1. Nicholas Woodman: Founder & CEO – GoPro
Before GoPro, Woodman had a start up called FunBug. FunBug was a gaming platform that gave users a chance to win cash prizes. It failed and Goodman lost $4 million as a result. However, this did not bring his entrepreneurial spirit down. He came up with the idea for GoPro while surfing after his failure. He is now worth $2.25 billion.
2. Milton Hershey: Founder – The Hershey Company
Before founding the influential Hershey Chocolate Company, Milton Hershey started 3 failed candy businesses. In his last attempt of being an entrepreneur, he predicted that the popularity of milk chocolate would rise. Thanks to his successful prediction, he became a billionaire.
3. Reid Hofman: Co-Founder & Chairman – Linkedin
Hoffman’s first large endeavor was SocialNet, a social networking and dating website. Although he was way ahead of his time with this idea, it never quite took off and SocialNet fell through. Years later, Hoffman became a billionaire by founding Linekdin, a business social network.
4. Arianna Huffington: Founder – Huffington Post
Arianna Huffington was rejected 40 times by publishers before being able to release her book. Her book is eventually what lead for her to have enough money and resources to start Huffington Post. Huffington Post is currently one of the most recognizable publications in the world.
5. James Dyson: Founder – Dyson LTD.
James Dyson is most well know for inventing the first bagless vacuum cleaner. Before he managed to do this, he went through over 5000 prototypes that failed. He put his life savings and 15 years into Dyson before actually creating the company that now is a housing supply conglomerate.
6. Colonel Sanders: Founder – KFC
Sanders world-famous chicken recipe was rejected over 1000 times by larger restaurants throughout his life. At age 56, he finally started KFC with his own recipe. Now, KFC has over 18,000 franchises in almost every location in the world.
7. Evan Williams: Co-Founder – Twitter
Williams first venture in technology was a startup called Odeo. Odeo offered podcasts on a nice interface. However, Williams timing was horrible because months after he started his company, Apple invested heavily into their own podcast platform. Coincidently, his business failed. Years later, Williams cofounded Twitter and now he is worth $2 billion.
8. Steve Jobs: Co- Founder & CEO – Apple
During Apple’s formative days, Jobs was actually fired from his position as CEO. In the time period he was not CEO, Apple did not do as well and Jobs bought and grew Pixar Studios. He eventually was hired again, bringing his innovation to Apple until his death.
9. Richard Branson: Founder & CEO – Virgin Group
In the early days of Virgin, Branson nearly went bankrupt. Virgin started as a record store and when he first started it, he was ordered to pay back taxes and fines. If it was not for his mother who refinanced her mortgage to bail him out, Branson’s business would have gone down the drain.
10. Mark Cuban: Founder & CEO – Broadcasting.com
Before selling Broadcasting.com and becoming a billionaire, Cuban had “more failed businesses than he can count”. He also stated that he was probably fired from more jobs than anyone he knows. Nonetheless, his failures did not stop him from keeping his head above the water and grinding. This lead to his eventual success.