Sean Parker is an American entrepreneur who is known for co-founding a file-sharing computer service called Napster and serving as the first president of Facebook. He also co-founded Plaxo (an online address book), Causes (a civic technology app and website for campaigning), Airtime.com (a group video chat app for iOS), and Brigade (a civic technology platform).
He is the founder and chairman of his philanthropic firm, the Parker Foundation. He was ranked 722 on the Forbes 2016 list of the world’s billionaires with a net worth of $2.4 billion. As of January 2022, he had a net worth of $3 billion.
Sean was born to Diane and Bruce Parker, who was a U.S. government oceanographer and Chief Scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). His mother, Diane Parker, was a TV advertising broker.
He has liked programming and hacking since his early teens. Sean was once convicted because he tried to hack the network of a Fortune 500 company, and FBI agents tracked the 16-year-old boy through his IP address. He was sentenced to community service because of his youth.
In 2013, he married Alexandra Lenas, who is a singer-songwriter. The couple has two children, namely, Winter Victoria Parker and Zephyr Emerson Parker.
Sean went to Oakton High School in Virginia and then Chantilly High School to finish his formal education.At school, he used to spend most of his time in the computer lab and practice coding. As a result, he quickly developed a strong interest in programming and began interning for businesses while still in high school.
He used to write codes for startup companies. He worked as an intern for Mark Pincus at his startup, FreeLoader. He completed his graduation in 1998. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) recruited him after seeing his winning potential at the Virginia state computer science fair for developing a web crawler.
While studying in his senior year of high school, he earned more than $80,000 a year through internships and projects. He talked his parents into letting him skip college and become an entrepreneur instead. He was an avid reader and believed in self-learning.
He is also the managing partner of Peter Thiel’s venture capital fund, the Founders Fund. While working there, he made an investment in a Swedish streaming music service, Spotify, to share Napster’s music legally. He also established a philanthropic firm named the Parker Foundation.
co-founder of Napster:
At age 15, Sean met a 14-year-old boy named Shawn Fanning through the internet. Both of them fused over topics like theoretical physics and hacking. After two years, they founded Napster, a free file-sharing service for music.
Sean raised $50,000 and launched it in June 1999. Within a year, Napster had 10 million users, but the record labels, the Recording Industry Association of America, the heavy metal band Metallica, and a few others opposed it.
Eventually, the lawsuits from several industries did not allow him to run Napster. However, Napster is considered the fastest-growing business of all time, and it revolutionized the music industry. In some reports, it is believed that Napster is an antecedent to iTunes.
Co-founder of Plaxo:
In November 2002, Sean Parker started Plaxo, an online address book and social networking service.It started out as a way to connect with other people, and it helped companies like LinkedIn, Zynga, and Facebook grow.
Plaxo grew to 20 million users and became the first brand to use viral marketing in its initial launch. Sequoia Capital and Ram Shriram, the company’s financiers, forced him out in 2004.People say that he got away by hiring private detectives to follow him.
co-founder of Brigade Media
Sean introduced his new startup, Brigade, in April 2014. The platform was made with the purpose of promoting civic management to counter a loss of political engagement and interest in all tiers of the presidency throughout America.
He is the Chairman of the Brigade, which has so far raised $9.3 million from private investors.Brigade obtained an internet platform for social impact and political activism, Causes, in 2014.
Sean is an active giver who has given a lot to cancer research, public fitness around the world, and civic engagement.He even pledged $24 million to create the Sean N. Parker Center for Allergy Research at Stanford. He made a $10 million grant to create the Sean N. Parker Autoimmune Research Laboratory at UCSF.
He established the Parker Foundation and announced in June 2015 that he would contribute $600 million to the organization in order to address large-scale issues such as insight, capital, technology, employer development, and public policy.
He similarly donated $250 million to set up the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy. He serves as a board member of the Obama Foundation, Global Citizen, the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, the Parker Foundation, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.
Sean Parker is known as a genius. He started Napster with the help of his college education, which is how he learned about intellectual property law, corporate finance, and entrepreneurship.
He further co-founded ventures like Plaxo, Airtime, Brigade, and Causes. He was the first investor at Facebook and became its president after five years of its establishment.