We keep talking about the most influential people across the globe today, but on this day we must remember some of the gurus of entrepreneurship. Here are eight truly inspiring people, whose lives can teach hard lessons in entrepreneurship.
- Thomas Alva Edison: This famous person is wrongly believed to have invented the light bulb, but he actually invented and mass produced a lot of things, including phonographs and motion picture cameras. He was known as the Wizard of Melno Park.
Lesson: Good inventions can be produced in bulk, as there will always be a customer.
- Henry Ford: He was an apprentice at Thomas Edison’s warehouse. He started and almost shut down two car companies – Detroit Automobile Company and Cardillac Automobile Company— before getting the quality and pricing of the Ford Motor Company cars right.
Lesson: Pricing and quality of products are extremely pivotal to a company.
- Anita Roddick: This woman founded the famous brand, The Body Shop, in 1976 in the UK. It was one of the few brands that advocated the concept of “greener products.” Initially, nobody was willing to pay extra for such a thing, but soon they realized how wrong they were.
Lesson: It takes time to win customers and build loyalty.
- Coco Channel: This icon has been ruling the fashion world since the early 1900s. She started her brand with designer hats, but soon moved on to introduce line of luxury clothing, perfumes and clothes under the Chanel brand.
Lesson: Pivoting is the key word.
- Walt Disney: This prominent figure in the animation industry was a failed entrepreneur before he started The Walt Disney Company in 1923. His previous company, Laugh O Gram Film Studio, went bankrupt.
Lesson: It is okay to fail.
- John D Rockefeller: John Rockefeller was a co-founder of the Standard Oil Company, which dominated and revolutionized the oil industry. He was a hardcore philanthropist and won over people’s hearts easily. Competitors were crushed during his time.
Lesson: The growth of a large business is merely a survival of the fittest.
- Mahatma Gandhi: This list would be incomplete without him. He promoted small scale and cottage industries, and campaigned to Indians to use products made by us (Indians).
Lesson: Be proud and promote the ‘Make in India’ concept.
- …And the last one, of course, is Steve Jobs.
Lesson: Customers can fall deeply in love with a company too!
We may have missed out some names, so please feel free to suggest people you think need to be remembered on this day. Happy Teacher’s Day!