If you can honestly tell yourself that you have never day-dreamed about winning a big prize money, receiving an inheritance from a distant relative or landing the next dream big contract for your company, you’re probably lying to yourself. The truth be told, most dreams never really turn into reality unless you focus on them daily, and plan and visualize how you’ll turn the fantasy into reality.
We all want to know how the founders of Google, Yahoo, and Facebook did it. Where do those big ideas come from and how could we put ourselves in the position to uncover the next million-dollar idea? What’s important to remember is that finding breakthrough ideas is really one of the secrets to winning in business even if you lack an appropriate technology background.
Consider too that innovative ideas are not confined to products but could be a process, business model or management invention. Transforming ideas into economic opportunities is the crux of entrepreneurship. Starting a business is never easy. Many give up as soon as they run into unfamiliar problems. But for those with staying power, the business environment gradually opens up and reveals its secrets.
Once you know how the business system works, what is real and what is false, the business can provide you with returns on your investment that rival some of the highest. Be warned though, running a successful technology company is for truly the adventurous entrepreneurs. These 10 founders prove you don’t have to be technical to start a successful tech company.
1. Pandora: Tim Westergren
One of the richest sources of new business opportunity is an unexpected success. This is what happens when, after a period of tinkering you wake up one day and realize that you have created something that will be of huge economic value. This is exactly what happened to Tim Westergren, founder of Pandora Internet Radio.
Although lacking a technical background, Westergren, later on, worked as a feature film composer. He had to watch films complete with dialogue and sound effects without music. He was required to determine the best musical fit for the film and recommend it to the film’s director.
Having listened to many CD’s, he built a “musicological profile” that suited the director’s preferences. He then realized that he understood their preferences and taste.
It was at this point that he soon thought that this could be a good business idea that required to be implemented. He went on to create an entire taxonomy of musical attributes that could be codified into a technological system. He together with Jon Kraft later on secured a funding for the now what they called the Music Genome Project.
A project that was thought up by Pandora’s co-founder Westergren. It identified various characteristics of music in order for the people to create personalized radio stations with only the music that they liked. In March 2004 Westergren raised $9 Million and went on to make Pandora a reality. In November 2005 they launched their full free service to the public and it was a huge success. He stayed on with the company as the CEO. Pandora is now unbelievably worth $900 million in annual revenue with 81 million users.