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5 internet millionaires who made fortunes out of thin air

Last updated on: August 07, 2014 18:24 IST

5 internet millionaires who made fortunes out of thin air

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Many are raising questions on the $7 billion valuation of Flipkart. All said, the company is still into selling physical goods, has army of employees, and funded by big investors.

There are some who have managed to earn millions single-handedly by using just their creativity, skills and intelligence, and still continue make the seven-digit income without staff or plush offices or investors.

Therichest.com has compiled list of five such persons who ‘leveraged the power of internet to make millions’.

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Image: Allen Wong became a millionaire by creating first of its kind app.
Photographs: Courtesy, Allen Wong Twitter
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Perez Hilton - Blogs about celebrities and readers love his views

Mario Armando Lavandeira, Jr, a.k.a Perez Hilton, started blogging because ‘it seemed easy’ thing to do. But before his blog on celebrity gossip at Perezhilton.com, he attempted a career as an actor.

He started blogging as a hobby and within few months it was named "Hollywood's Most-Hated Website" by The Insider. His website was earlier called as PageSixSixSix.com.

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Photographs: Mediaglitz/Wikimedia Commons

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Perez Hilton

According to Alexa, the website ranks 421 in the US and therichest.com reports that the website has eight million views a day.

The website has not been free of controversies. It wrongly reported the death of Fidel Castro while he was alive. He has also been mired in controversies related to Michael Jackson’s death and Miley Cyrus' upskirt picture.

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Photographs: Paparazzo Presents/Wikipedia Commons

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Allen Wong - Developed an app that made him a star

It took just one app for Allen Wong to turn his life around. The ‘5-0 Radio Police Scanner’ he developed lets users listen to police radio chatter from around the world.

According to estimates, the app has been download between 15 million and 20 million times.

Though he doesn’t disclose his net worth, at a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything), he did mention that he has a seven-figure income every year.

Somewhere in mid-20s, Wong now owns a Azure Blue Lamborghini Aventador.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Allen Wong Facebook

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Allen Wong

Wong comes from a modest background. His parents were raised in the slums of China. They fled to the US and raised the family in New York City.

“My mother worked in a sweatshop in Chinatown before she quit to become a homemaker in her 30s. My father was a herbalist before he passed away unnaturally three months after I graduated from college,” Wong wrote at the Reddit AMA.

After his father passed away, no one in the family had a job, and he took up one at the Columbia University.

He taught himself to code and developed apps for some side income, which slowly turned into seven digit.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Allen Wong Facebook

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Amanda Hocking - Self publishing sensation

For the love of writing, Hocking penned down 17 novels in her free time while working as a group home worker. She stared self-publishing and selling them as e-books in 2010.

Result? A year later, she sold over a million copies of her nine books and earned $2 million from sales, according to Wikipedia.

The sales roughly translates to 9,000 books a day.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Amanda Hocking Facebook

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Amanda Hocking

Her genre is classified as paranormal fiction. Some of her popular works include My Blood Approves - a vampire romance series and the Trylle Trilogy - which covers a teenage girl's journey of self-discovery.

Ironically, she did reach out to publisher and agents for her books but was turned down.

Hocking’s story is a true rags to riches tale. She was penniless and wanted money. In desperation, she started self publishing and selling books on Amazon. And few months later she became a sensation of self-publishing business.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Amanda Hocking website

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Brad Colburn - He records himself playing games and posts on YouTube

He is popularly known as The Rad Brad. For Brad his work started as a hobby and he did it for fun. He probably never imaged that it would make him a millionaire. But what he does for living can surely be described a dream job.

Brad records himself playing video games and uploads them on his YouTube channel. What makes him successful is the hilarious commentary along with the game play. He is witty and entertaining.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Brad Colburn Facebook

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Brad Colburn

His channel has over 756 million views and over 3,17 million subscribers and counting. According to BusinessInsider, he makes $137,000 - $1.38 million.

It all started in 2010. Brad was in college and working part time with Best Buy. He saw many users uploading Modern Warfare game play on YouTube and himself tried it for fun.

Post that, one thing led to the other. As the user base grew, so did the cash in his bank.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Brad Colburn Facebook

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Satoshi Nakamoto - Developed a digital currency that can be transferred across world instantly

Satoshi Nakamoto is the inventor of the virtual currency Bitcoin that changed the perception of the world about digital money.

Bitcoin is a virtual currency. It is a revolutionary system that it is not controlled by a person, organisation or any government. Those supporting Bitcoin say that it is the future of currency.

No one knows if Satoshi Nakamoto is a person or a group of people. But one thing’s for sure that he will be a multi-millionaire by now.

Nakamoto is believed to be in possession of roughly one million bitcoins. At one point in December 2013, this was the equivalent of $1.1 billion, according to Wikipedia.

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Image: Software engineer Mike Caldwell holds physical Bitcoins he minted in his shop.
Photographs: Mike Caldwell/Getty Images

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Satoshi Nakamoto

Nakamoto claimed to be a male aged 37 years and living in Japan, which was met with great scepticism due to his fluent English.

According to an article in Wired, someone on an internet chat pointed out that the name can be combination of four corporations - SAmsung, TOSHIba, NAKAmichi, and MOTOrola.

The New Yorker and Fast Company attempted to investigate into the real identity of Satoshi Nakamoto but none of them were successful.

His involvement in the original Bitcoin software does not appear to extend past mid-2010.


Photographs: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

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