If you’ve been bitten by the entrepreneurial bug, you’ll know the feeling. Suddenly you realise that making in order to make money, you have to first spend it. But it’s a dangerous thought. It goes against everything you were taught by your parents and teachers.
The evidence that it works, however, is all around you, present in some of the most famous brands in the world. Those brands were once startups too. So how did they get hold of the money they needed to take their businesses to the global stage? Let’s find out.
The founder of GoPro, Nicholas Woodman, had a vision. He wanted to make a camera that people could take with them while they were surfing. The camera would record all that they did from the person’s point of view. Back in 2002, however, the technology to make such a camera was in its infancy. And Woodman needed a large sum of money to make it work. So what did he do? He looked around for as much money as he could find, from personal savings and his parents. He then began taking his new prototype camera to exhibitions to show people what it could do. Back in 2002, GoPro was a little ahead of its time. Remember, Facebook and YouTube hadn’t been invented yet. By 2011, though, the technology had advanced significantly, and the world was ready for POV streaming. The company got an injection of more than $88 million. Now it’s worth more than $2 billion.
The founders of Google set up the search engine while they were studying for their degrees at Stamford. To begin with, it was just meant to be a dorm room challenge. But a year into the project, the pair noticed that Google was becoming very successful. By 1998, the search engine was attracting more than 10,000 queries per day. It was clear that the idea had a future and the founders needed money. Without the option for a cash advance online, the pair maxed out their credit cards. They accumulated more than $15,000 in debt. They then managed to get a further $100,000 from Sun Microsystems founder, Andy Bechtolsheim. Just six years later, Google got a valuation of more than $24 billion.
Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak set up Apple during the 1980s. They decided that the best approach would be to build computers for a local computer store. The problem, however, was that they didn’t have the money to buy the parts from the supplier. They had an idea. They would pay the supplier for the parts once the computer store purchased the assembled computers. But that plan fell through. The supplier refused the deal. So Jobs and Wozniak had to implement plan B: use a credit card. The tactic worked, and before long Apple was regularly supplying computer stores with computers. The pair then used the profits to pay for the next round of parts and so on. Apple is now the second most valuable company on Earth.