The entrepreneurial world is overflowing with stories of overnight success and ideas that had grandiose results. Those who have failed or the failures of those who have succeeded we never hear of. Why? Why is failure so hushed up? We shouldn’t humiliate those who have failed but rather we should learn from them, listen to the mistakes they have made and try to avoid them. I wonder how many more businesses and people would succeed if those who had gone before us shared their failures. Below are 7 famous people who failed greatly yet continued on to success:
1. Aiko Morita: Founder of Sony. His first product was a rice cooker that burned rice instead of cooking it. He only sold 100 units, but he brushed himself off and tried again.
2. Robert Sternberg: A big name in psychology who eventually became the President of the American Psychological Association. He received a C in his first psychology class. His teacher told him that “There was already a famous Sternberg in physiology and it was obvious there would not be another.” How many entrepreneurs have heard that before?
3. Bill Gates: Dropped out of Harvard and started his first business Traf-O-Data that failed miserably, but we all know how his story turned out in the end.
4. Soichiro Honda: Honda was turned down by Toyota Motor Corporation after interviewing for an engineer job. Unemployed he started making scooters from his own home. His neighbors eventually encouraged him to start his own business and now Honda is a billion-dollar company.
5. Evan Williams: Founded a company called Odeo, a podcasting platform. Shortly after Apple announced that iTunes would include an podcasting platform, making Odeo obsolete. Evan along with Noah Glass and Biz Stone went on to build Twitter.
6. Fred Astaire: On his first screening the screen director at MGM noted that “He can’t act, he can’t sing. Slightly bald. Can only dance a little” Fred kept the note to remind him of his humble beginnings.
7. Harland David Sanders: Founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken. At first his famous chicken recipe was rejected 1,009 times before a restaurant finally accepted it.
In the end it’s not that you failed that matters, but it’s what you do after you’ve been knocked down.