Jim Clark is a Silicon Valley legend.
In 1982, while holding down a day job as a professor at Stanford’s graduate school, Jim and a few of his students founded Silicon Graphics Inc. (SGI)> By the early 1990s, SGI was the leading producer of visual effects and 3-D imaging for Hollywood films and the tech world. At it’s peak in the mid-1990s, SGI earned $3-4 billion per year in revenue, but Jim left the company in January 1994 after a board dispute.
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 the healthcare startup 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 companies in-a-row that became publicly traded multi-billion-dollar leaders of their respective fields, Jim wasn’t finished. In 1999 he created a company called myCFO, a concierge-like service to help high net worth individuals manager their wealth. In 2002 he sold myCFO to Harris Bank for an undisclosed amount. He has launched a half dozen other companies, several of which were also acquired for large paydays.
This is how 78-year-old Jim Clark managed to scrape together his current $3 billion net worth. His net worth might be even bigger today had he not 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 is Kristy 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. On this day she was 29, he was 64:
Cupid truly works in mysterious ways.
You might think that a guy who launched three publicly traded companies, earned a $3 billion personal fortune and married a lingerie model 3.5 decades his junior would have no more accomplishments left to achieve. But you would be wrong.
As of this week, Jim now also owns the record for most expensive home sale in the history of the state of Florida. A sale that may go down as the greatest 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 earned his fortune thanks to his publishing house, Ziff Davis, which published PC Magazine and coupon mailer RetailMeNot (among a few dozen other publications).
Today Gemini is truly one of the country’s most-incredible estates.
Gemini isis 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 Intercoastal Waterway frontage.
Here’s an image of Gemini from above:
And since it might not be clear from the photo above, allow me to clarify.
Gemini isn’t just that large mansion you see in the center of that image above. The Gemini estate is everything I’ve 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 court… and much more.
The primary mansion spans 62,000 square feet and has 12 bedrooms. One of the guest houses has seven bedrooms on its own. When you include guest houses and cabanas, there are 47 bathrooms on the property. All 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 did not get any takers and kept the home in the family until March of last year. That’s when Jim Clark bought Gemini for…
Today the Wall Street Journal revealed that, after just 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 that they would move the whole family down to Florida from their current multi-property home base in New York. At some point they changed their minds and decided to stay in New York.
Knowing he beat another suitor for Gemini a year earlier, he called up that previously-interested party to see if they were still interested. It turns out, the yet-to-be-identified person was indeed still interested.
Other than some minor mechanical upgrades, Jim barely touched Gemini. And that makes the sale price he negotiated all the more amazing. A mere 15 months after paying $94.2 million, Jim has sold Gemini for…
Not only does that set the record for most expensive home sold in the history of Florida, it’s the third most expensive home sold in US history.
Jim owned the home for 15 months. Approximately 460 days. He gained an $80.8 million profit over that period. That’s roughly $174,000 in profit every single day of ownership. In other words, Jim was essentially paid $5.2 million per month to own the home for a little over a year.
For the above reasons, some are dubbing this the “greatest house flip of all time.” And that’s hard to argue with!
If you’d liked to see more of Gemini, and you should… it’s worth your time… here is a full video tour: