John A. Moore, Acorn Energy Inc., Wilmington
Acorn invests in struggling energy companies, transforming their infrastructure to function better at the lowest cost, lowest risk, and highest return possible.
Salary: $772,852 | $909,084
In the biz: six years
Job faves: Working with great people
Next great thing: Fracking imaging technology. “It is going to be the key enabling technology to make fracking safe and more productive.”
Early achievement: At age 18, he took over his first company. “I didn’t own a car, didn’t have a license. But I had a suit. I put it on and my mom drove me to West Chester to meet with this troubled company. I had never seen the inside of a factory but I convinced them I had the solution, bought their debt for 7 cents on the dollar, got on the board, then sold the stock for $1 a share.”
Response to failure: “Half my salary goes right back into the open market, and I’ve failed lots. But I agree with Neil Armstrong when he talks about being a nation of pioneers: risk is central to our DNA. The moment we stop taking risks, we are dead.”