World’s most powerful entrepreneurs’ biggest mistakes What you can learn from them As an entrepreneur, you are expected to take and make decisions for the well-being of your company. Most of the times, these decisions are crucial to the development of your company and as such, utmost carefulness is required in planning the future of your company, as wrong decisions can lead to series of mistakes which, if not dealt with carefully, could lead to a great loss. The good thing is, the world’s most successful entrepreneurs have made some tragic mistakes which cost them millions, and you, as a modern day entrepreneur, can learn from these mistakes and not repeat them. Find out who these entrepreneurs are and what mistakes they made below: Mark Zuckerberg Mark Zuckerberg needs no introduction. He is the young genius who came with Facebook idea and turned into a reality in 2004, giving the world a platform to communicate and keep them connected no matter wherever they reside. Like every one, he is prone to making mistakes and the one he made in May 2011 was a huge one, causing a big loss, not only to his company, but also to himself. What happened? In May 2011, Zuckerberg posted a status on his personal Facebook page saying “a living being has to die for you to eat meat”. Animal lovers found it offensive and that marred his PR career. Earlier in 2010 at the D8 conference, he stumbled over his words and began sweating profusely so much that Forbes wrote a story about it called ‘Great Perspirations’. That same year, he was fictionalised as ruthless and cocky in the 2010 film The Social Network. Those exact qualities are not what people want to associate with the face of a company. What can you learn? Zuckerberg had to do a lot of work to gain on his PR, and he is still progressing on the front. But if he had stayed in the shadows and be “Steve Jobs type” in the spotlight, Facebook would have had a clearer message and would have been a better brand. The site would have been more trusted and cooler. Therefore, if your company grows, keep in mind that you may not always be the best person for the job. Promote your company with the strengths you possess. Steve Jobs Known to be the greatest CEO of all time, Steve Jobs led Apple to soaring heights between 1997-2011 with esteemed leadership and an eye for innovation. But in the initial days, even Steve didn’t know that he was destined to become the CEO of Apple Inc. What happened? Apple was owned as a partnership entirely by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak until Jobs lured Mike Markkula in 1977 out of retirement. Markkula was a seasoned entrepreneur and angel investor who provided the company with much needed capital and business expertise. It was the initial stage of Jobs losing control of his own company. Jobs wanted the control back as soon as Markkula stepped down as CEO in 1983 and it was quite obvious that Jobs wanted to become the CEO. But it was no longer Steve’s decision and the board at Apple Inc wasn’t interested in hiring a 28-year-old to run the fast growing company. Hardly any options left, Jobs agreed to recruit John Sculley, who currently heads Pepsi-Cola. Sculley took up the position of CEO, but the conflict reached the brink when Markkula sided with Sculley and thus Jobs was fired from Apple Inc in 1985. What you can learn: Steve Jobs wasn’t the most experienced person for CEO of Apple, but he understood his company better than anyone else. But what you can learn from Jobs is to give up some control, if you want to establish your startup. But be vigilant about how much control you give and to whom you give it. Larry Page Google, the search engine giant was founded in 1998 by Larry Page and Sergey Brin. They monetise their product carefully, keeping things simple and expanded their services, especially Gmail, YouTube, and Google Maps. But Page made a mistake. As a seasoned entrepreneur, missed an opportunity to dominate the social networking web revolution even though he saw the potential of social networks. The search giant had offered $30,000,000 to buy Friendster, the social networking site in 2003 but didn’t sell. Also, as President of Products, it was easier for Page to have used his position and develop Friendster but he didn’t. Neither did Google Buzz nor Google Plus succeed in becoming a social networking site in the market. If Google had used its team of developers and resources, Facebook really wouldn’t have stood a chance. So, what can you learn? Page admitted that he “knew he had to do something” with social networking. Since Friendster declined to be bought out by Google, Page gave up on Google having a social network. You should never make the same mistake. Next time if you definitely know that your business is missing out on a big opportunity, never stop. Capitalise on it. Bill Gates Gates is known to be the founder of Microsoft, a computer software company since 1975, pioneering a graphical user interface in 1985; Windows 1.0 and by introducing millions to the Internet in 1995; Windows 95 along with Internet Explorer, Microsoft introduced MSN Search in 1998, the same year Google was founded. But Google was fast and innovative in delivering results. What did he do wrong? Through search, Google earned revenue of $348 million in 2002 and in the later year Google almost tripled its revenue to $962 million. Finally, Microsoft started developing a search engine, Windows Live Search in 2006 but failed to compete with Google. In 2009, it revised and brought out a new version, Bing. What can you learn from this? In 1998, apart from Microsoft, none of the other companies had more leverage online. If Gates had prioritised the development of search engine then, Google would have been the second biggest search engine. Since he aimed at software, he overestimated the importance of internet explorer. You, as a modern day entrepreneur, should always keep in mind that your industry keeps changing. Just because a strategy worked out for your business in the past, doesn’t mean you can count on it being the best method today.
Posted on: Thu, 11 Jul 2013 18:29:11 +0000
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