When most people think of Bill Gates, they think of this super-genius billionaire who is always successful.
Well, as you are about to see, that is not exactly true.
You see, back in 1970, Bill and his partner Paul Allen had started their first business: Traf-O-Data.
Bill and Paul worked closely with many electrical engineering students and faculty members at the University of Washington, hoping to create a device that automatically read traffic tapes (Back in 1970, manually reading these tapes was tough work).
Well, after years of sinking time and money into this business, Bill thought he was going to have his first big break...
An official from the county office was scheduled to see a demo of Traf-O-Data.
How exciting right? A chance to finally push his product into the market.
So one day, the official walked into the lab, and the demonstration started.
The lights on the device lit up. Everything seemed to go well… but then: CRASH!
It did not work!
The device booted up, but it did not do a thing.
How humiliating right? And of course, the county official was not impressed. He left the room immediately. I can imagine Paul and Bill feeling really frustrated right about then…
Now, of course, Bill did not give up then and there… he did not retire his dreams by a long shot.
No. Bill and Paul tried to get Traf-O-Data to work for years… but in the end, they decided to shut down the business.
It Was Bill Gate’s First Business Failure
But still, that experience shaped Bill Gates and Paul Allen, allowing them to become some of the most successful business owners in the world. With enough wealth to last 10 lifetimes and change the world 1,000 times over.
Why? Because failure is the most valuable teacher in life.
And the bigger you are willing to fail, the bigger your lesson is going to be.
Is it risky? Yes!
Is it worthwhile? Definitely!
Where would Bill Gates be if he decided to take the safe way out?
Where would the computing world be if he decided to dream smaller and not take risks?
Every time you fail, you get one step closer to your goal. In fact, you should keep a journal to keep track of all your failures. Find out what happened, and what you need to do to avoid facing the same failure.
As you can see, failure was one of Bill Gate’s biggest teachers in business and in life. And he is not alone. If you look at all the most successful entrepreneurs in the world, failure was the most valuable teacher. Gaining experience means facing failure.
Are you convinced of the power of embracing failure?
The power of dreaming big, taking risks, and never giving up?
I hope so. And I will leave you with one last quote for today.
“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” -Thomas A. Edison
Best of luck in all of your endeavors,
J.D., IP Certificate Candidate, 2021 | The University of Akron School of Law
Legal Intern | The University of Akron Research Foundation
P.S.- Motivated to take on a huge challenge? Want to push your crazy idea out into the world this year? Want to see your idea being utilized and impacting the lives of many? We can help you avoid the #1 reason for startup failure through our I-Corps program. Click here for more info and for applications that are due Feb. 16th at midnight: www.uakronUARF.com/i-corps