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About Everything Wiki » Business » 5 losers who became billionaires

5 losers who became billionaires

02 May 2023, 11:29, parser
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Many books about self-development tell us that failure in any business cannot be regarded as a global failure and a reason for tears, but should be perceived as a gift of fate and a stepping stone to success. So it is, but very often it is very, very difficult to change your attitude to the blows of fate. Therefore, let's see how this principle works in action, and give as an example episodes from the lives of well-known people, billionaires who were able to learn from their failures.

Nick Woodman


The creator of GoPro, a company that produces video cameras and related accessories for extreme sports. Currently, his fortune is estimated at $1,750,000,000.


First he created — an e-commerce site specializing in very cheap electronics. The company never made any profit, so it was quickly shut down. This did not stop the future billionaire, so in 1999 he created FunBug — an Internet marketing company.

On the company's website, users had the opportunity to win cash prizes in exchange for participating in the sweepstakes. He even managed to attract $3.9 million in financing from various investors. The company seemed to be on the rise, but in 2001 Nick was forced to admit failure once again. He was unable to ensure the normal functioning of his company and lost not only all his money, but also investors' investments.


After losing the second company, Nick decided to quit everything and went surfing. It was there that he came up with the idea of creating a camera that could be used for extreme sports. That's how GoPro was born.

I was so afraid that GoPro would end up in the same place as Funbug that I decided to work tirelessly. This was the main lesson I learned from past failures. I had no choice but to win.

Bill Gates


The founder of Microsoft and one of the most significant charitable projects of our time. The richest man in the world, whose fortune is estimated at $72,700,000,000.


His first company was called Traf-O-Data and its purpose was to read data from meters near roads with heavy traffic and create reports for road services. Thus, they wanted to optimize traffic flows and avoid traffic jams.

Their first device was called Traf-O-Data 8008, it skillfully counts passing cars and processes the received data. The firm first tried to sell its services to the local administration, but they failed their first presentation because "the device didn't really work," Gates recalled.


His partner, Poll Allen, recalled their first project like this:

Even though Traf-O-Data was not successful, it was the first step and preparation for the creation of Microsoft a couple of years later.

To their and our happiness, they did not give up their studies, but drew conclusions from the failure. They continued to believe in success and Microsoft became the largest manufacturer of software for personal computers in the world.

James Dyson


Famous English inventor and industrial designer, founder and CEO of Dyson. He has such diverse inventions to his credit as a special vessel known as a marine truck, a G-Force cyclonic vacuum cleaner, a digitally controlled electric motor, a hand dryer, and so on. Currently, the state is estimated at $3,000,000,000.


Most people think that inventors have already been born with a special inventive gene, with some special talents or gift. But that's not really the case. They become inventors, this is the result of hard work.

For example, when creating his vacuum cleaner, Sir James Dyson created 5127 prototypes that could be considered unsuccessful attempts. He spent 15 years perfecting his product before introducing it to the market in 1993. Here's how he remembers those times:

There are countless reasons for the inventor to abandon his idea. By the time I made my 15th prototype, my third child was born. When it came to the 2627th design, my wife and I really counted every penny. During the creation of the 3727 sample, my wife already gave painting lessons to get at least some additional funds. These were difficult times, but each failure led me closer to solving the problem.


Inventors are the biggest losers you can find. And this is the only way by which you can create something really new. And it is important to be clearly aware of this. As Edison said about this: « I had no failures. I just found 10,000 broken ways». Sir James Dyson seems to have learned this truth well.

Steve Jobs


We all know Steve Jobs as the guru of entrepreneurship, the genius behind the development of such best-selling and desirable products as the iPod, iPad, iPhone and MacBook. He is the most influential business figure of our time and some call him the Leonardo da Vinci of our techno era. His total fortune is estimated at $10,200,000,000.


Many people remember only those Apple devices that brought this company to the top. But not everyone remembers the mediocre, strange or frankly failed projects of this company. Lisa, Macintosh Portable, MessagePad, PowerBook Duo, Pippin — do these names mean something to you? And these are all not very successful developments of the Apple company, which even almost led it to a complete collapse. As a result, a well-known fact of Jobs' biography happened when he was kicked out of the company he headed.


And only after such a crushing fiasco, Jobs finally matured to the point that later brought him and his company such a powerful success. His dream of creating a company that will be ahead of everyone by one or two generations like such names as Walt Disney, Hewlett Packard or Intel has finally been realized.

Richard Branson


Richard Branson really knows a lot about failures. But this did not prevent him from creating one of the most successful and recognizable brands in the world. Everyone knows the name Virgin not only because of business success, but also largely because of Richard's originality and his adventures. The total condition is estimated at $4,600,000,000.


If you had met Branson in his youth, you wouldn't have bet a dime that he would succeed. He was not good at reading and math skills, at the age of 16 he left high school without finishing his studies. Not quite the right set of qualities for a future billionaire.

His first attempt at business — publishing a student magazine, which he started when he was 16 years old — had problems with law enforcement. Richard almost went to jail for publishing an advertisement for a venereal disease remedy in a magazine.

Do you think that's all? Oh no, Richard doesn't stop there! In 1971, Branson was arrested and charged with selling records in Virgin stores that were declared as export goods. He settled the court case with the Customs of England and the Excise Department by an agreement on the payment of unpaid duties and fines. Branson's mother re-mortgaged the family home to help pay the amounts being recovered.


Life has given a hard lesson to this restless adventurer.

I swore to myself that I would never do anything again that would make me go to jail, or at least engage in a business that would look questionable. Everyone learns from mistakes. If you are an entrepreneur and your first business was a failure, then welcome to the club!


The truth is that in order to be on the list of the richest people in the world, you have to take a lot of risks. And risk is almost always side by side with failures. The easiest way is to look at these billionaires and say: "This is just luck. They were helped. It's all their parents or some secret forces.

But the reality is that 73 of the top 100 billionaires in the world have achieved this on their own. There is no conspiracy or secret recipe here. They just work harder than everyone else. They just did what everyone else only dreams about. And they never stopped after the next blow, but kept going forward. Learning from failures and turning defeats into victories.

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