Friday, April 15, 2011
Following a link from a link earlier in the week, I came across an inspiring list of nine captains of industry who, in the words of Business Insider, "faced utter failure and came back to kick ass."
If you're like me and find such stories inspiring -- but also find having to click your way through a "slide show" annoying -- just ignore the urge to "click here to see the icons," and scroll down after you follow this link.
For each entrepreneur, the profile lists the now-famous company, the setback, the turnaround, a quote, and a lesson. The one I found most inspiring of the lot was that of Henry Ford, pictured.
Company: Ford Motor Co.Why do I like this? Ford fought and won a two-front war, succeeding in both fixing his product and finding a good marketing strategy. Especially noteworthy is that the "turnaround" was not like pulling a rabbit out of a hat. It took time, effort, and commitment.
Setback: Ford suffered a few failed automotive endeavors early in his career, including Detroit Automobile Co., which he started in 1899. Its cars were low quality and too pricey for average consumers.
Turnaround: Ford continued to develop better auto designs and gained national acclaim in 1904 by demoing a car -- the "Ford 999" -- that broke the land-speed record by going a mile in about 40 seconds. In 1908, he released the Model T, a well-made, low-priced car that quickly gained traction with U.S. consumers. Annual sales topped $250,000 by 1914.
Quote: "Whether you think you can, or you think you can't -- you're right."
Lesson: Building a brand requires more than just building a good product.
Read the whole thing.