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Are Technology Entrepreneurs The New Rock Stars?

Brian Anthony Hernandez, BusinessNewsDaily Staff Writer

The era of talentless fame is over, proclaims Business Insider's Alyson Shontell in a recent column titled “Move Over Kim And Britney: Tech Entrepreneurs Are The New Rock Stars.

Stealing the spotlight from Kim Kardashian and Britney Spears is “an unseemly group of brilliant nerds and college dropouts who make millions on websites they create."

“Facebook, Foursquare, Groupon, and Twitter are changing the way we socialize while their founders are becoming socialites,” Shontell wrote.

“With sweatpants-swagger and late-night launch parties, tech entrepreneurs are the new people to watch. … These young, self-made millionaires even party like rock stars.”

Just walk by a magazine rack and you'll see Foursquare founder Dennis Crowley on this month's cover of Entrepreneur. And don't forget about Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and PayPal’s former head Elon Musk, who have been plastered on the front of Wired and Inc.

BusinessNewsDaily asked six entrepreneurs and business people what they thought about these young guns’ catapulting fame:

“I think successful entrepreneurs were always rock stars. The founders of the industrial revolution giants lived lavish lives, hosted the best parties and rubbed shoulders with leaders and royalty. The only difference between now and then is that the Internet era creates wealth much faster and now these entrepreneurs are often very young when they make their fortune and instead of gradually building their celebrity status like the entrepreneurs from previous generations, they become stars overnight, which makes for a much better story. … Every industry that can turn a 20-something into a millionaire will create rock stars. It was always like this in Hollywood or in professional sports.”
-- Gadi Shamia, president of

“It’s nice to see people with good ideas being considered rock stars. I think the rise in popularity of social networks has put them in the forefront. You’ve got people going from general obscurity to famous overnight.”
-- Zachary Rawlings, investment advisor at Lenox Advisors

“When I think about a rock star, I think about someone who can create a shared experience massive enough to fill a football stadium with raving fans. The entrepreneurs behind popular social websites like and have created a similar massive shared experience among the people that use their websites. Marketing has everything to do with this. Marketing is all about building relationships with an audience. These entrepreneurs are becoming famous because of the relationships that they have built between their audience and their corporate and personal brands. … I think we may see another wave of rock star entrepreneurs emerge from self-help gurus … I think it's a given that successful entrepreneurs will want to throw parties to mix with their clients and partners. In the business world, it's important to celebrate your wins.  That way, during the difficult times you will have something positive to look back on.”
-- Michael Gold, co-founder of Midtown Web and partner of pre-launch tech startup

“I think the reason you are seeing more entrepreneurs in the mainstream media is because the companies they are creating target kids and teens – and they are just kids themselves. Kids feel like they can relate to them, they want to experience the same lifestyle. The only thing bad that can come of it is if entrepreneurs start wearing big, shiny sunglasses and button-down, silk shirts to the office. It's not about being an entrepreneur really, it’s about beating the odds, especially for a twentysomething kid. That's what's interesting, that's what people are attracted to. Every entrepreneur is already a rock star … I just can’t tell you what happens at our parties!”
-- Michael Ashley, co-founder of

“In a down economy, with unemployment near 10 percent, self-made successes — who start their own businesses and don’t have to worry about bosses firing them — are fascinating to people who wish they could be in that position … The general public is still largely unfamiliar with them. Well positioned, integrated branding is always going to support entrepreneurs. A consistent brand voice in social media and consistently branded marketing/Web tools will only build on and reinforce an image that’s getting recognition in the press. Social media is providing individuals and companies an opportunity to share the dialogue. The more you put yourself or your company out into the conversation, the more likely it is that it will get picked up by the circle of people you want to reach.”
-- Susan Chait, vice president and creative director of Lebowitz Gould Design,

“I think that in many ways tech entrepreneurs are the new rock stars of the world, due very much to a few interesting trends in the U.S. and globally (such as) the success of exciting Web startups … and the fact that they are led by cool, innovative and young guys who make them look like rock stars that others want to be like. They are inspiring, smart, fun and successful. That inspires many to say ‘I want to be that person, too!’ … The upside of the recession was the birth of many more startups and entrepreneurs inspired to bring ideas that they are passionate about to life. The media likes to highlight startup success stories and make them ‘sexy’ and it helps entrepreneurs to be even more popular. People like to be around successful people and learn from them so they might become successful, too.”
-- Eyal Bino, founder of BornGlobal


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