When it comes to startups and entrepreneurship, success is rare. Many studies show that 90% of startups fail within the first 5 years. But the ones that do succeed make it big. They disrupt industries, create revolutions, and make the world a better place.
For future leaders and aspiring entrepreneurs, it’s important to have knowledge about these failures and successes. As real-world business case studies provide an honest and practical analysis of what works/what doesn’t work in contrast to business books and theories which are conceptual and more focused on what the author thinks could work.
We at GeOT aim to provide future leaders, the best case studies on the most disruptive startups.
Bonus Story – never give up
Alibaba’s founder Jack Ma is one of the richest people in the world, with a net worth of over $61.7 billion (Forbes). But there was a time when he couldn’t even get a job at Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC).
After college, Ma applied for 30 jobs in his home city of Hangzhou, China. He was rejected by everyone.
At KFC, 24 people applied for the job, and while 23 were hired — he wasn’t one of them.
The same thing happened when he tried to be a cop. This time four of the five applicants were hired, all except Ma.
Another time Ma lost out on a job to his own blood. “My cousin and I waited for two hours [in a] long queue to be the waiter for the four-star hotel in my city, on a very hot day. My cousin’s score was much lower than mine, [but] he was accepted and I was rejected!”
Ma was even turned down by Harvard 10 times. Although he can joke about all these rejections now, the continued rejections were painful. But they prepared him for his entrepreneurial future.
“If you can not get used to failure — just like a boxer — if you can’t get used to [being] hit, how can you win?” – Jack ma. The fortitude came in handy when he founded the Chinese e-commerce site Alibaba in 1999. In the beginning, Ma heard “no” a lot. In the year 2001, he went to raise some $5 million from venture capitalists in the USA and got rejected. Despite the setback, he didn’t stop. Perhaps those VCs regret their decisions today as the company has a market cap of about $700 billion now. When it went public in 2014, it was the largest initial public offering ever. And, Ma is now the richest man in China.
Jack Ma’s never-give-up attitude is proof that no matter how hard the circumstances are if you just hang in there, you will succeed.
Never give up. Today is hard, tomorrow will be worse, but the day after tomorrow will be sunshine.Jack Ma
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