga.
Elon Musk could very well be the most important entrepreneur of our age.
Between his electric-car company, Tesla, his rocket-ship maker, SpaceX, and his alternative-energy startup, SolarCity, Musk is changing the world. He's a guy that just isn't afraid of risking it all. Somehow, against all odds, he always wins. He's like the James Bond of the tech world.
You know that beer commercial that features the fictional 'most interesting man in the world'? The real-life most interesting man has got to be Richard Branson.
He cracks open new, disruptive startups like he's snacking on pistachios: record labels, airlines, mobile-phone companies. Like Musk, he's got a space-exploration company too. He's also written a bunch of bestselling books.
Like Benioff, he's known for his adventures, be it climbing Mount Everest with his family or his attempts to break various world records in the air and at sea. These attempts have often ended badly, requiring daring rescues. That doesn't stop him. He's even been known to show up in the movies making light of himself.
Take every daring feat or accomplishment of everyone else on this list, roll them up into one man, and you get Larry Ellison.
As founder and CEO of Oracle, a company that's been important in tech for decades, he is one of the richest men in the world. He's a daring sailor and adventurer. He's a collector of real estate, including an entire Hawaiian island. He owns a sports team. He's a philanthropist, too, particularly in funding brain and ageing research.
We're looking for nominations for our next list: 15 Women In Tech With Lives You Should be Jealous Of.
Won't you help and tell us a bit about an enviable woman or two you know? We're collecting nominations in the form below. (If you can't see the form, follow this link.)
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