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Quora is a simple premise beautifully realized. It’s an online knowledge depository where people can ask or answer questions. And it’s populated by a mix of ordinary, everyday folk like you and me, as well as some famous faces eager to share their wisdom with others. Internet entrepreneurs are no exception.
It’s safe to say that Internet entrepreneurs are easy to come by. Essentially anyone who has ever made money from the Web could legitimately term themselves in such a way. But amongst the detritus left over from dot-com booms of yore are successful people who also happen to be truly fascinating. Quora gives them a platform to speak on, and those of us interested in hearing what they have to say a platform on which to listen.
Steve Case is best known as the co-founder, former CEO and former chairman of AOL. In other words he’s the guy you have to blame for all those discs that managed to find their way into your home during the 1990s. Still, let’s not hold that against him, and don’t, whatever you do, mention it to him on Quora.
Dustin Moskovitz co-founded Facebook along with Mark Zuckerberg, Eduardo Saverin, and Chris Hughes before leaving for pastures new in 2008. This association with the social networking phenomenon has made him a multi-billionaire thanks to the shares he owns in the public company. He’s now building a new company called Asana.
Jimmy Wales is the co-founder of both Wikia and Wikipedia, the latter of which has been helping us all expand our knowledge (and perpetuate myths) since 2001. Wales is probably the most-recognizable person on this list as his face can often be seen beaming down from every page on Wikipedia as the site asks for donations to stay afloat.
Marc Andreessen co-authored Mosaic, one of the first Web browsers, co-founded Netscape, co-founded Ning, serves on the boards of Facebook and eBay, and runs a Silicon Valley venture capital firm with Ben Horowitz aptly named Andreessen Horowitz. And yet he still finds time to be active on Quora.
Kevin Rose is a serial Internet entrepreneur who co-founded Digg, Pownce, Revision3, and Milk. He’s now given all of that up to be a partner at Google Ventures, and has separately invested in Facebook, Twitter, Gowalla, Foursquare, and many other startups. He was also a podcaster before it became cool to be one.
Alexis Ohanian is the co-founder of oft-controversial, oft-criticized, always-interesting Reddit, as well as Breadpig and Hipmunk. He’s now also an investor and advisor, and was a staunch critic of the SOPA and PIPA bills that could have changed the Web as we know it on a fundamental level.
Daniel Ek seems to have been born to start companies, doing so from the age of 14. After launching several companies that were acquired by bigger players, he co-founded music streaming service Spotify and acts as its CEO. This is the guy who makes me more productive by providing music on tap.
Kevin Systrom co-founded photo-sharing social network Instagram in 2010, having already spent time working at Google where he helped mold Gmail. Earlier this year Facebook acquired Instagram for a cool $1 billion, making Systrom a very wealthy man indeed, so feel free to ask him to lend you a dime or two.
Marco Arment is a jack of all trades, being a tech blogger, podcaster, and primarily a Web developer. He co-founded Tumblr before leaving his position at the company to focus entirely on Instapaper. Arment is known for having opinions and not holding back on expressing them as and when necessary.
Evan Williams is responsible for two hugely successful Web services: Blogger, now part of Google, and Twitter. Williams co-founded the latter and held the position of CEO before stepping aside for Dick Costolo in 2010. Thankfully his answers on Quora generally comprise of more than 140 characters.
Quora can be a tricky website to safely navigate, as it has strange mix of famous people and proles. This does throw up intriguing occasions when known names are discussing themselves or their companies with ordinary members of the public. And any CEO or founder who takes the time to interact in such a way should be applauded for doing so.
Have you had an encounter with a well-known person on Quora, whether they’re one of the Internet entrepreneurs on this list or not? If so then please recount the story in the comments section below. Otherwise feel free to air your views on this article, Quora as a whole, or the names mentioned above.