From Instagram to the Popsicle – All created by chance?
When you think about a business, two words come to mind: hard work. Nothing but blood, sweat and tears of effort can take your brand to the next level.
But in a strange world, comes strange circumstances – where successes can occur by accident.
Don’t believe me? Here are four cases of accidental triumphs:
Instagram is one of the most popular social networks in the world, focused on photograph-sharing and active commenting. The spark that created the idea in Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger’s minds was purely by chance.
Both men were not pleased with the cluttered layout of Burbn, with “overrun features”. So, they took a risk – scrap Burbn, and create an entirely new app from scratch.
This prophetic decision ended up becoming a miracle: the app gained around 150 million users within three years of its inception, and a current count of 300 million users. Its success has skyrocketed ever since.
The innovative yet simple concept of the “popsicle” was indeed an accident as well – made by an eleven-year-old back in 1905.
Frank Epperson once left soda water in a cup, with a stirring stick, out on a cold night, and found it completely frozen the next day. Eighteen years later, he took the initiative and started selling his “Eppsicles” out on a lemonade stand.
The “Popsicle” was officially patented in 1924. Its success ever since is obvious from its sales – Unilever still sells two billion popsicles every year!
Mashable is one of the most well-known news websites on the Internet, founded by Pete Cashmore in 2005.
This came about not intentionally, but by accident as well. While recovering from an operation at the age of thirteen, he spent a lot of his time reading blogs and online news. From that, came the idea – and commitment – to kickstart Mashable: something smarter and better.
Despite its humble beginnings, it has triumphed, with a well-earned estimated net worth of $95 million USD.
You see those coloured tags almost everywhere nowadays – but hardly anyone knows that even ‘Post-it Notes’ were made by mistake!
Spencer Silver, a researcher at 3M Laboratories, was trying to make a strong adhesive. What he got instead was a weaker glue that stuck to any surface, but could easily be removed without leaving a mark. The idea truly kicked off years later, when a colleague used the substance on bits of paper to use as bookmarks for his choir hymn book. Now, no office environment ever functions without a ‘Post-it’.
This sounds like a fantasy – if only success could be sought by accident, right?
But you need to know: in all above cases, the idea was made by accident – not the product. It was entirely up to the person whether he wanted to make something great from that moment or not.
So, for all you visionaries reading this: you have the power to become a creator. All you need is the strength to persevere, work hard – and to simply get started. You never know, maybe success will stumble upon you by happy chance.