Some examples of people who bounced back from the brink of death and achieved ambitious things together.

  • Apple. Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak incorporated Apple Computer Inc. in January 1977. Apple went public in December 1980. The company was on the verge of going bankrupt in 1997. Microsoft (led by Bill Gates) invested $150 million last minute and saved the company. Apple became the world’s most valuable stock in 2011 and the world's first company to hit $3 trillion market value in January 2022. It's still the most valuable company (by market cap) in summer 2023. Source: Steve Jobs.
  • Airbnb. Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia and Nathan Blecharczyk launched AirBed & Breakfast in February 2008. They lived off credit card debts and selling cereal named after the two candidates of the 2008 US presidential election: Obama O's and Cap'n McCains. They joined Y Combinator in January 2009. During the COVID-19 pandemic, bookings dropped as much as 96% in some cities and on May 2020, the company layed off about 25% of its workforce. Airbnb went public in December 2020 at a market cap of $86.5 billion. Source: Brian Chesky on The Social Radars.
  • LEGO. Carpenter Ole Kirk Kristiansen founded LEGO in 1932 in Billund, Denmark. He started building wooden toys, such as cars, airplanes and yoyo's. His workshop caught fire in 1942 and Ole lost his entire inventory and blueprints. The company became wildly successful thanks to their patented interlocking system but by the 1990's, their popularity took a hit. In 2004, the company was "almost bankrupt" with close to 1 billion dollars in debt. In 2012, they surpassed Mattel to become the world's most valuable toy company, valued at more than $14.6 billion. They're now at the highest price points in the entire toy industry, featuring the top legacy brand licenses, reaching pre-school to adult demographics. LEGO occupies half of Amazon’s top 10 in all toys, and is 10x busier per square foot than the Apple Store at most malls. Source: history.