David Zalik has had numerous successes in his professional career, starting at a young age.
Zalik, a math whiz, bypassed high school and began attending college at Auburn University — also Apple CEO Tim Cook's alma mater — at age 14. (He actually began taking courses at Auburn at 12 after scoring off the charts on a standardized test.) Following in his father's footsteps, Zalik studied mathematics and launched his first business, MicroTech Information Systems, while a freshman in college. MicroTech assembled computers and sold them to students. The business took off, and Zalik expanded, selling refurbished computers to corporations and eventually offering software as well.
For eight years Zalik ran MicroTech Information Systems out of Auburn, Alabama. Like many tech success stories, Zalik was so successful so soon, he eventually dropped out of Auburn. In 1996 he sold the company, moved to Atlanta and founded two more companies — Phoenix and Outweb — using the MicroTech sale proceeds, which numbered "in the millions," Zalik told Bloomberg last year. (He actually first invested the proceeds in commercial real estate, a well-timed bet, before founding the additional companies.)