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Watch Video: YouTube Success Story: How Google Acquired YouTube?

Smruthi Kishore

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Entrepreneur Stories

Bill Gates And His Life Secrets

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Bill Gates, American business magnate, investor, author, humanitarian, philanthropist and principal founder of Microsoft Corporation, is known for more than just his brilliance. Most of Bill Gates significant achievements are outside Microsoft. In fact, he was a billionaire long before he became the CEO of one of the biggest technology corporations of the world. 
Gates who is one of the richest people in the world, has also given the second highest amount to charity around $ 23.5 billion as of 2017. His achievements in business and the simplicity with which he conducts his life set him apart as an inspirational public figure who is admired and respected around the world. Most people see wealth as the hallmark of success. However, to both Bill and Melinda Gates, philanthropy has always been more important in life.
While the philanthropist has attained great success which could otherwise only be possible in the wildest of dreams, there are many salient and practical lessons you can learn from Bill Gates which will certainly change your life. These lessons may not make you the richest person in the world, but they will definitely give you a head start in creating your own success story and making a positive impact in the lives of others.
1. Adding value to others life is the true essence of wealth
To this billionaire, reducing global suffering and helping others rise above the slums of poverty is the greatest service that anyone could possibly offer to the world. “I’ve been very lucky and therefore I owe it to try and reduce the inequity in the world. And that’s kind of a religious belief. I mean, it’s at least a moral belief.”
2. Failure and mistakes are very valuable
While most people only celebrate success and consider failure in any form disastrous, Bill Gates thinks otherwise. “It’s fine to celebrate success, but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.”
3. Do not be distracted by success
Though the philanthropist has achieved a lot, he is still very much at his game. “If I’d had some set idea of a finish line don’t you think I would have crossed it years ago?”
4. Time is more valuable than money
Bill Gates understands the wisdom in properly prioritizing tasks that are more likely to yield the most productive results of time spent. “No matter how much money you have, you can’t buy time.”
5. Start immediately
Do you have an idea, a dream or a vision? Then you should not waste your time on it. Start as early as early as possible. “if you don’t build your dreams, someone else will hire you to build theirs.”
Creating a business that is now one of the biggest technology empires in the world is not easy. However, through dedication, will power and courage anything can be achieved. If his life lessons have not encouraged you to run after your dreams and make them a reality, this motivational video will definitely ignite the fire in you.

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Arunachalam Muruganantham: India’s Social Entrepreneur And Menstruation Man

Ramya GovindRaj

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While a majority of men and women in many urban cities of India still consider the menstrual cycle a taboo, this man from Coimbatore changed the perspective of millions of women in rural India. Arunachalam Muruganantham, also know as PadMan, in an effort to impress his wife decided to produce sanitary napkins himself. Little did he know that a few years down the line, his whole world would be turned upside down, from almost getting a divorce to becoming the first man to wear a sanitary pad.

The initial idea seemed simple enough. Buy cotton, cut it in the size of a regular pad and wrap it using a thin layer of cotton. However, the feedback he received from his wife was devastating. His homemade pad was useless and she would rather continue using old rags. He did not stop there. He first enlisted his sisters to test his pads. When they refused, he visited a local medical school and asked the girls studying in those colleges. When they also eventually stopped helping, he created a makeshift uterus using a football bladder and goats blood to test the sanitary napkins himself.

When the neighbours started complaining about a foul smell and stained clothes, his wife left him and went to live with her mother. But, it was no longer about helping his wife anymore. Arunachalam was on a mission to produce low cost sanitary pads for all the girls and women in his country.

A school dropout from Coimbatore, Arunachalam challenged an age old taboo and changed a fiercely competitive industry with his cheap and affordable good quality sanitary napkins. After years of research, lots of sacrifices, a great deal of hard work and the willpower to succeed, he successfully created a low cost machine for the production of sanitary pads. His easy to use machines, priced at $ 950, created a revolution in India challenging the $ 500,000 imported machines. More than a decade later, his single product has helped employ more than 7000 women in rural India, selling 1,300 machines to 27 states in India and 6 countries.

However, the man behind the ‘Second White Revolution’ is still as humble as ever. Startup Stories had the opportunity to speak with Mr. Arunanchalam Muruganantham about his surreal journey. Speaking about his experiences and his journey, he says, “I feel grateful for what has happened so far it is what has made me what I’m today.” Despite changing the lives of over 3.5 million women in rural India, Arunachalam feels there’s still a long way to go. “Awareness is missing. But things do have changed compared to 2 decades before.. still a long way to go.” He further adds, “Menstrual hygiene is totally connected to a women’s health and lifestyle. Sanitary pad does play a role. We have over 80+% women not taking care of themselves. A lot of efforts needed to make them use hygienic practice.

However, Arunachalam feels the Government can help boost this movement forward. “Tax has increased the price of pads. But still. Cost is one side of the coin. Government can make it tax free – the loss they might incur is not a loss at all as making pads affordable and accessible will make more women healthy – that is a greatest asset of the nation. Women strong – country strong.”

We could not agree with him more! India is a country that has seen some extremely powerful women in the leading roles. Nevertheless, like they say, there is strength in numbers and only when men and women work together, will this revolution be validated.  It takes a lot of strength, courage and determination to take such a brave step forward. Startup Stories wishes Mr. Arunachalam Muruganantham all the best for his dream of making all the women of India use sanitary napkins.

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4 Startups Founders Who Bounced Back After Failing

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Failure is a part of life, maybe even a bigger part of the business. If fear of failure is holding you back, take inspiration from the stories of these successful startup entrepreneurs who bounced back after major failures.

Apple has one of the greatest comeback stories in tech history. Founder Steve Jobs was fired from his company in 1985. Apple found itself operating at a loss, as it inched towards failure. In the 12 years that followed, in need of a new approach, Apple hired back Jobs in 1997 and he scored a partnership with Microsoft to invest $150 million in the company. A year later, the company introduced the iMac and for the first time since 1995, returned to profitability. The rest, as they say, is history.

Also known as the real life Iron Man, Elon Musk’s Tesla and SpaceX both hit cash shortages just as the economy was tanking in 2008. SpaceX applied for a contract with NASA as its last hope to bail itself out and it won. The $1.6 billion contract has kept Musk’s space dream afloat.

At the same time SpaceX was crashing, Tesla was burning through about $4 million every month. Musk predicted SpaceX would win the deal and keep both of his space and car dreams alive. He took out a mortgage from SpaceX and scrounged around for $20 million. After a cliff to his investors, they agreed to meet the $20 million he raised, and the deal closed on Christmas Eve in 2008, hours before the company would have gone bankrupt.

Musk, who nearly went bankrupt launching Tesla Motors and rocket company SpaceX, is now worth more than $20 billion.

Evan Williams introduced “blogging” to the world when he launched Blogger in 2000. However it came without a business model, and a year later, Williams found himself out of cash and had to lay off the entire staff. Without any employees, Blogger dangled from a thin rope as Williams tried to find ways to make money out of it and turn it into a real challenging company. By late 2002, Google acquired the website for a reported $50 million. 13 years later, Blogger is alive even today. As for Williams, he did just fine cofounding Twitter and then Medium.

In the early 1990s, technology major IBM was on a downward spiral, with plans in place to break the company into several smaller operating units. Lou Gerstner took over the company in 1993 and started one of the greatest business turnarounds in tech. After huge layoffs and putting cash through marketing assets, Gerstner put the obstacles on the plan to break up the company and united everyone under one IBM. It worked, and the company survived.

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