Being a successful startup owner is not an easy task- it is the most difficult job in the world! According to Startupnation.com, an article says that launching a startup can take a lot of time, effort and money, but building one from scratch takes even more. Nowadays, the world is buzzing with myriad startups. Curious to know about entrepreneurs behind these successful projects and how they started? With the help of this article, we are presenting to you 10 of the most inspiring success stories of entrepreneurs that will inspire you.
So let’s take a quick look at these Indian Entrepreneurs who started with almost nothing in hand.
1) William Procter & James Gamble (P&G)
Talk about a co-founder relationship being personal: William Procter and James Gamble, co-founders of what would become one of the world’s largest companies, were brothers-in-law.
Procter, a candle maker, was married to Olivia Norris, while Gamble, a soap maker, was married to Olivia’s sister Elizabeth. It was Olivia and Elizabeth’s father who convinced Procter and Gamble (his sons-in-law) to merge their candle and soap-making operations, citing that they were competing for the same raw materials (namely, animal fat and oil). So in 1837, they took their father-in-law’s advice and Procter & Gamble was born.
Today, P&G is a multinational consumer goods company that employs more than 100 thousand people and has a market cap north of $200 billion. Some of its most successful brands include Crest, Charmin, Gillette, and Head & Shoulders.
2) Bill Hewlett & Dave Packard | HP
It’s unclear how Procter and Gamble decided on the order in which their names would appear, but for Bill Hewlett and David Packard, we know how they figured it out: They flipped a coin.
The original garage entrepreneurs (garagepreneurs?), Hewlett and Packard became friends in 1934 after they had both graduated from Stanford University with degrees in electrical engineering. In 1938, they rented a garage in Palo Alto and started working on their first product: an audio oscillator for testing sound equipment. In 1939, they formalized their partnership and held their infamous coin flip to determine whose name got top billing.
Hewlett and Packard both took an employee-centric view of management. And as a result, HP became one of the first U.S. companies to offer flexible work hours, profit-sharing, and several other employee benefits. As Bill Hewlett once noted, “What I’m most proud of is the fact that we really create a way to work with employees, let them share in the profits, and still keep control of it.”
As partners, Hewlett and Packard always had each other’s back. When Hewlett went to serve in the Army during WWII, Packard ran the company on his own until Hewlett’s return. And similarly, when Packard stepped down as HP’s CEO to serve as the U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense during the Vietnam War, Hewlett stepped up to take his place. Together, the two entrepreneur/patriots developed a company culture at HP that has persisted for decades.
Today, the Palo Alto garage that Hewlett and Packard started out in is a California State Historical Landmark. It bears a plaque that reads “The Birthplace of the Silicon Valley.”
4. Howard Schultz
Starbucks founder Howard Schultz may be synonymous with entrepreneurial success, but life wasn’t always so rosy. His family didn’t have much money and he grew up in a housing estate. He paid for college with government loans and money earned from part-time jobs. He was also the first person in his family to go to college. It was while working for a coffee company that Schultz first came into contact with Starbucks brand. He visited a branch of the new company in Seattle. Soon after, he joined the company as marketing director.
In 1985, Schultz left Starbucks and decided to open his own coffee house. He raised the $500,000 he needed to open the first store and started his business. Two years later, the original Starbucks management decided to sell its retail unit to Schultz and Starbucks as we know it today was born. Schultz is now worth in excess of $2.9 billion — not bad for an empire that he dreamed up over an afternoon cup of coffee!
His experiences have led him to develop a philosophical approach to life. “I believe life is a series of near-misses,” he once said in a speech. “A lot of what we ascribe to luck is not luck at all. It’s seizing the day and accepting responsibility for your future. It’s seeing what other people don’t see and pursuing that vision.”
This is a story of 3 guys and how they went from renting mattresses to a $10 billion company. In 2007, designers Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia, couldn’t afford the rent on their San Francisco apartment.
There was a design conference coming to San Francisco and the city’s hotels were fully booked, so they came up with the idea of renting out three airbeds on their living-room floor and cooking their guests breakfast.
They set up a simple blog and got three renters (two guys, one girl) for $80 each.
After a small success and product market fit, they enlisted a former flatmate and a computer science graduate, Nathan Blecharczyk, to develop the website and join the venture.
6. Walt Disney
Walt Disney started off as a farm boy drawing cartoon pictures of his neighbor’s horses for fun. When he was older, Walt tried to get a job as a newspaper cartoonist, but was unable to find one and ended up working in an art studio where he created ads for newspapers and magazines. Eventually he grew to work on commercials, became interested in animation, and eventually opened his own animation company.
Disney’s first original character creation was Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, but it was officially owned by Universal Pictures because he was working under contract at the time. When Walt walked out on Universal Pictures after getting a pay cut, he needed to create a replacement, which is how Mickey Mouse came into being.
Disney was wildly successful with his animation company, but he wasn’t satisfied. He was determined to make the biggest and greatest theme park ever seen, saying to a colleague, “I want it to look like nothing else in the world.”
One of the biggest entertainment moguls of all-time, with an unrelenting spirit and commitment to his vision, Disney is undoubtedly an entrepreneurial all-star.
7. J.K. Rowling
Today J.K. Rowling is a household name for fans of the beloved Harry Potter book series, but she wasn’t always gifted with magic. The fact is, J.K Rowling was at her rope’s end before her misfit gang of witches and wizards saved her. Before her bestseller cast a spell on readers, J.K. Rowling was living on welfare and struggling to get by as a single mother.
Today she is estimated to have a net worth of $1 billion. Rumor has it she’s also the president of Gringotts Wizarding Bank, although it’s a bit of a secret among the goblins.
Did you know that some people believe that J.K Rowling sold her soul to the devil in exchange for the Harry Potter inspiration? When you’re so successful people think you’re making deals with the devil, you’re a pretty big deal.
8. Steve Jobs
You can’t really make a self-respecting “famous entrepreneurs” list without throwing in Steve Jobs. Jobs dropped out of college because his family couldn’t handle the financial burden of his education. He unofficially continued to audit classes, living off free meals from the local Hare Krishna temple and returning Coke bottles for change just to get by. Jobs credited the calligraphy class he stopped in on as his inspiration for the Mac’s revolutionary typefaces and font design.
Jobs went on to have an unbelievable career, eventually forming the Apple Computer Company with his childhood friend and electronics expert Steve Wozniak. Often referred to as “The Grandfather of the Digital Revolution,” Jobs forever changed the consumer electronics industry. At the time of his death, his net worth was over $8.3 billion, and his influence will be felt for many digital generations to come.
9. Hans Christian Anderson
Hans Christian Anderson’s fierce determination and self-starter mentality make him another great example of a famous entrepreneur.
Anderson grew up poor, but set off alone to Copenhagen at 14 when a fortuneteller told him that although he would suffer early on, eventually he would become famous.
Those predictions came true, as Anderson first tried and failed to become actor and singer. Seeing something special in Anderson, the director of the Royal Danish Theater took him under his wing and attended to his education. Anderson was teased terribly at school and harassed by students and a hateful headmaster, and he considered those some of the darkest days of his life.
After leaving school, Anderson began to publish his writing. His fairy tales became immensely popular and eventually earned him the fame he was promised as a child. He never forgot his initial poverty–The Little Match Girl was inspired by how his mother was forced to go begging in the streets as a young girl.
Today Hans Christian Anderson is still beloved, known for rich fairy tales, many of which have inspired Disney animation classics (which, it should be noted, have much happier endings than the original tales).
10. Mark Zuckerberg, CEO at Facebook
Facebook is the world’s most popular social media application. Mark Zuckerberg founded the social networking website out of his college dorm room. Zuckerberg left Harvard after his sophomore year to focus on the site. However, incriminating messages revealed that Zuckerberg might have intentionally stolen the intellectual property of Harvard Connection, a project built by fellow students. An initial settlement of $65 million was reached between the two parties. Zuckerberg filed for an initial public offering in May 2012 and raised $16 billion.
Recently, Zuckerberg faces political fire for sharing sensitive user information to Cambridge Analytica, a data firm with ties to President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign. Approximately 87 million user profiles were compromised. Zuckerberg released a series of statements explaining how the company would limit third-party developers’ access to user information. Moreover, he revealed how Facebook would combat the rise of misinformation.
Net Worth: $81.6 billion
“When you start a company, it’s more an art than a science because it’s totally unknown. Instead of solving high-profile problems, try to solve something that’s deeply personal to you. Ideally, if you’re an ordinary person and you’ve just solved your problem, you might have solved the problems for millions of people.”Brian Chesky, Co-founder and CEO at Airbnb