It was lucky to hear many brilliant start-up stories in Jrn 450 class in my senior year; I have learned so much. Some of them made a huge success, and some of them make nothing to something. They have so many similarities to learn.
First, when others ask them “Why?” they would ask back “Why not?” If you never start, how could you know it will fail? Success is not the only destination for start-ups.
Second, if the success can be copied, then the successful processing plant has long been established. Skills can learn, but wit and smell, can not teach, if you follow the others after the imitation, the new business opportunities and market model have changed forever.
When Jane Wurward started her business, Dermologica, in LA, she has nothing on the U.S. She, as a tenured skin therapist and licensed instructor from British, had no money and no credibility but only the ambitious to the skincare industry. She found out there is non-systematic skincare industry in the local U.S. and most of the therapists there are from Europe. Later, she decided to train American to do self-skincare, retailing and selling with her husband.
Wurward put her education into action, opening a small classroom in Marina del Rey, California under the name The International Dermal Institute (IDI). She invited licensed skin therapists to get hands-on with the postgraduate training so critical to making them competitive in the business. Today, IDI is considered the international gold-standard for postgraduate skin and body therapy training with 37 locations worldwide. Dermalogical had 100,000 therapists worldwide and reached over 80 countries. (Dermalogica)
From her story, I have learned another lesson, always to have your skill on hand. One month before her three years old, Wurward’s dad left her family forever. Her mother had to start work and fed four girls. Fortunately, her mother was a qualified nurse. From her mother, Wurward realized how important to have a skill. She chose to go to the South Africa to take training for skincare and lived there for four years, which build a foundation for her success for her rest life.
All in all, don’t ask why but always ask why not. If we want to build something from nothing, let’s always have eyes to look for possibility and