The 2013 Forbes Fictional 15

Each year Forbes evaluates the riches of the wealthiest characters from novels, movies, television and games, constructing portfolios based on their stories and then valuing them using real-world commodity and share prices. It’s been a good year to be imaginary: The aggregate net worth of the Fictional 15 is $215.8 billion, up 3 percent. Below, we’ve collected some of the wisdom that has helped these characters amass their fantastic fortunes.

The 2013 Forbes Fictional 15

 1.  Scrooge McDuck   Uncle Scrooge $65.4 billion
Source: Mining, treasure hunting. Residence: Duckburg, Calisota.
“No man is poor who can do what he likes to do once in a while! And I like to dive around in my money like a porpoise! And burrow through it like a gopher! And toss it up and let it hit me on the head!”

2.  Smaug   The Hobbit $54.1 billion
Source: Marauding. Residence: The Lonely Mountain.
“I kill where I wish and none dare resist.”

3.  CarliSle Cullen   Twilight $46 billion
Source: Compound interest, investments. Residence: Forks, Washington.

4.  Tony Stark   Iron Man $12.4 billion
Source: Defence. Residence: Malibu, California.
“They say the best weapon is one you never have to fire. I respectfully disagree. I prefer the weapon you only have to fire once.”

5.  Charles Foster Kane   Citizen Kane $11.2 billion
Source: Media. Residence: Xanadu, California.
“If I hadn’t been very rich, I might have been a really great man.”

6.  Bruce Wayne   Batman $9.2 billion
Source: Inheritance, defence. Residence: Gotham City, USA.
“Sometimes it’s only madness that makes us what we are.”

7.  Richie Rich   Richie Rich $5.8 billion
Source: Inheritance, conglomerates. Residence: Richville, USA.
“How come all we do is talk about money? Why don’t we do something fun?”

8.  Christian Grey   Fifty Shades of Grey $2.5 billion
Source: Investments, manufacturing. Residence: Seattle, Washington.
“I go with my gut and 99 percent of the time it doesn’t let me down. If you can free your mind from the clutter of other people’s expectations and the constraints of what’s expected of you, there’s no limit to what you can achieve.”

9.  Tywin Lannister   Game of Thrones $1.8 billion
Source: Inheritance. Residence: Casterly Rock, Westeros.
“A lion doesn’t concern himself with the opinions of a sheep.”

10.  C Montgomery Burns   The Simpsons $1.5 billion
Source: Energy. Residence: Springfield, USA.
“What good is money if it can’t inspire terror in your fellow man?”

11.  Walden Schmidt   Two and a Half Men $1.3 billion
Source: Technology. Residence: Malibu, California.
“I can’t give you hope, but I can give you my American Express black card.”

12.  Lara Croft   Tomb Raider $1.3 billion
Source: Inheritance, treasure hunting. Residence: Wimbledon, England.
“Everything lost is meant to be found.”

13.  Mr Monopoly   Monopoly $1.2 billion
Source: Real estate. Residence: Atlantic City, New Jersey.

14.  Mary Crawley   Downton Abbey $1.1 billion
Source: Inheritance, marriage. Residence: Yorkshire, England.

15.  Jay Gatsby   The Great Gatsby $1 billion
Source: Racketeering, investments. Residence: West Egg, New York.
“Can’t repeat the past? Why, of course you can!”

This article appeared in the Forbes India magazine of 06 September, 2013

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Movie Review: Satyagraha

Satyagraha brings together urban stories of corruption from history -Chauri Chaura, Mandal as well as Anna Hazare’s Jan Lokpal Andolan. Bachchan plays a retired and idealistic teacher Dwarka Anand. Manav (Ajay Devgn) is his engineer son Akhilesh’s friend – an ambitious capitalist. Both friends are really close, and one day Akhilesh dies. Minister Balram Singh (Bajpai) announces compensation, but Akhilesh’s wife Sumitra (Rao) cannot get that despite daily applications to government babus. One thing leads to another and an angry Dwarka slaps an arrogant official and gets imprisoned. The influence of social media is depicted, as Manav starts a campaign to free him by roping in social activist Arjun Singh (Rampal) and journalist Yasmin (Kapoor). The ‘satyagraha’ escalates, leaving politicians panicky about it. 

Movie Review: Satyagraha

Needless to say, each actor added to the movie in their own signature styles. Recall Devgn in ‘Yuva’, Amitabh in ‘Sarkar’ and Bajpai in a glittering, malevolent avatar. The movie’s philosophy is voiced in one of Bachchan’s dialogues – “Janta sarkaar ki malik hai. Malik nirdesh deta hai. Maang nahin karta.” How do you do that? Symbolic protest? Violent revolt? Or a longer, harder route? 

Dealing with this very question, ‘Satyagraha’ takes ahead this movie in a manner more philosophical than action-oriented. Prasoon Joshi adds color to the movie with his lyrics and all in all, ‘Satyagraha’ strips corruption bare to show the audience its filthy body from tip to toe. No short-cuts to a solution, but not pessimistic future either – Satyagraha is a movie that shows the road ahead for what it is.

Casts and credits:

  • Actors: Amitabh Bachchan, Kareena Kapoor, Ajay Devgn, Manoj Bajpayee, Arjun Rampal
  • Producers: Siddharth Roy Kapur, Prakash Jha, Ronnie Screwvala
  • Directors: Prakash Jha
  • Music Director: Harris Jayaraj
  • Additional informations:
  • Country: India
  • Language: Hindi
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Date: Friday, 30th of August 2013
  • Runtime: 152 min

Synopsis:

Satyagraha reflects the revolution of the middle class against a corrupt and unfair system that leaves it with no option but to form an impulsive movement to challenge the status quo. It is the story of a dynamic and determined young man (Ajay Devgn) who is poised to take the elevator of corporate success, when a personal heartbreak exposes him to the shocking outcomes of corruption in this country. Joining his hands with an idealistic old man (Amitabh Bachchan), he sets fire to people’s protest that soon rises into a massive movement with a national importance, and fighting with evil politicians, who have decided to crush and shame him. However, when aam janta’s raw and uncontrolled anger is unleashed, the unintentional penalty could be horrific by itself.

In short, the movie deals with the movement of the middle-class to re-negotiate democracy. It’s the story of a man (Amitabh Bachchan) who is a firm believer of Gandhian principles, an ambitious entrepreneur (Ajay Devgn) who represents the modern India shining philosophy, a social activist (Arjun Rampal) who aims to become a politician, a bold brave and courageous political journalist (Kareena Kapoor), and a clever and cunning politician (Manoj Bajpai) who uses every means to break the system.

Top 10 Rags-To-Riches Success Stories Of All Time

They say when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. These inspiring figures had less than a lemon to start out with – and are now known for their sheer tenacity as they climbed to the top.

I bring you the top 10 rags-to-riches success stories of all time.

1. Henry Ford

Rags To Riches Stories-Henry Ford

Henry Ford was a farm boy who went on to revolutionize transportation industry in America. Ford was very interested in mechanics from a young age, when he dismantled and reassembled a pocket watch at the age of 15 his father had given him. A self-taught watch repairman who graduated to being an apprentice machinist, Ford started his personal experiments on gasoline engines which was the beginning of his vast Ford empire. And his net worth, as per Forbes in 2008, is a cool $188.1 billion.

2. Walt Disney

Rags To Riches Stories-Walt Disney

Our childhood would have been dreary without this genius of a man. Walt Disney was also another boy brought up in a farm – and used to draw pictures for his neighbors for money. He used to be the cartoonist for the school newspaper, Disney went through the jobless phase where no one hired him, and his brother had to help him out with his job search. He went from rags to riches by starting out with advertisements and going on to animating his own cartoons.

3. Ralph Lauren

Rags To Riches Stories-Ralph Lauren

Born in a strict Jewish family with a house painter for a father, Ralph Lauren grew up with big dreams. He used to sell ties to his classmates to earn some cash, and he mentioned in his yearbook that he wanted to be a millionaire. His interest in ties went on help his put his foot through the door of bigger achievements in the fashion world. When he was signed on to design the clothes for ‘The Great Gatsby’ in 1974, he was catapulted into the fame which he commands today.

4. Steve Jobs

Rags To Riches Stories-Steve Jobs

This Apple founder is now a household name. Jobs was given away for adoption by his biological parents and he became interested in electronics after his foster dad showed him the joys of technical tinkering in their garage. He had to drop out of college, because his education was costing his foster parents a lot. He used to return Coke bottles for money and live on free meals at the Hare Krishna temple. A hippie who used to trip on LSD, Jobs went from a technician in Atari, Inc. to becoming the CEO of Apple Inc.

5. Richard Branson

Rags To Riches Stories-Richard Branson

Branson went from being a dyslexic kid who performed badly in school to a British business magnate with a net worth of 4.6 billion. There was a time when Richard Branson started his record business from the crypt of a church – and now he is the fourth richest citizen of the UK. This entrepreneur is an example of how one can be eccentric and yet rake in the moolah. He had his finger in many pies – record label, airways and telecom.

6. John Paul DeJoria

Rags To Riches Stories-John-Paul-DeJoria

Born to Italian and Greek immigrant parents, this billionaire had to sell newspapers when he was nine to support his family. He has lived in a foster home, been part of a street gang and jumped through a number of jobs. With a loan of $700, he began what is now known the world over as the Paul Mitchell line of hair products. He went on to own 70% of The Patron Spirits Company, the world’s ultra-premium tequila brand. If this is not a rags-to-riches story, we do not know what is.

7. Oprah Winfrey

Rags To Riches Stories-Oprah Winfrey

Born to a housemaid and a coalminer, Oprah definitely did not grow in the lap of luxury. Living the life of poverty, where she used to have to wear dresses made out of potato sacks and was molested by relatives. She entered the world of media after getting the job of a news-reader in a local black radio station. After she got her first talk-show in Chicago, there was no looking back for this TV personality.

8. J.K. Rowling

Rags To Riches Stories-J.K. Rowling

Born in a lowly English family, Rowling battled depression, suicidal tendencies and poverty to become one of the most loved British authors in the world for her hugely popular Harry Potter series. Highly imaginative as a kid who thrived on stories, she drew from her surroundings and the people in her life as inspirations for the books which have now become one of the biggest movie franchises. From her humble beginnings, she has gone on to become one of the most powerful women in the United Kingdom.

9. Daymond John

Rags To Riches Stories-Daymond John

A black boy growing up in Queens – one would not have pegged John as a potential entrepreneur who would go on to become the CEO of the hip-hop clothing brand FUBU. But that he did, with an entrepreneurial instinct that he honed from his school days. Selling popular wool hats at half their market price, he mortgaged their house for future business expansion. It paid off well – and he now is one of the most influential motivational speakers in America.

10. Chris Gardner

Rags To Riches Stories-Chris Gardner

This is the man whose life has inspired the Will Smith-starrer ‘The Pursuit of Happyness’. Physically abused by his stepfather as a child and placed in a foster home, Gardner’s woes did not leave him even as he grew up to marry and be a father. As shown in the movie, Gardner struggled with homelessness while raising his kid. It was the strength of the lessons he learnt from his mother that he went from rags to riches by tenaciously building himself to be the CEO of his own stockbrokerage firm, Gardner Rich & Co.

There is no disadvantage these personalities did not suffer on their journey from birth to where they stand today – but sheer tenacity, confidence and hard work led them to the inspiring figures they are today.

Inspirational Quotes From Famous Business Leaders

1. Richard Branson

Inspirational Quotes From Famous Business Leaders

“To be successful, you have to be out there, you have to hit the ground running, and if you have a good team around you and more than a fair share of luck, you might make something happen. But you certainly can’t guarantee it just by following someone else’s formula.”

2. Azim Premji

Inspirational Quotes From Famous Business Leaders

“If people are not laughing at your goals, your goals are too small.”

3. Mark Zuckerberg

Inspirational Quotes From Famous Business Leaders

“I think a simple rule of business is, if you do the things that are easier first, then you can actually make a lot of progress.”

4. Warren Buffett

Inspirational Quotes From Famous Business Leaders

“Risk comes from not knowing what you’re doing.”

5. Narayana Murthy

Inspirational Quotes From Famous Business Leaders

“Progress is often equal to the difference between mind and mindset.”

6. Bill Gates

Inspirational Quotes From Famous Business Leaders

“Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.”

7. Michael Dell

Inspirational Quotes From Famous Business Leaders

“The key is to listen to your heart and let it carry you in the direction of your dreams. I’ve learned that it’s possible to set your sights high and achieve your dreams and do it with integrity, character, and love. And each day that you’re moving toward your dreams without compromising who you are, you’re winning.”

8. Ratan Tata

Inspirational Quotes From Famous Business Leaders

“I don’t believe in taking right decisions. I take decisions and then make them right.”

9. Larry Page

Inspirational Quotes From Famous Business Leaders

“My job as a leader is to make sure everybody in the company has great opportunities, and that they feel they’re having a meaningful impact and are contributing to the good of society. As a world, we’re doing a better job of that. My goal is for Google to lead, not follow that.”

10. Steve Jobs

Inspirational Quotes From Famous Business Leaders

“If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.”

Phablet Market To Heat Up With Launch Of Samsung Galaxy Note 3

Samsung has already re-established the fact that it is the undisputed champion of smartphones on a global scale. The Galaxy S-III was a major hit and Galaxy S-IV completely silenced the critics, and no amount of bombardment from HTC’s One or Sony’s Xperia Z could falter Samsung’s success and growth in the market.

Oddly enough, similar results have also been translated in the phablet market with Samsung being the overall market grosser with its Galaxy Note series. Fortunately for Note users, it’s time for them to upgrade their faithful device as Samsung is all set to launch the Galaxy Note 3 for the phablet fanatics. Waiting no further, let’s have a look at its tech-specs and if it’s a game-changer for the phablet market.

The Galaxy Note 3

Samsung Galaxy Note 3

Before we kick off the spec bonanza, we need to understand a few basic changes the smartphone industry has undergone. Other than having a captivating screen and an elongated battery life, the camera and processing quality has drastically improved, meaning the smartphones and phablets of tomorrow have to out-do their counterparts of today by leaps and bounds, and with the new Android upgrade in place, the smartphones and phablets command all the more powerful hardware to run flawlessly. Keeping that in mind, the Galaxy Note 3 is touted to be fitted with an octa-core processor that can clock 1.8 GHz with ease, and a whopping 3 GB RAM to compliment it. The screen may very well offer 5.6 inches of viewing pleasure and the signature Super AMOLED display will churn out 1080p graphics without any hassle. A micro-SD slot with inbuilt memory of 16, 32, and 64 GB variants should be available and connectivity will be obtained with 4G LTE and the usual jazz.

While the innards sounds as good as they should, the 4.3 Jelly Bean loaded with all the Samsung goodies should add-on to the Note’s credibility. Expect a new level of thinness with this one. Albeit, what we find to be disturbing amidst all the specs is its shockingly small battery capacity. The Note 3 is to be equipped with a 3200 mAh battery. It may work wonders for a 4-inch smartphone and allow it to run for a day or more of heavy use, but a 6-inch tablet with a mammoth octa-core processor and 3 GB of RAM might find the 3200 mAh diet to be far less appetising. Maybe a spec-bump in this area might help the Note 3 with enough juice to run for a day.

The Competition

Xperia Z Ultra

While Samsung is basking in glory in the smartphone market, other competitors are equipping themselves with some marvellous arsenal. Sony with the all new razor-thin Xperia Z Ultra and Micromax with their surprisingly successful Canvas series have already found favour with buyers. The Z Ultra with its hardware and super-sleek body is a worthy rival, while Micromax is a worthy contender with its highly affordable Canvas as well. Various other small-timers are emerging in the phablet circuit with Acer and Firefly catering the budget crowd. If rumours are to be believed, Nokia is all set to come up with their very-own Windows 8-powered phablet and that may truly shake up Samsung’s foundation.

If Samsung truly wants to stay on top without budging, they do need to pull up their socks without keeping any loose ends around, and with the competition heating up, they might as well do things right or it won’t be long before Samsung goes the Apple way and launches a cheap spinoff out of sheer desperation.

Microsoft CEO Ballmer to retire within 12 months

New York: Microsoft Corp chief executive Steve Ballmer unexpectedly announced his retirement on Friday, ending a controversial 13-year reign at the head of the world’s largest software company and sending the company’s shares up 7.1 per cent.

Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer

Ballmer, 57, took over from co-founder Bill Gates in January 2000, but his leadership was questioned throughout his tenure by Wall Street and Silicon Valley, as Microsoft’s stock price floundered and the PC-centric pioneer was overtaken by Apple Inc and Google Inc in the shift towards mobile computing.

Ballmer’s planned exit comes shortly after activist investing fund ValueAct Capital Management LP took a small stake in the company, and started agitating for a change in strategy and a clear CEO succession plan.

Only last month Ballmer launched a massive reorganization to reshape Microsoft into a company focused on devices and services, essentially mimicking Apple, leaving most industry watchers nonplussed.

“My original thoughts on timing would have had my retirement happen in the middle of our company’s transformation to a devices and services company,” said Ballmer in a statement. “We need a CEO who will be here longer term for this new direction.”

Although Ballmer has faced criticism for some time, his decision to retire surprised analysts.

“Yes, this was a surprise, especially considering how close it is to the recently announced strategic overhaul towards devices and services,” said Sid Parakh, an analyst at McAdams Wright Ragen.

Ballmer is to retire within the next 12 months, once a special committee has selected a new CEO.

The committee is to be chaired by John Thompson, the board’s lead independent director, and includes Microsoft co-founder and chairman Bill Gates, as well as other board members Chuck Noski and Steve Luczo.

It will consider both external and internal candidates and work with executive recruiting firm Heidrick & Struggles International Inc, according to Microsoft.

Its shares rose 7.1 per cent to $34.69 on Nasdaq.

How to earn friends?

Whoever said you can’t buy friends was dead wrong. Dozens of outfits are dedicated to making insecure weirdos with cash to burn look more popular than they are. These companies create fake users and even pay real account holders for following and liking. Social media giants must constantly tweak their algorithms to spot frauds.

How to earn friends?

Social Media Icons

FACEBOOK

Price Of Popularity: On socialyup.com, you can buy 500 likes for $30 or 20,000 for $699.

Spot The Frauds: Watch for accounts with lots of likes but very little discernible user activity. A page with tens of thousands of fans but only a few comments and nobody in the “Talking About This” column is a prime suspect. One study says 97 per cent of fake profiles identify themselves as female (while just 40 per cent of real users do).

PINTEREST

Price Of Popularity: Pinfol delivers 100 followers for $15; 5,000 for $95.

Spot The Frauds: Scroll through a user’s followers list and keep an eye out for a high proportion of accounts with no bio or photo.

TWITTER

Price Of Popularity: FanMeNow’s packages start at $10 for 1,000 followers. $1,750 will score you a million.

Spot The Frauds: Promotional tweets and the default “egg” avatar are hallmarks of phoney accounts. Fake Follower Check is a free web tool that measures a user’s followers against typical characteristics of spam accounts.

YOUTUBE

Price Of Popularity: 500views.com delivers 30,000 views for $150. For $3,100, make your video “viral” with a million views.

Spot The Frauds: Beware of generic comments. One music clip we saw racked up tens of thousands of views in weeks, but the only comments were variations on “This video is great!”