Greatest "failures" of recent history? - Mothering Forums
Learning at Home and Beyond > Greatest "failures" of recent history?
*Lisa*'s Avatar *Lisa* 07:34 AM 04-19-2010
Our family just finished a really interesting biography about Milton Hershey, and we started reading one about Walt Disney. We were all surprised to learn that they both started out as "failures" (neither did well in school, both had at least one business that failed). They both kept trying, though, and (obviously) became very successful. It's turned out to be a great, though unintended, lesson in believing in yourself despite setbacks.

I'm trying to think of others whose lives followed a similar pattern. Do you have any to add to our list?

Momma Aimee's Avatar Momma Aimee 04:15 PM 04-19-2010
Dr. Seuss

he was rejected like 27 times before publication!!!

I went searchong for books on him about a month ago (this fall, he is on the list) -- and there are NOT nearly as many as i expected: here are a few suggestions:


there are a couple other that are more ARt books.

Kids have more:
AAK's Avatar AAK 12:57 AM 04-20-2010
Bill Gates was a college dropout.

So was Steve Jobs I believe.

But, Steve is closer to an early failure than Bill. Bill just had no need for college.


I will have to think.

Smokering's Avatar Smokering 02:10 AM 04-20-2010
Thomas Edison, if he counts as recent. And nearly every famous writer has a tale to tell of forty-trilion rejections before signing the first contract.
umsami's Avatar umsami 01:46 PM 04-20-2010
The Beatles were turned down.

John Grisham was rejected 14 or 16 times prior to being published.

Col. Sanders (KFC) didn't start KFC until he was in his 60s, I believe. Had to make nearly 1000 sales calls before somebody was interested in his chicken.

Winston Churchill failed a grade in Middle School.

"Chicken Soup for the Soul" was turned down well over 100 times.

Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team.

Thomas Edison was a failure in school--and tried hundreds of different versions of the light bulb before succeeding.

SImon Cowell was a h.s. dropout who had to move in with his parents.
Roar's Avatar Roar 02:52 PM 04-20-2010
*Lisa*'s Avatar *Lisa* 09:58 AM 04-21-2010
These are all terrific. Thank you!!!

Roar--I think my DD will really enjoy that book
umsami's Avatar umsami 10:02 AM 04-25-2010
I just started reading John Taylor Gatto's "Weapons of Mass Instruction" and there are a ton of good ones in there.

Jonathan Goodwin... Google "Fast Company" Nov 2007... dropped out of junior high school in 7th grade, then developed a way to convert gas gusslers into more environmentally friendly cars

Diablo Cody... wrote "Juno"

Sir Richard Branson... Virgin Empire

Ingvar Kamprad... dyslexic, started out selling matches and fish from a bicycle.... then later went on to found Ikea
dotnetdiva's Avatar dotnetdiva 01:31 PM 04-25-2010
I know there are so many super smart, now successful people that didn't do well in school and failed/dropped out.

When I was in the dot-com industry, some of the most successful businesses actually specifically looked for those school failures and college drop-outs (they had to be very bright though), because they did some of the best work.

Most that came to my mind were already mentioned - Bill Gates was one... Albert Einstein is a famous one.

Here's a list of more!
ZanZansMommy's Avatar ZanZansMommy 03:30 PM 04-26-2010
Nice list!
kittie313's Avatar kittie313 06:16 PM 04-26-2010
I like that list! Makes me feel better about dropping out of college 3 times now.