Jim Clark is a Silicon Valley legend.
In 1982, while working a day job as a professor at Stanford’s graduate school, Jim and a few of his students founded Silicon Graphics Inc. (SGI) > In the early 1990s, SGI was the leading producer of visual effects and 3-D imagery for Hollywood films and the tech world. At its peak in the mid-1990s, SGI made $3–4 billion a year in revenue, but Jim left the company in January 1994 after a dispute within the board of directors.
In February 1994, Jim and Marc Andreessen co-founded Netscape, the first user-friendly web browser. Netscape single-handedly revolutionized the Internet as we know it today. Jim injected $4 million of his own funds to get Netscape off the ground. That $4 million became $1.2 billion when Netscape was acquired by AOL in 1999.
In 1996, Jim founded health care start-up Healtheon. A few years later, Healtheon merged with WebMD. In 2017, WebMD was acquired by Internet Brands for $2.8 billion.
Even after founding THREE consecutive companies that became multi-billion dollar publicly traded leaders in their respective fields, Jim wasn’t done. In 1999, he started a company called myCFO, a concierge-like service to help wealthy individuals manage their wealth. In 2002, he sold myCFO to Harris Bank for an undisclosed amount. He started half a dozen other companies, several of which were also acquired for big paydays.
This is how 78-year-old Jim Clark managed to put together his current net worth of $3 billion. His net worth could be even greater today if he hadn’t been married four times.
On the plus side, Jim’s fourth (and current) wife is an Australian Victoria’s Secret model named Kristy Hinze. Not only Kristy is a lingerie model. She also happens to be 36 years younger than Jim. Below is a photo of the happy couple on their wedding day in March 2009 in the British Virgin Islands. That day, she was 29, he was 64:
Cupid really does work in mysterious ways.
You’d think a guy who started three publicly traded companies, made a personal fortune of $3 billion, and married a lingerie model 3.5 decades his junior would have no more accomplishments to achieve. But you would be wrong.
As of this week, Jim also holds the record for the most expensive home sale in Florida state history. A sale that could be considered the biggest home flip of all time.
In the 1980s, a publishing magnate named William B. Ziff acquired a unique 16-acre property in a Florida town called Manalapan near Palm Beach. He dubbed the property “Gemini”. William Ziff made his fortune through his publishing house, Ziff Davis, which published PC Magazine and the coupon mailer RetailMeNot (among a few dozen other publications).
Today, Gemini is truly one of the most incredible estates in the country.
Gemini is surrounded by water on two sides. On one side, it has 1,200 feet of Atlantic Ocean frontage. On the other side, it has 1,300 feet of frontage on the Intercoastal Waterway.
Here is an image of Gemini from above:
And since it might not be clear from the photo above, let me clarify.
Gemini isn’t just that big mansion you see in the center of that image above. The Gemini domain is all that I have circled below:
Gemini features a world-class botanical garden, a three-hole PGA-rated golf course, a sports complex with tennis, mini-golf and basketball courts…and much more.
The main mansion spans 62,000 square feet and has 12 bedrooms. One of the guesthouses has seven rooms on its own. When you include the guesthouses and cabins, there are 47 bathrooms on the property. All of the multiple structures you see above are connected by an underground tunnel system.
William Ziff died in 2006. In 2016, Ziff’s widow and sons listed Gemini for $200 million. They found no takers and kept the house in the family until March last year. That’s when Jim Clark bought Gemini for…
Today the Wall Street Journal revealed that after only 15 months of ownership, Jim has already sold Gemini.
Clark told the WSJ that he and his wife bought Gemini on a whim last year, thinking they would move the whole family to Florida from their current base of multiple New York properties. At some point, they changed their minds and decided to stay in New York.
Knowing that he had beaten another suitor for Gemini a year earlier, he called that previously interested party to see if they were still interested. It turns out that the person who has not yet been identified was indeed still interested.
Other than a few minor mechanical upgrades, Jim barely touched Gemini. And that makes the sale price he negotiated all the more incredible. Just 15 months after paying $94.2 million, Jim sold Gemini for…
Not only does this set the record for the most expensive home sold in Florida history, it is also the third most expensive home sold in US history.
Jim owned the house for 15 months. About 460 days. It made a profit of $80.8 million during this period. That’s about $174,000 in profit each day of ownership. In other words, Jim was basically paid $5.2 million a month to own the house for just over a year.
For the above reasons, some call it the “greatest house flip ever.” And it’s hard to contradict!
If you wanted to see more of Gemini, and you should… it’s worth it… here’s a full video tour: