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18 Brutal Failed Ideas of Extremely Successful Entrepreneurs

Someone said, “Entrepreneurs are born, not made. You either have the talent to start and run a successful billion dollar business or you don’t.” I beg to differ because, in my observation, some of the most famous entrepreneurs of all time struggled to find their way to success.

They failed. For example, many publishers rejected the author of Harry Potter, J.K.Rowling before she finally rose to fame. Even billionaires like Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos failed in their initial days of business.

This post breaks down 18 examples of such failures, which will definitely inspire you during your depressive stages of life. Low moments are a common phenomenon in the pursuit of entrepreneurship. Whether you an investor rejects your pitch, your business loss revenue or you have relationship issues with your co-founder, this list will remind you that you are not alone with such problems.

Bill Gates

Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, once started Traf-o-Data, a startup to provide traffic statistics. However, he was not lucky with that venture and the project failed. Nevertheless, today Gates is one of the richest men on earth with an estimated net worth of $91.8 bn.

Evan Williams

Evan Williams is the person behind the social media giant Twitter. However, before founding the microblogging platform, he planned to start Odeo, a podcast platform. The idea failed even before starting because the launch coincided with the launch of Apple’s iTunes.

Jeff Bezos

Prior to starting Amazon and becoming the richest man on planet earth, Jeff Bezos experimented with a bunch of different ideas. He laid the foundation of a shopping site known as zShops, which ultimately failed. Bezos did not stop and started Amazon implementing the lessons learned from his failures.

Fred Smith

Founder of the logistics unicorn FedEx, Smith did not achieve success overnight and become what he is today. While in college, he drafted the idea of FedEx and pitched the same through an assignment to his professor but his professor failed him for the so-called rubbish idea.

Ariana Huffington

Huffington Post, founded by Ariana, is an extremely successful media venture today. However, before the startup took off, more than 36 publishers rejected her work. She stands to be $50 million worth individual today.

Sir James Dyson

Dyson vacuum cleaners is a $3 billion business in 2018. But Sir James Dyson, the founder of Dyson vacuum cleaners worked very hard to get where he is today. Depending on his wife income, Dyson worked on more than 5,000 different prototypes before finally laying down the very foundations of his business.

Steve Jobs

Everyone knows Steve. Everyone knows Apple. However, when the smartphone manufacturer was in its infancy, products like Apple I and Apple Lisa were drastic failures. The projects drowned millions in losses. In the 1980s, the board fired Steve from his own company but he never gave up. Apple re-hired him in 1997, as without him, the company would not have survived.

Walt Disney

Walt Disney once lived on nothing. It was the time when his characters were stolen and screenings erupted into mass chaos. He did not give up. Today, Disney is one of the largest media and entertainment companies in the world with a market capitalization of $176 bn.

JK Rowling

Rowling was a single mother. She tried her best to get Harry Potter published but more than 36 publishers rejected her work. Today, Harry Potter is a mass success with merchandise, video games, movies and even a dedicated section in Disney Park. She sits on the laurels of a wild success.

Christina Wallace

She once founded Quincy Apparel, which was a drastic failure and shit down in 2013. The failure led Christina to bed, depressed and demotivated for a month. When she bounced back, she became the vice president of marketing and branding at Startup Institute.

Tim Ferris

I am sure that you have read “The 4-Hour Workweek”. If you have not you can read it here. Tim Ferris is the author of this best-seller. More than ten million copies have been sold worldwide. When he initially trying to pitch his work, he received rejection letters from more than 25 different publishers.

Warren Buffet

Warren Buffet is the father of modern investing. Initially, he was rejected from Harvard, and even Berkshire Hathaway, a business valued over more than $65 billion today, looked set to fail. In the end, his ideas of investment paid off, which earlier seemed like bad decisions.

Peter Thiel

Peter started a hedge fund known as Clarium Capital. This early idea of him failed as he lost about 90 per cent of the fund’s $7 billion assets in the stock market. However, Peter Thiel turned his fortune around with investments in Facebook and founding PayPal.

Lawrence Ellison

Lawrence Ellison started Oracle and mortgaged his house to keep the business up and running. The software giant is valued at $200 billion in 2018. Definitely, Ellison’s hard work and sacrifices paid him off and he has a net worth of $58 billion as of today.

Thomas Edison

History knows Edison as one of the greatest inventor and scientist of all time. Thanks to him, I am sitting in a well-lit room. However, before he invented the light bulb he failed for more than 10,000 times. Some of his teachers called him a person who was “unteachable”.

Oprah Winfrey

Oprah is a well-known face of the American television industry. She has forged her own space in the industry as the Queen of Daytime Talk TV. At the beginning of her career, a TV channel fired her from her job as a news reporter. Today, she is valued over $2 billion.

Steven Spielberg

Steven is an extremely famous movie director known for his works like Jurassic Park, Catch Me If You Can and Jaws. Before finding success, three movies of Steven Spielberg was rejected by the producers. Steven has a net worth of $4 billion as of today.

Colonel Sanders

Mr Colonel needs no introduction today. His venture KFC has witnessed a massive success and has churned $23 billion in revenue last fiscal. However, before starting his venture, more than 1,000 different businesses and restaurants rejected his billion-dollar recipe.

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18 Brutal Failed Ideas of Extremely Successful Entrepreneurs
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