Friends, we collect for you stories about different companies about how its founders have failed and become successful. Read and impress from the best!
But before we start, check our startup perks club by InnMind with great deals, discounts and offers for startups!
Story # 1
Being 65 years old, Colonel Sanders was broke, he owned only a small house and an old car. He made a decision that things had to change. His friends used to like his chicken recipe very much. This was the only novel idea he had, so he decided to act upon it.
He left Kentucky and started to travel to different American states trying to sell his idea. He was telling restaurant owners that he had a chicken recipe which everybody liked and he was ready to give it to them for free, in return for a small percentage on the items sold. He got rejections after rejections, but did not give up.
He got 1009 NO’s before he got his first Yes. With that one Yes, Colonel Hartland Sanders changed the eating habits of the whole world with Kentucky Fried Chicken, popularly known as KFC.
Story # 2
Founders of Angry Birds, developers of mobile games company Rovio, during six years of existence were creating 51 games, but company was still on the brink of failure. Despite that, Rovio's founders did not stop and tried for the 52th time. They created a game, where you can shoot with birds in catapult, well known as Angry Birds in the whole world.
Today Rovio has more than 500 employees and more than a billion of people play their games. Among partners: Star Wars, NASA and even Chinese Government.
Never give up!
By the way, you can subscribe to InnMind newsletter to get more insights and tips for your project development: useful tools and events, market insights, and exclusive opportunities tailored for founders and investors.
Story # 3
Khan Academy is a non-profit educational organization has interesting story of foundation. Salman Khan – working as a financial analyst in 2004 after earning degrees from MIT and MBA from Harvard – started remotely tutoring his cousin, Nadia, in Louisiana, who was struggling with maths. Then the rest of the family heard there was free tutoring and more relatives started taking part. The demands got too much – until a friend suggested he could film the tutorials, post them on YouTube and let the family members view them whenever they chose. Word spread that there were tutorials in basic maths freely available. Khan began to notice appreciative comments appearing under his videos. Then letters started arriving.
The Khan Academy started out by creating videos that focused on teaching mathematics. Since then, the organization has hired more staff members and uploaded material in other subjects including history, business, science, the arts, and computer science. The concept is simple: watch a video in which Khan explains the subject being learned, and then take the online tests that follow.
As of 2015, learning materials were created for over 5,000 different topics. It has content specialists, which work with faculty members to write learning materials.
Don't do job for money and it will bring you profit.
Story # 4
Reddit is well known as the front page of the Internet, this is a website where users create content by themselves. Its audience is more than 800 million unique users. But things did not go that well in the beginning in 2005: there were too few users to be a valuable resource in the Internet. So, founders Steve Huffman and Alexis Ohanian created a lot of fake accounts and posted from them links, commented their own posts and images to present activity on the website.
According to Steve Huffman, strategy "fake it 'till you make it" paid for itself. In a few months a necessity to post news from fake accounts disappeared, traffic went up and real users began to be active.
Story # 5
Blogger is a platform for blogs' design. It was founded in 1999 by Evan Williams. Over time Blogger attracted users and investments and Evan Williams hired personnel to develop the company. Blogger had problems in economic crisis in 2000. There were no ways to solve the problems but to sack all employees. Nevertheless Evan continued to work alone and after 3 years Google bought Blogger for millions of dollars.
Blogger's case shows us that you should not give up despite any difficulties.
Story # 6
Estee Lauder Companies Inc is a company which produces prestige skincare, makeup, fragrance and hair care products. The company was called by its founder Estee Lauder.
In 1946 Estee and her husband found a manufactory of perfume in New York. It was not a successful business: shops and salons didn't conclude agreements of supply. So Estee came into a big cosmetic shop in New York and as if by accident dropped a flacon of her perfume. It broke and visitors became interested in that flavor. So the shop was compelled to conclude an agreement with Estee.
Use any possibility to show your product.
Story # 7
Look at these girls! These are Emily Matson and Julianne Goldmark, founders of Emi Jay. When they were 14, they came up with an idea to design accessories for hair with tapes and headbands. They bought materials and began to create accessories just for fun.
Fortunately, mother of Emily uses the services of the same hairdresser as Jennifer Aniston, star of TV series "Friends". On the one event Jennifer Aniston put on an accessory made by girls and a popular fashion website Marie Claire noticed it. So, it was a beginning of Emi Jay. Accessories' sales volume has already reached $10 millions.
Sometimes luck has a crucial value for startups.
Story # 8
Genius manager Gary Ross Dahl made a fortune by selling "Pet Rock". It was a fraud business and maybe the best marketing approach!
Idea about selling rocks came to Gary Dahl when he listened to his friends about care for pets: you should walk dog every day, parrot is very loud in the morning or you should clean aquarium after fish.
So, he bought rocks from a Mexican beach for 1 cent per rock in a hardware store. He designed a special box for his new pet and gave every customer a little book about care for rocks. Rocks appeared on Christmas eve in 1975 and during two months 1.5 million rocks were sold!
For those who want to boost their business, Gary Dahl gave some advice in his book "Advertising for Dummies".
Story # 9
Founder of TGI Friday’s, popular chain of restaurants in the USA, Alan Stillman did not spend money for marketing. Despite that, there were always a lot of people in his restaurants. How did he do it?
For the opening of each new restaurant he held a party only for hairdresser's ✂. They ate delicious food, had drinks and enjoyed themselves at the expense of the owner. Next day hairdressers went to work in good mood.
As you know, hairdressers communicate with their clients very well , so whole city very quickly learned about new restaurant, where they could wonderfully spend time.
Happy clients - the best advertisement.
Story # 10
The most popular and the best selling book (after Bible) is Guinness Book of Records. In fact, it was advertising which was created by managing director of brewery "Guinness", Hugh Beaver that gave the most effect.
In 1954 while having dinner, organised by company "Wexford" for hunters, Hugh Beaver debated with one of the guests about what bird is faster: plover or grouse. And suddenly the thought came to Hugh Beaver's head! There are a lot such conversations with a glass of beer all over the world. He decided to create a book which consists of officially confirmed records in various fields.
A year was spent for research work and in August 1955 the book was ready. Guinness Book of Records became a bestseller before the Christmas in Great Britain and gave good profit to brewery.