If you haven’t seen Steve Job‘s famous Stanford Commencement Address 2005, you should. His speech tells the (now common) story of how his dropping out of Reed College during his first semester led him to follow his creativity, with no idea of what the future would hold.
During this time of creative bliss, he took random classes such as calligraphy, slept on his friends’ dorm room floors and walked miles to the Hare Krishna temple once a week to get a hot meal. He says “it was beautiful”.
Not what you expected from one of the world’s biggest entrepreneurs, right? It just so happens that Steve Jobs is not alone in living low, taking risks and going against the grain.
Aaron Levie, multi-millionaire boss and founder of Box, one of the fastest-growing companies in the U.S., also dropped out of college to start his first company (with his best friend, as did Steve Jobs). At the beginning, he paid himself a $500 monthly salary, and lived off canned noodles and spaghettios.
According to BBC article, “Aaron Levie: not your typical multimillionaire“, Levie isn’t interested in luxuries and would only be seen in a fancy restaurant upon client request. Although he has an estimated worth of $100 million, he still drives a six-year-old car, holds meeting at McDonalds and likes spaghettios.
Creativity is still what drives him, not money.
Box, the company that Aaron Levie is running in Sillicon Valley, provides rentable data storage space for companies and customers, similar to having a hard drive but rather in the form of a cloud.
460 businesses on the Fortune 500 list currently use Box. The company brought in $70 million in revenues last year, a 160% jump from 2011. What’s more, due to venture capital investment, the company now has an estimated worth of $1 billion.