Amazing Founders’ Stories: Instagram and Airbnb

Posted on July 16, 2017 by Dr. Lynda

“There is no worldly loss without some gain.”

– Francis Quarles.

That simple quote could be a game-changer. It challenges us to find new possibilities in every episode of adversity: find the gain in every loss.

What if we had the insight to notice that just when we think we are on the “down escalator”, we might actually be able to ride disappointment “up”?

Image: the numerous escalators - up and down - in Loyd's of London
Source: phogel // Wikimedia

What if we could immediately see that every disappointment brings with it an equivalent opportunity?

Today’s new web-find will be a gold mine for many, from both an entertainment and an inspiration standpoint. Have you heard of a new podcast called “How I Built This”, with host Guy Raz?

Now, this is a place on the web that drips of insights for us all.

Guy Raz is interviewing the founders of many of the most famous, successful brands in the world and guess what? 99% of those people start out just like you and I. They are ordinary people with an idea they just would not give up on. And their stories are often nothing less than mind-bending.

Finding the Gain in Every Loss

We’ll point you to the back stories of two brands today – Airbnb and Instagram; two global powerhouses that most of us will be familiar with, but completely in the dark about the journeys of their founders.

First up, here’s the fascinating back story of Instagram. Get a favorite beverage and curl up with this one:

Great story there, huh?

Did you notice that Instagram wasn’t really about photos in the beginning? That kind of concept evolution can be found in story after story in the interviews on How I Built This, often with things turning on remarkable twists of fate.

Most of the big brands of the last few decades – Lyft, Patagonia, 5-Hour Energy Drink, Zumba, Sam Adams Beer, Whole Foods, etc. –   did not start anywhere near the point where they ended up. And every founder’s story is a roller coaster ride of crushing disappointments, enormous leaps of faith, and lucky breaks.

I’ve taken many “notes to self” as I’ve listened to all these interviews, so get ready for a boost in transformative thinking!

All are entertaining and most have some pearls we can use every day ourselves.

Next up, enjoy the remarkable journey of Airbnb:

Now that you’ve taken a couple journeys with Guy Raz, make a point to get through the rest of these inspiring tales.

At first, I skipped around, listening only to the interviews with founders who interested me, but eventually, I just trusted the process and took them in order. I was never disappointed. Every interview was a celebration of perseverance and human ingenuity.

Thanks for stopping by Ever Widening Circles (EWC) today. It’s a delight to bring something to light every day that proves it’s still an amazing world (our motto). Every founder’s story on How I Built This proves that thesis in spades.

Stay open, curious and hopeful!

~ Dr. Lynda

Want to stay on a roll with thought-leaders?

Scroll down this page to find a few more articles I highly recommend. Or head over to our category of articles featuring innovations that leave the door on possibility way open.

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