Steve Jurvetson, 32
Draper Fisher Jurvetson
His line of work is venture capital, but "adventure capitalist" might be a better way of describing the managing director of Draper Fisher Jurvetson, a Silicon Valley firm that’s at the heart of the Web frenzy. Jurvetson has repeatedly shown his ability to recognize young entrepreneurs who can deliver. Examples: Sabeer Bhatia (see p.106) and John Smith, co-founders of Hotmail, the free Web-based e-mail site. More than 20 other firms passed on the deal, but Jurvetson’s firm plunked down $300,000 on Hotmail. The move paid off when Microsoft bought the company for a staggering $400 million. Jurvetson achieved another notable success with his investment in Four11,a free e-mail and directory services company. A classic overachiever, Jurvetson graduated from Stanford at the head of his class in just two and a half years, and made partner at his firm after six months. He shows no signs of slowing. In mid-1999, Jurvetson was financing no less than 11 companies ready for public offering.