An entrepreneur is someone who takes the gamble of starting their own business venture. This involves looking for a certain gap, niche, or demand in the market and striving to fulfill is in the best way possible. The most successful entrepreneurs have managed to make the most of a marketing opportunity and have thus changed the way we now live.
If you’re thinking of becoming an entrepreneur or are just interested in them, reading a list of the most successful ones is a worthwhile endeavor.
You might be surprised by some of the earliest entries, as entrepreneurship began very long ago:
King Croesus was the ruler of Lydia, a kingdom in Asia Minor. His reign was in the 6th century B.C., and he’s famed for starting the first coinage ever. With this single invention, he was hence able to start the trading system as we know it today. Cash flow, liquidity, and several other financial aspects of business are all thanks to this king. Naturally, he held a great amount of coinage himself, hence the phrase ‘as rich as Croesus’ or ‘the treasures of Croesus’.
The king also led a lavish lifestyle, which is something most entrepreneurs aim for today. It’s worth delving into history and finding out the details of this king’s endeavors.
Pope Sixtus IV
The unique aspect about this entrepreneur is that he realized how one can make money off the concept of damnation. he hence used people’s fears of the afterlife to open up a whole new market in order to continue the church’s indulgences. Of course, his motives were exactly pure, but an entrepreneur thinks in terms of profit.
What Sixtus did was to offer people a reduce time for their loved ones in purgatory. In return, he set up certain sums of money to fill the church’s coffers. Once this plan was successful, he expanded the market by giving the go-ahead for the Spanish Inquisition. This obviously included the number of people who died, thus getting the Vatican even more money from the loved ones of the deceased. Incidentally, he was also the first of his title to approve a brothel’s license.
Benjamin Franklin is known for many things, but he was also probably the first entrepreneur that modern America knows. He was different from the other Founding Fathers in the sense that he focused on how to invent things that would be of use to the people. Hence, he was an author, invented the bifocals and the lightning rod, and was also a clever business to boot. Not only did he come up with some brilliant inventions, but he also knew enough to commercialize them.
In a sense, one might say that Benjamin Franklin was the pioneer of modern-day America. Many entrepreneurs are now American, no matter what their origin country may have been. After all, entrepreneurship is very much in keeping with the concept of the American Dream.
When you think about it, pulling off a huge scam is also a kind of entrepreneurship. The individual puts in their time, effort, and skill in order to earn as much as possible. Phineas Taylor Barum actually took the art of scamming and played o it in a whole new manner.
This ‘entrepreneur’ made use of the people’s fascination with freak shows and bizarre acts. Barnum hence got together a circus that he called ‘The Greatest Show on Earth’. While many of his tactics, such as using mirrors or smoke to create a freakish display, are now old-fashioned, the ma practically invented modern advertising.
While many now say that Edison copied many ideas, the light bulb among them, form Nikola Tesla, the fact remains that the former inventor had more than a thousand patented inventions. He is hence one of the greatest inventors we know of to this date, but few realize how savvy a businessman he was.
Edison was actually quite able and willing to make the most of the profit potential from his creations. This spark of entrepreneurship was actually apparent when he was just a teenager. Back then, he used to print his own newspaper on a train and then sell the copies to the train passengers.
Ford is probably a household name in most countries as far as entrepreneurship is concerned. This man was able to change all our lifestyles with the automobile. After many failures, he finally succeeded in making the Model T Ford available to the masses. This naturally increased the range of movement for most people.
Apart from influencing the literal movement of people, Ford also influenced the industry itself. This was because he designed a moving assembly line in order to make his cars cheap to build and hence accessible to the common man. This line was a breakthrough in the Industrial Age, which then led to the automation and factory machinery we know today.
Benjamin ‘Bugsy’ Siegel was a mobster according to history, but he was definitely a visionary as well. According to legend, many say that he was actually responsible for the creation of Las Vegas, which we now know as the gambling capital of America. While this may be an exaggeration, there’s no denying that Siegel did see the potential of the town as a provider of every conceivable pleasure.
Siegel’s claim to fame, among others, was The Flamingo, his own resort. He managed to collect the funds for making and running this place by attracting them from other people. While he was a mastermind at his own business, he also attracted people who wanted him dead.
Persistence is probably the other name of entrepreneurship, as you have to stay strong in order to succeed. If you’re struggling with stabilizing your venture, Ray Kroc might provide some inspiration. Kroc was a salesman for kitchen wares but was in very bad health by the time he was 52, At that point, he gained inspiration from a family-owned restaurant in a desert just outside of Los Angeles.
The name of the family? McDonald! Kroc bought the restaurant, took their limited menu forward, and then focused on fast service, low prices, and expansions. The result is the giant international fast food chain we’re all familiar with. The golden arches may have toyed with our health, but they’ve also served to revolutionize and perhaps even give rise to the fast-food industry.
H. Ross Perot
If you’re an entrepreneur who likes the concept of cowboys, you should know about Perot. He was a short-statured Texan who is now known in political circles as well. Before that, he was very well-known in the business world (and still is). After borrowing a thousand dollars for his wife, Perot launched a company now familiar as the Electronic Data Systems.
His idea here was to help out large companies and corporations with their data processing. Making use computer technology to the utmost, Perot also won contracts with Medicare plus Medicaid. In this manner, he became one of the richest Americans to date.
Jobs & Wozniak
Before we knew of Steve Jobs, Hewlett-Packard was the big boss in the tech market. However, Jobs and Wozniak were the first ones to diversify the computing industry by launching a machine with amazing performance. Their offering was so tempting that even those who were averse to risks and technology, in general, would embrace it for their commercial and personal use.
Along with the streamlined operating system from Wozniak, the marketing savviness of Jobs was also instrumental in making it a success. While Apple may never have won much in the PC sector, it was still always one of the leading companies in that area as well.
There are obviously many more great entrepreneurs who have made it to the top. For the sake of brevity, we’ve narrowed down the list to be somewhat representative. The lessons from each individual are worth learning if you’re already an entrepreneur or are looking towards being one in the future.