In success stories we take a look at some of the most successful people in history and breakdown their lives and tips to success. In this post we’re taking a look at the start-up genius that is Sean Parker.



NAME: Sean Parker

DOB: December 3 1979

Net worth: 3.1 Billion USD

Initial age of success: 15

Mentors: Various people who had minor roles


Early life

  • Born in Herndon Virginia
  • Learnt to program at age 7 by his father
  • Hacked a fortune 500 company age 16
  • Recruited by the C.I.A in high school
  • Interned for Marcus Pincus at Freeloader
  • Senior year of high school he made $80,000 through programming jobs
  • Ferocious reader as a child
  • C0-founded Napster which he later shutdown due to multiple lawsuits. Napster is considered the fastest growing company in history
  • In 2002 he started Plaxo. An online address book and social networking service. It generated 20 million members before Parker was ousted from the company. He was followed by private investigators after fears about his lifestyle



  • Met Mark Zuckerberg and started working on Facebook
  • Parker was essential to the success of Facebook, especially for negotiating with investors, and educating Mark in business
  • Parker would work continuously until he hit big targets, then go missing for days or even weeks at a time
  • Parker had a rock and roll lifestyle. In 2005 he was arrested when cocaine was found at the vacation home he was renting
  • This forced Parker to step down as Facebook president, which had been continually looking like a more probable outcome
  • Parker still owns 5% of Facebook which pays him handsomely to this day
  • Parker became a member of the founders fund, a group of wealth investors all looking to help blossoming business ideas. He now owns percentages of many companies including Spotify
  • Was played by Justin Timberlake in the film the Social Network


Current life

  • Parker raises great amounts of money for charities, through Causes/, a business he set up for this exact purpose
  • He’s married with two sons
  • Continues to invest in start-ups and is continually searching for the next big idea
  • Also a keynote speaker and adviser to many big companies


Top traits

  • Great negotiator
  • Persistence
  • Confident
  • Curiosity
  • Articulate
  • Highly intelligent
  • High self-belief
  • Quick learner
  • Great teacher and communicator


Top tips for success 

  • Make an impact
  • Build a complete team around you and your idea/product
  • Protect yourself and your ownership
  • Have a great work ethic
  • Take on problems that haven’t been solved, or that no one else wants to try and solve


Best quote

You have got to be willing to be poor as an entrepreneur