Startups are a lottery. Some die at their source, some keep afloat, but then shatteringly break, and some can rise from the dead to spite those who did not believe in them. It is hard to imagine, but some of the modern successful companies were once the very zombies that came to life, and their CEO is now the most discussed people on the planet. We picked up six startup ideas that almost died but were able to rise.
Apple is a legendary IT giant whose story is always a big surprise and delight. The company’s founder, Steve Jobs, was dismissed in 1985 from his own company. After that, the company as much as 12 years was rolling into the abyss and brought losses. When the board of directors finally realized that they were bankrupt, they started asking Jobs to come back.
It took very little time for Steve to get things going. He immediately reached an investment agreement with Microsoft ($150 million), and a year later Apple introduced iMac. Then, for the first time since 1995, the company made a profit. Today Apple is the most expensive IT Company.
Tesla и SpaceX
Companies have a sad past. They were very affected because of the crisis in 2008. Elon Musk has repeatedly stated in an interview that he had to choose between SpaceX and Tesla. The last one spent about $4 million a month, and SpaceX was fading away.
The contract between SpaceX and NASA for 1.6 billion dollars, saved his two companies. Tesla needed at least $20 million to stay in the ranks. Then Musk did a very tricky thing: he agreed with NASA and took a loan from his space company, collected an additional $15 million, and persuaded investors to make a deal before Christmas 2008. And all this was just one day before the company was declared bankrupt!
The startup idea belongs to three guys who decided to create budget sleeping options for tourists from all over the world. Unfortunately, there was no investment in the project, no one believed that in the future it will be a successful startup.
The main founder of the project, Brian Chesky, was looking for investors tirelessly. He received seven refusals from various venture capital funds. Finally disappointed and deciding to quit, Y Combinator invited the startup. Now – this is an impressive company, which is estimated at 25.5 billion dollars.
Phil Libin, the founder of Evernote, in 2008 decided to close his project due to lack of finance. Before going to bed, he checked his email and saw a letter from a Swedish investor there. He, in turn, wrote that he liked his project and he would like to invest in a startup.
The Swede invested in the company 500 thousand dollars, which became a lifeline for Evernote. It is hard to believe, but today the company is estimated at $1 billion.
The story of Pandora is very touching and sweet. Tim Westergren founded it in 1999. After the dot-com bubble burst, Westergren began to look for investors in panic, but all was in vain. No one wanted to invest in his company. Desperate, he told the workers that it was all over, the company went bankrupt and he would not be able to pay wages to them.
Surprisingly, most of the employees stayed and continued to work for free. Thanks to this love for work, Pandora was able to develop and in 2011 became a successful public company.