In addition to all the disasters that are currently happening, we have a new cybernetic “gold rush” where young people want to be very rich, from rags to riches. Many of their hopes and dreams are made and shattered by lucky influencers who were born into wealth or stumbled into wealth through pure luck. I’m not saying this happens to all the rich people on social media, but we all know most of the time.
The debate over who is the richest person on earth this century is between Elon Musk ($147.3 billion net worth), Jeff Bezos ($186 billion net worth), and the current world’s richest man, Bernard Arnault ($187 billion net worth). ). However, none of these people became the first billionaires in modern times.
The first person who came very close to becoming the world’s first billionaire was John’s father, William Avery Rockefeller, who was an international con man in the early 19th century selling plants that he advertised as a cure for almost any ailment.
John D. Rockefeller was born on June 8, 1939 in Richford, New York, the son of William Very Rockefeller and Eliza Davison. His mother was very religious and devoted herself to raising her 6 children (including John) to be better than their father.
From an early age, John demonstrated the mindset of an entrepreneur by selling candy to children, charging 10 or 20 times the price he was getting. Selling candy to children may be good business because they always demand candy, but selling candy to rich kids with “infinite” resources is a businessman’s dream.
At age 14, he moved with his family to Cleveland, where he attended Central High School and then E.G. Entered Folsom Commercial College. Rockefeller was interested in accounting, so his first job was as an assistant accountant at Hewitt & Tuttle.
In 1859, he married his good friend and business partner, Maurice B. Together with Clark, the company was able to raise $4,000 in start-up capital ($135,485 adjusted for today’s inflation). The company was selling products that were in high demand around the United States and at that time made a pretty good profit, but not enough for Rockefeller.
In 1863, Rockefeller discovered a huge opportunity in the fuel market. So he gave up his company and opened a new refinery with Clark and several other business partners. The refinery was named Clark & Rockefeller.
A feature of this feature was the refining of whale oil, which was used as fuel in the late 19th century. Because of the high demand at that time, Rockefeller conquered the market and made billions from whale oil. This was until 1865, when the American Civil War ended and gasoline became scarce in the United States. It was great because Rockefeller had an oil refinery.
Reinvesting all profits from the sale of refined whale oil, Rockefeller renovated the plant and turned it into the largest oil refinery. in the world In the 19th century. In 1870 he founded the Standard Oil Company and in 1872 he founded the National Petroleum Refining Association, creating a monopoly in the gasoline industry in the 19th century and laying the cornerstones of the modern gasoline industry.
Rockefeller had connections around the world, which allowed him to close some contracts with industrial trucking companies around the world, which allowed his company to transport gasoline at prices below the average market price, which eliminated his competition in the long run.
By today’s ethical business standards, Rockefeller was far from being ethical in a competitive market, but when we are talking about billions, there is no place for ethics. He finds ways to bankrupt his competitors for some reason, or see them through some reason, or force them out of the market at a very low price.
Another tactic he uses with smaller competitors is to buy them out. In fact, he would buy bankrupt companies at very low prices to ensure a monopoly in the market. In 1870, Rockefeller refined 90% of the gasoline sold in the United States.
When Rockefeller died of natural causes in 1937, his fortune reached $1.4 billion, which, adjusted for inflation, would be about $420 billion today, making him the richest man in modern history.
With so much money and nearing the end of his life, he felt it was time to give back to society, so he created the famous Rockefeller Foundation, which is still the most important philanthropic institution in the world. world. This institution financed various projects, raised hospitals and schools.
One of the most important projects is the University of Chicago, as well as Rockefeller University. John Rockefeller died at the age of 97, having lived to divide his fortune equally between his wife Laura Spelman and their five daughters and son. It is said that most of his wealth went to the Rockefeller Foundation.
The moral of the story is that people like Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates or Elon Musk still have a long way to go before they reach the true meaning of the richest people ever to walk this earth. At the end of the day, wealth comes at a high cost, and that cost is time invested that can never be recouped.… It takes decades of dedication before such wealth reaches the point where it makes money while it sleeps. As Rockefeller envisioned us all, in the end, it’s all here until we move on to the next phase, whatever that may be.