The new tech titans are building the tools that influence our daily lives, giving us games like Words With Friends, and the ability to stream our favorite TV shows wherever we are, on whatever gadgets we choose.
But where do they rest their bleary eyes after their late-night hackathons? Some prefer a modest place to call home, belying their rock-star-nerd status. But others have splurged, showing it really pays to be a geek after all.
Check out the cool abodes of five of America's new tech titans:
Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook
Location: Palo Alto, Calif.
Cost: $7 million
Bathrooms: 5 full, 2 half
Square footage: 5,617
|The billionaire's $7 million home is deemed modest by some Silicon Valley observers. |
Mark Zuckerberg's new digs are a long way from the Harvard dorm where he and his classmates founded the popular social networking site Facebook.
The baby-faced CEO plunked down a cool $7 million for the Palo Alto pad last year, which includes a salt water pool and spa. Still, to some, it's considered modest, given that Facebook may be going public this year in what some say could make the social networking website worth more than $100 billion.
The best part for the well-known workaholic? It's just a stone's throw away from Facebook's new Menlo Park headquarters.
Mark Pincus, Zynga
Location: San Francisco
Cost: $8.9 million
|Zynga's leader is very active in San Francisco bay area real estate. |
You may build your fantasy real estate empire in CityVille, the popular Facebook game, but Mark Pincus has one in real life.
Pincus, founder and CEO of Zynga, maker of CityVille, FarmVille, Words With Friends and other popular online games, is selling not one, but two San Francisco mansions.
He and wife Alison Pincus, co-founder of One Kings Lane, a flash sales site for luxury home goods, have put their Presidio Heights home on the market for $8.9 million and a Cole Valley property for $1.97 million. Both are meticulously decorated.
The stately $8.9 million Presidio Heights mansion includes a penthouse level with a terrace, office and master bedroom and bathroom, as well as a media room and an au pair unit. The Cole Valley home boasts panoramic views of the city and the Golden Gate Bridge.
Sean Parker, Spotify and Founder's Fund
Location: New York
Cost: $20 million
Bathrooms: 7 full, 1 half
Square footage: 7,500
|Spotify's Parker shuttles between the coasts and now calls NYC home. |
Sean Parker disputes his bad boy portrayal by Justin Timberlake in the 2010 film "The Social Network." But the former Facebook president and Napster co-founder is certainly living it up in his new home, a $20 million West Village townhouse known as the Bacchus House.
Formerly owned by Italian liquor heir Enrico Cinzano, it includes an indoor pool and gym, garage, theater, a chef's kitchen and an elevator.
Parker, now a managing director at the Founders Fund, a San Francisco venture capital firm, and a director of Spotify, an online music service, purchased it last year, after renting it for some time and throwing his share of over-the-top parties.
Marissa Mayer, Google
Location: Palo Alto
Cost: $5 million (assessed value; it appears she purchased it for $1.8 million)
Square footage: 5,200
|Google's Mayer proudly hosted an Obama campaign fundraiser in her Palo Alto home. |
Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg isn't the only one who has hosted the president in her Silicon Valley home. In late 2010, Marissa Mayer, vice president at Google, and husband Zachary Bogue, co-founder of Founders Den, a shared office space and private club for tech entrepreneurs in San Francisco, also threw a $30,000-per-plate fundraiser for President Obama in their Palo Alto home.
That night, Mayer even tweeted about the event: "The President came to our house for dinner tonight. It was absolutely surreal!"
Mayer's home is just a few blocks from the garage where Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard founded HP, as Mayer pointed out during the fundraiser.
Dick Costolo, Twitter
Location: Corte Madera, Calif.
Cost: $3.2 million (sale price, 2009)
Square footage: 5,066
|Twitter's Costolo lives in a roomy home in a San Francisco suburb. |
Dick Costolo took over as CEO of Twitter last year, about a year after moving to the San Francisco Bay Area from Chicago. He said the weather factored into his decision to uproot from Chicago.
Costolo lives with his family in a roomy five bedroom, 5.5-bath house in Corte Madera, just across the bay from Twitter's San Francisco headquarters. Built in 1908, the house wraps around a courtyard with an outdoor fireplace.