But, just maybe, give it time. Another reason these entrepreneurs aren't on spending sprees and aren't well known may be because they don't have the time. There's no time for buying vacation homes, often no time to network and to socialize in the "right" circles. These new millionaires are working 10 or 12 hours a day to grow their companies.
"I think you'll see more spending of wealth in the next couple of years, as companies get bought out, as people have more time to look for homes," Fernandez says. "And as all of us get more active in local community issues—not just politics but giving back to the region, in terms of foundations—I think you'll see more influence. Because the financial power is definitely there. It's just untapped."
Doug Humphrey: Not a Bird Brain
Doug Humphrey doesn't look like a businessman, let alone a very successful businessman.
On a recent winter day, Humphrey is in worn jeans and a T-shirt. He's padding around his office in socks. On his shoulder perches his cockatoo, Shiro.
The office atmosphere is aggressively casual. There's no receptionist out front, no fancy furnishings. The building is drab, functional. Humphrey and his associates remind you of graduate students working on a science project.
Well, almost. When the laptop on Humphrey's desk chimes, he stops in mid-conversation, takes his feet off his desk, and sits at attention.
"Cisco is at 89," says Humphrey, smiling. "I'm waiting for it to crack 90."
Doug Humphrey is the 38-year-old CEO of SkyCache, a Laurel upstart that is planning to use satellite technology to relieve traffic jams on the Web. SkyCache, just six months old, is scheduled to be up and running by the end of April.
SkyCache is not Humphrey's first venture. Before this, he cofounded Beltsville-based DIGEX, now one of the largest Internet-service providers in the country. When DIGEX was bought this past summer, Humphrey walked away with several million dollars. He immediately sank much of the money into SkyCache.