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Make Me Rich!

Today, success is still partly psychological: I moved the needle! But to an unprecedented extent, especially for people in the borderless economy, success became largely financial. What is new—and this is not news—is that many people, especially younger ones in start-ups, expect—or expected—to gain millions of dollars in just a few years of hard work. Even young people personally know others, who are basically just like them, who became millionaires.

Many people know others who were simply in the right place at the right time. I know a young man who joined Excite before it went public, whose options cost him 25 cents, he exercised them when the stock hit $100. My husband's brother-in-law knows a secretary who joined a fledgling company and she's now worth $50 million because that firm was America Online. San Diego has hundreds of QUALCOMM millionaires. Many of them are competent—but not outstanding—managers and professionals, and their options are currently worth between $1 million and $5 million dollars. The crux of the matter is that the possibility of becoming a millionaire moved from the rarefied air of Tiffany's to the more ordinary venue of Macy's.


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