3 Startup Stories to Inspire Your Entrepreneurial Pursuit

By Amanda Wilks

Updated Over a Week Ago

Minute Read

The successful startup entrepreneurs out there have overcome what we’re facing right now or might encounter in the future. Their experience can inspire our own entrepreneurial pursuits.

There are numerous successful startup stories in the world that could one day be ours.

We are not alone in our life’s quests. If you believe the secret to success is progress, then let’s pay attention to those stories, learn from them, and be proactive in pursuing our dreams.

Here are 3 wildly successful startup stories that will inspire your own entrepreneurial pursuits.

1. The Purple Bed

The founders of The Purple Bed have created one of the few companies that gained success overnight. This life-changing event, however, was actually the result of 20 years of research. Many young entrepreneurs have difficulties with staying assertive and sticking to their dreams if success doesn’t show up within five years. However, these two guys totally won with patience.

Thanks to The Purple Bed, the comfort of your bedrooms has gained a new level of perfection. But that’s not even the best part. The story of this company started when two brothers, Tony and Terry Pearce, were on one of their usual fishing trips. They began discussing business ideas and came to discover one need that was never covered before. People spend every night in their beds, and nobody has found the perfect mattress.

They spent 20 years researching how to change the world, starting with the bedroom. Their result is a mattress that protects users from the usual health issues normal mattresses inflict on us. Moreover, their Purple Bed is sure to provide the best sleep due to its Hyper-Elastic Polymer technology.

So, what was their secret recipe? The key to their success was to bring their expertise and an unsolved global need together. The two brothers identified an issue with which humanity has battled for too long. They targeted their product to combat the back pains that everyone who sits still for eight hours straight can suffer from.

The one thing that won them a worldwide reputation was a clever marketing move. They used the power of the Internet and created a Kickstarter campaign. The utility of the Purple Bed gained vast recognition overnight thanks to the traffic assured by this online platform. So, in just a matter of days, the startup gathered $172,000. This was $150,000 more than they asked for!

The success of their Kickstarter campaign got a major upgrade when the company created the following 4-minute YouTube video. The video is about an out-of-the-box method to test the efficiency of the product by using a heavy plank and four eggs.

Any traditional mattress failed the test. The new Purple technology managed to preserve the eggs intact after the collision with the heavy object.

YouTube video

2. EarthLED

This story goes beyond the fantastic milestone of $3 million that any entrepreneur would dream of. It shows that the beginning is truly the hardest part. This story tells us that a start-up never stops learning new things and incorporating new strategies in its business plan, no matter how far it gets.

The EarthLED company started in the house of Mark Costigliola in 2006. One Christmas day, while he was decorating the house, Costigliola wondered if people had already used LED bulbs in their households. A quick Google search confirmed his assumptions that none had come up with this idea yet, and he immediately started his new business.

During the first year of the company, there were around 5-10 orders per week. It was not enough to manage a business. Instead of giving up, Mark Castiglia asked his parents for space in the house to keep a new batch of products. The following two years brought him $300,000 and $1 million.

He eventually had to move the inventory to a real warehouse, which meant bringing in plenty of new employees. But Mark didn’t have time to enjoy this fantastic business achievement. He soon discovered that these employees were stealing products and that there was a cocaine business under his roof.

To top it off, the growth of the company reached a 3-year flat revenue. From 2010 to 2012, the startup stagnated. Castiglia decided that the solution to exit this phase was to outsource the financial planning for the warehouse to the experts. And that’s how EarthLED slipped away from a potentially dangerous period of time.

When the startup generated $10 million in revenue, Mark and his team had to wage a battle with the light bulb industry itself. The victory meant winning the respect of the veterans in this field. A failure would have cost them everything, as no US supplier would help EarthLED without the approval of these veterans.

To overcome a huge difficulty, EarthLED went through a re-branding phase. This change took place within the company, not just an insignificantly different logo. The startup aimed to turn itself from an importer into a distributor of bulbs made in the U.S. Eventually, they succeeded.

The company managed to upgrade the entire US light bulb industry and introduced it to the novelty of SEO or conversion optimization. It took EarthLED 9 years and many struggles to join the light bulb industry.

Ultimately, they were welcomed and became part of a big happy family.

3. Square

Before Square, the law didn’t allow people who weren’t registered merchants to accept credit card payments. It was difficult and expensive to obtain such a permit, so small businesses were struggling with a lot of hardships.

Jim McKelvey and Jack Dorsey identified this worldwide issue and devised the Square idea in 2009. The service this startup provides is very simple. They moved the financial transactions mobile, allowing businesses to bypass the pricey application systems. Square’s software provides a free POS on your smartphone.

The success story behind this startup wasn’t cut and dry either.

Dorsey adopted an early marketing campaign that was aggressive in its novelty. He created an article titled “140 Reasons Why Square Will Fail”. That’s certainly not what a usual promotional campaign for a new product sounds like.

Regardless, it worked wonders as this article held a clever twist. Each of the 140 reasons for failure had its own list of counterpoints that provided solutions to overcome every possible bad scenario for the young startup. Dorsey distributed the article to all investors who were interested in Square.

The business idea was successful, and it seemed that the happy ending was near.  However, their business idea violated the rules of credit card companies which clearly stated that everyone needs a merchant account to accept money transfers. The startup was, at that point, hanging by a thread.

Jack Dorsey took matters into his own hands and opened a new financial era by changing the rules of online banking. He went with the prototype to all major banks to make them change their minds. Thanks to this move, in a matter of six months, Square was on the side of legal companies.

The Square software borrowed an essential ingredient from Apple’s success recipe. The company invested greatly in the sleek and elegant design of its product to emphasize its premium features.

Another step that brought the startup closer to its success was the recognition it received due to some powerful partnerships, such as its collaboration with Apple.

The startup faces fierce competitors that focus all their resources on catching up and outperforming Square. Among these competitors are PayPal, Visa, Intuit, and Groupon. This means that their story has not ended yet. We’ll stay tuned to see if it survives after a clash with the titans of this challenging field.

Hopefully, these stories have inspired you not to give up on your entrepreneurial pursuits. No matter how difficult success can be, you are in for a wild and creative journey!

Do You Have a Successful Startup Story?

If you have ideas that you feel like sharing that might be helpful to readers, share them in the comments section below. Thanks!

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Amanda Wilks
Amanda Wilks
Amanda Wilks, a Boston University graduate and Customer Survey Report contributing author, is on her way to becoming a professional writer. She values passionate and empathetic opinions the most, and admires those who lead with equilibrium and are willing to change for the greater good. Keep an eye on Amanda’s latest work by following her on Twitter @AmandaWilks01.
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