You’d be surprised to know that many of the start-ups that we know and love today did not have an easy beginning. Developing a product, service or company is no mean feat. Many successful start-ups underwent a complete re-model, now solving for a different problem and selling to a different market than initially intended. Here is a list of some of the most unsuspecting companies to face a rocky start.
From renting out mattresses to becoming a $10 billion company. This story begins in 2007, when two designers Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia, couldn’t afford the rent for their San Francisco apartment. With an upcoming design conference taking place in the city many hotels were completely booked out, inciting Chesky and Gebbia to rent out three mattresses on their apartment floor. They set up simple website where they were able to attract three renters for $80 each. After some success and product market fit enlisted a former flatmate and a computer science graduate, Nathan Blecharczyk, to develop the website and join the venture.
Rumour has it that Uber was born one winters night after Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp were struggling to catch a cab after the annual LeWeb conference in Paris. The two began brainstorming a solution for cab scarcity on the roads. After the conference the entrepreneurs went their separate ways, but when Camp returned to San Francisco, he continued to be fixated on the idea and bought the domain name UberCab.com. By summer of 2009 Camp had persuaded Kalanick to join as UberCab’s ‘Chief Incubator’. The service was first tested in New York in early 2010 using only three cars, and the official launch took place in San Francisco in May
In 2002, Reid Hoffman undertook a new idea, recruiting a team of old colleagues from SocialNet and PayPal to help bring it to life. Only a year later, Reid launched LinkedIn out of his living room, inviting 350 of his personal contacts to create their own profiles. LinkedIn had a slow start with as few as 20 signups in a day, however, a few months the site gained enough traction to entice investment from Sequoia Capital.