Nelson Mandela, Coco Chanel, Henry Ford, Josephine Bakhita, Diane Von Fürstenberg, Akio Morita, Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey, Ray Kroc, Michael Jordan, Thomas Edison, JK Rowling, Aliko Dangote, Hedy Lamarr, Jack Ma, Marie Curie, Ibn al-Haytham, Elon Musk or Albert Einstein.
Have you ever heard of these people? What is the link between a 20th-century black slave and a famous 10th-century scientist? And between a luxury fashion designer in Paris and the richest man in Africa?
Nelson Mandela was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993. Coco Chanel is famous for her haute couture creations, especially since the House of Chanel is "the symbol of French elegance". Henry Ford is the founder of Ford Motors Company. Josephine Bakhita is a former slave turned Saint, becoming a symbol of Hope. Diane Von Fürstenberg is the founder and co-chair of the luxury brand, Diane von Fürstenberg (DVF). Akio Morita is the founder of Sony. Steve Jobs is the founder of Apple. Oprah Winfrey is a world-famous audio-visual star.
Are you a fan of Fast Food? Maybe not! Ray Kroc is the founder of McDonald's. Michael Jordan is the most recognised basketball player in the world. Thomas Edison is the creator of the light bulb. JK Rowling is a world-renowned novelist and screenwriter. Aliko Dangote is a Nigerian businessman and the richest man in Africa. Hedy Lamarr, world film star, she is also the brain behind the wireless transmission.
Jack Ma is the founder of the Chinese giant Alibaba. Marie Curie is an exceptional scientist; she is the first woman to receive the Nobel Prize, to date the only woman to have received two. Ibn al-Haytham is the first genuine scientist and inventor of the first camera obscura. Elon Musk is the founder of Tesla and SpaceX. Albert Einstein is the most outstanding scientist of our era.
Given their differences, it is funny to imagine these people have a common bond. We are talking about a Nobel Peace Prize laureate and a basketball player; a 19th-century scientist and a 21st-century fast food lover. I know that iPhones have wireless transmissions, but what is the bond between Steve Jobs and Hedy Lamarr?
They all experienced failures before success. It reminds me of this Japanese proverb: “Nana korobi, ya oki” (Fall down seven times, stand up eight). Arriving at his destination does not define a man. It is the journey that defines him. The greatest successes had the most significant failures for success is not the absence of failure; instead, failure builds success. Hop into the car let us journey together.
Why this journey…
My name is Efuet And. Atem, I am an engineer. I graduated from Polytechnic and ISMANS. After my studies in 2015, I decided to create an innovative company: World like Home. Immediately we created World like Home; we went bankrupt. We had our first failure. First and foremost, this book is for me. It is the best way to have an intimate reflection and introspection. It is also a source of true healing. "Many people dream of success. To me, success can be achieved only through repeated failures and introspection. Success represents 1 per cent of your work which results only from the 99 per cent that is called failure." Soichiro Honda. For this journey, I will be your driver.
To the entrepreneurial youth
Secondly, this book is for young entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs in the making. It would be a shame to repeat the mistakes we made. Prevention is better than cure, they say. It is necessary to change our mentality on failure. It is a unique opportunity to learn from something that did not work! Learning from our failures will permit you to dodge certain careless — yet tenacious mistakes. And most importantly, you will know how to react and bounce back. Take a seat on board with me.
To our friends and loved ones
Thanks to this book, I hope you will understand why we decided to take this entrepreneurial journey. It might seem crazy to some but remains noble for us. Please come and sit by our side.
To our fans and supporters, the driving force
You deserve an account, a report of how far we have come and the obstacles we must overcome on the road every day. The seat in the middle is for you.
To our investors and future investors
Hopefully, this will help you understand why our resilience has brought us an undeniable benefit. As Edison said, "I didn't fail. I just found 10,000 ways that won't work." These difficulties challenged and inspired us to innovate thereby refining our value proposition.
That is why Silicon Valley celebrates failure. Silicon Valley is well known for its thought-provoking mantra: “fail fast, fail often”. Might be misleading I must say. Failure is a learning experience. “Failure does pave the way to success,” said Nathan Blecharczyk, Airbnb’s co-founder. “I started coding when I was 12. A lot of things I did did not pay off, but it all went into my toolbelt. It takes a massive number of attempts to be successful”. Are you an investor or an aspirant? Make yourself comfortable on board with us.
To those in Hardships
Finally, this book is for you going through trials, those feeling lonely and so on. I would like you to know that your story is not yet over; there is a way out. Believe in your dreams, even if they sometimes seem unachievable. "It always seems impossible, until it is done," said Nelson Mandela. In this book, I hope you will find the secret that will allow you to keep smiling despite the hardships, to see the joy in living. I demonstrate that there is still a positive side to every difficult situation; hence we always have a choice. As Akio Morita said, "Don't be afraid to make a mistake. But make sure you don't make the same mistake twice." Henry Ford puts it in a different way when he said, "Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently".
To those immune to hardships
Those thinking they have the magic immunity to all hardships; it is with great pleasure that I share our daily struggles with you. As Jordan said, "I have missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I have been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that’s why I succeed".