Every now and then some entrepreneurs take some encouragement in the fact that even the big boys were once struggling small businesses. Some reminders….


Coca-Cola sold 400 Cokes their first year. The first year sales: $ 55

Lands’ End founder was so broke that he couldn’t afford to reprint the company’s first catalog – the one with the misplaced apostrophe. The company decided to keep the misplaced apostrophe in its name.

Nike founder Philip Knight sold imported Japanese sneakers from the trunk of his station wagon.

Avis Car Rental was ridiculed for its "unrealistic" business plan. Hertz rejected the idea as unprofitable. Why would anyone want to rent cars at airports?

Henry Ford failed and went broke 5 times before he finally succeeded.

When 3’M’s Post-it-Notes were presented to office supply distributors, they thought they were a bad idea. It was only when 3M mailed samples to secretaries of the CEO’s of the Fortune 500, they became accepted.

A few companies started by one person:
IBM, Electronic Data Systems (EDS), General Motors, Xerox, Polaroid, and Texas Instruments.


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