40. Matt Cohler
40u40 main matt cohler
Age: 35

General partner, Benchmark Capital

To hear Cohler tell it, his career success is the result of several fantastic opportunities. But that's just part of the story. As one of the earliest employees at Facebook and LinkedIn, Cohler played significant roles in the growth of both social networks—and became fabulously wealthy to boot. (His Facebook shares were worth a reported $680 million at the IPO.) When he joined Benchmark Capital in 2008, he became the youngest general partner at the venture capital firm. Now New York City--bred Cohler is cementing his rep as a bigshot, backing promising startups like Instagram, Dropbox, and Asana, and using his experience and connections to advise and recruit talent for them.

Near miss: Cohler toyed with becoming a professional musician, but figured he wasn't good enough to make it.

--J.P.M.


  @FortuneMagazine - Last updated October 17 2012 05:11 PM ET
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