Guy Kawasaki once said, “Ideas are easy, implementation is hard.” It is not easy to start a scalable venture. You’ve got to have guts, passion and a fighting spirit to build a successful startup…there is a reason why almost 90 per cent startups fail.
In Silicon Valley, entrepreneurs don’t take failures to heart, and they have no qualms about celebrating failures. Unlike in the East, where failures still remain unpardonable, the failed lots in the West are regarded ‘serial entrepreneurs’. VCs are more inclined towards investing in the new ideas started by them, as they feel these entrepreneurs probably have already learnt their lessons, and now they could identify areas where they went wrong.
Here we sketch out a few stories that may rekindle the fighting spirit in you to keep going (we used Quora as a source to bring these stories to you).
In the early 2000s, a group of gaming enthusiasts in Finland decided to convert their passion into a video gaming company. They created one game after another with the hope that one day, at least, one of their games would become a super hit.
However, even after 51 games and six years, they could not make a game that could attract the audience. Finally, their patience and perseverance paid off. Their 52nd game, a slingshot puzzle game about birds, struck a chord with the audience globally. The game is Angry Birds and the firm is Rovio. The rest, as they say, is history. The game now has over a billion users!
Steve Chen, one of the early employees of Facebook, decided to quit after spending a few weeks at the social networking company, as he realised it was not for him. He also wanted to start his own venture in the video space. However, Facebook’s Matt Cohler who had hired him was not convinced of his reasons. He tried to change his mind, telling Chen he was making a terrible mistake by leaving the firm. “Facebook is going to be huge! And there’s already a tonne of video sites. If you do this, you’re going to regret it for the rest of your life!” Cohler told Chen.
But Chen was hellbent on his decision to quit. He later started his own video venture YouTube. His startup was later acquired by search engine giant Google in 2006 for a whopping US$1.6 billion!
Italian farmer and mechanic Ferruccio owned a tractor factory. The business flourished and he became one of the richest in the country. He bought a Ferrari, but the car developed some problems. While trying to fix the issue, he found out that Ferrari used the same low-quality clutch system, put in his tractors. A furious Ferruccio went to Enzo Ferrari to complain about it. An arrogant business man, Enzo Ferrari insulted him and said Ferruccio was a farmer and the problem was with him, not with the car.
An insulted Ferruccio wanted to ‘take revenge’ by making a better car that could potentially beat Ferrari. His efforts paid off. He built one of the most popular cars in the world that still gives Ferrari a run for its money — Lamborghini, the surname of Ferruccio.
Soichiro Honda worked as a mechanic at a garage, where he tuned cars and prepared them for races. In 1937, he started a piston rings business. The company won a contract to supply piston rings to Toyota, but the company cancelled the contract later due to the poor quality of the product.
He then went around Japan and visited factories to understand the quality control process of Honda. He won back the contract for Honda.
Later, Toyota picked 40 per cent stake in his company. One of his plants was destroyed in the US bomb attacks, and another in an earthquake. So, he sold the remains of the company to Toyota, and used the capital to found the Honda Technical Research Institute in October 1946. Honda later went to to make one of the world’s largest automobile companies.