Yes, we've got stories of the high-school drop-out with an alcoholic for a father and a mother that never cared, who went on to build great companies and forge a tight community of followers, friends and family.
That is an exaggeration, but the point here is that such a bout of success is the cumulation of many breakthrough factors that allowed persistence and grit to work their magic.
For the vast majority, neither grit nor talent can save them from a gang fight down in the Bronx, or from a nationwide conflict (as is right now in Libya and Bahrain).
In other words, most people brought up with disadvantaged upbringings (by sheer misfortune) lack the fundamental resources to escape those circumstances.
Those that succeed somehow get the break they need in order to muster some new resources - whether that be the connections that land them high enough on the social rung, or the money to escape to another state and start afresh.
Solving this issue is hard. We've got efforts ranging from Ethan Zuckerman's work to empower citizen journalism in Africa, to Majora Carter working to forge her ideal environment in the Bronx, to Salman Khan driving his vision for aneducation of the future.
What these leaders recognise is that the only way to scale such operations is to leverage the power of technology to drive community. In a sense, it is uniting like-minded groups on the front-lines to form microcosms that integrate into a working whole.
In short, technology is creating novel opportunities to drive community effort that pave the way for a new wave of existence.
Said differently, in today's interconnected world, your "parents" don't have to share your genes.