Josh Kopelman doesn't seem to agree.

A book titled The Richest Man in Town calls the young enterpreneur/venture capitalist the wealthiest self-made person in Philadelphia.

But Kopelman hated the title, said author W. Randall Jones, who traveled to 100 U.S. cities and towns to compile the collection of business wisdom, published last month by Hatchett Book Group.

"He was very upset with me," said Jones.

Perhaps the reason was that others, like Richard Hayne, founder of Urban Outfitters, have better claim to the title.

Hayne has been on Forbes' billionaire list several times, but was one of dozens who dropped off because of stock-price declines. Still, in Urban Outfitters stock alone, Hayne is worth more than $700 million, based on yesterday's market price.

New to the billionaire's list was Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie, but because of help from a family fortune, he isn't entirely self-made.

Others - like bottling magnate Harold Honickman and cable pioneer Gerry Lenfest - have graced the billionaire list before, though Lenfest has in recent years donated huge chunks of his fortune.

Jones describes Kopelman as the "boy wonder, technology guru, and venture capitalist" who "sold to eBay in 2000 for $355 million, at the age of 29."

That's a lot of money, but past Forbes lists have credited both Comcast chairman Brian L. Roberts and Aramark chairman Joseph Neubauer with bigger nest eggs.

(Far richer still is Hansjoerg Wyss, listed by Forbes as worth $5.7 billion. But this Swiss citizen isn't exactly "in Philadelphia" since his residence is listed as West Chester, where his Synthes medical materials firm has its U.S. base.)

Nevertheless, Kopelman shares some interesting insights in the book - unlike the other "Richest Men in Town" from the Philadelphia region.

There's not a single quote from the wealthiest man in Trenton - Gov. Corzine - or from Alex Hartzler, Web developer turned real estate developer, dubbed the richest man in Harrisburg.

Charles Cawley, the MBNA co-founder, called the richest man in Wilmington, is the source of but one dictim, about taking life step by step: "Life by the inch is a cinch, life by the yard is hard."

Kopelman, who declined comment for this article (as did Hayne), is cited in several chapters.

The book is organized around "The Twelve Commandments of Weath," culled from these sultans of success, from No. 1, "Seek Money for Money's Sake and Ye Shall Not Find," to No. 12, "Never Retire."

In the chapter on "Commandment 4: Get Addicted to Ambition," Kopelman states: "I'm hoping to step up to the plate dozens of times in my lifetime, and I'm hoping that my lifetime batting average is high - that's what it's all about. There is always a next rung on the ladder of success."

Kopelman, whose tech/startup blog is called Red Eye VC, adds: "Solving the seemingly unsolvable is what I do best - it is what turns me on most."

In "Commandment 5: Wake Up Early - Be Early," Kopelman says, "I had business cards for all my different entrepreneurial ideas when I was seven years old."

He launched Infonautics, his first business, while at Wharton, "because when you're young you enjoy a vastly different risk-reward ratio."

One eyebrow-raising chapter is No. 6: "Don't Set Goals - Execute or Get Executed." The idea is that flexibility and adaptability - "life by the inch" - are more important than planning.

Kopelman, who runs a "seed-stage" venture capital fund called First Round Capital, agrees. "We see two thousand business plans a year, and I tell entrepreneurs that a business plan is obsolete the minute you press PRINT."

Finally, Kopelman adds his vote for people skills - the so-called "emotional quotient" - in "Commandment 10: Say Yes to Sales." "I value IQ and hope I have a one, but I'll take a high EQ every day over a high IQ," Kopelman is quoted as saying. "Intelligence without an emotional connection is unintelligible."

Jones said he set out "to paint the most truly geogographic and representative portait of wealth and success in America," and discovered that many fortunes get started in difficult times.

"So I think there's a great message of hope in the book for anyone who's trying to figure out, how do I make it today?"

For more on the book, check out Jones' website,

Contact staff writer Peter Mucha at 215-854-4342 or