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5 Times Failure Became Success

One of the motivational clichés you are likely to hear at motivational seminars is that the Chinese word for crisis is composed of two characters. One means ‘danger’ and the other ‘opportunity’. This is used to illustrate that we have opportunities to progress even in tough times.

For some people and companies, success came from the weirdest place. These are usually people with a whole different idea about what they wanted to do with their lives and projects, but they found themselves in unexpected situations that they took advantage of. Some products were envisioned as something else entirely, but from the ashes of those dreams came widely used items. Here are five times success was anything but expected.

Honest Abe

That’s right – one of the greatest US presidents had a life full of failures. He was working on his political career for almost thirty years. During that time, he lost several nominations for Senate and Congress, a business, and, almost, his mental health. However, he never gave up and was elected president in 1860.

The story of Lincoln’s ascension is an inspirational one because he remained a person of integrity until the end of his days. Not giving up and doing more than he signed up for is why he is on this list.

Pace Yourself

This medical gadget allows people with heart conditions to have relatively normal lives. It was originally intended as a heart rate monitor, but the creator, Wilson Greatbatch, accidentally grabbed a wrong resistor while putting the device together. When the device started, he noticed that it was pulsing similarly to a human heart.

Previous pacemakers were clunky outside devices that would frequently burn their patients due to incorrect voltage. With this invention, heart patients all over the world can take a stroll outside, a little more confident in their capacities.

Accidentally Yummy

Chocolate chip cookies are also a great story about how failure became a success. Ruth Graves Wakefield was baking cookies back in 1930, when, all of a sudden, she realized she didn’t have the proper baker’s chocolate to complete her Butter Drop Do cookies. Out of sheer desperation and creativity, she used Nestle chocolate instead, figuring it would melt in the oven. Surprisingly, though, the chocolate melted just a little, giving the cookies a creamy texture.

The House of Mouse

You wouldn’t think so, but Disney had a lot of problems in the past. The name that is today synonymous with magic and happiness on screen had several failed projects. Walt Disney almost lost his animation company due to numerous financial setbacks. He even lost then-popular Oswald, the Lucky Rabbit.

With several million dollars in debt, the company released ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarves’. It was an act of desperation, but a very lucrative one. It was the first full-length feature that was hand-drawn. Now Disney owns several companies, including Lucasfilm, Marvel Studios, the ABC and more.

If Only It Didn’t Update So Often

Bill Gates and Paul Allen tried making a computer-oriented business called Traf-O-Data. Its purpose was to read the reports in traffic counters. It wasn’t as successful as they were hoping it would be, but there was an unexpected benefit from this business venture – Gates and Allen figured out how to write software for computers they couldn’t reach. Microsoft was born.