Solo Founder Success Stories

by Lisarna Wynyard

One of the biggest obstacles to being a solo founder is the bad reputation that comes along with it. It is often said that going it alone is too difficult. That the failure rate is too high. It’s true, starting a business is hard work. However, there are absolutely no guarantees for startups of any sort in terms of success.  

With the looming possibility of failure hanging over them, it is easy for solo founders to become discouraged, and give up on their startup altogether. It’s true, being a solo founder may not be the easiest way to start a business. 

However, “difficult” and “impossible” are two very different things. Despite the stigma, worry, and the almost preconceived notion of failure associated with being a solo founder; success does happen. 

I wouldn’t trade my experiences as a solo founder for anything. The trials and tribulations, ups and downs, setbacks and successes have shaped my company and myself as a professional. I wouldn’t trade the value of these experiences.

I imagine that the following individuals wouldn’t trade theirs either.

Jeff Bezos, Amazon

Bezos, who founded Amazon in 1994, had a net worth of $91 billion in 2017.  What started as essentially a book sale in his garage has turned into the ecommerce powerhouse known as Amazon. Once a twinkle in the eye of a brave solo founder, the company is synonymous with online retails and is now worth almost twice as much as Walmart.

Markus Frind, Plenty of Fish

Founded in 2003, Plenty of Fish is a popular online dating service and another stunning example of a successful, solo founded business.  Frind, the founder, ran the business full-time and completely independent of help for four years.  When Frind decided it was time to sell the business, he acquired $575 million for it from Match.com.  

That’s a pretty sizeable success, in my opinion.

Laura Fitton, Oneforty

The former “Queen of Twitter,” Laura Fitton launched OneForty.com, a hub for the best apps and extensions for twitter. Along the way, she also authored “Twitter for Dummies,” and sold oneforty.com to Hubpost where she currently resides as an inbound marketing specialist.

One of the first to recognize the power of social media marketing, Laura has made it look easy.

Solo Founders: Is It Worth The Risk?

If you ask me, the answer is “yes!” But then, I may be biased. “Risk” is a tricky question. On one hand, risk should always be assessed in terms of return on investment. If a solo founder begins to find that their start up is not returning a profit, no matter what tactics are utilized, then it may be time to close the doors.  

However, what would the world of online retail look like if Amazon had decided that selling books online wasn’t going anywhere? 

Taking the risk of jumping into a solo founded company has absolutely been worth it for me. When I founded Micromanager, I knew I was taking a risk. For far too long I had taken baby steps. Once I made the leap, I wished I had found the courage to take the risk earlier. 

Today, Micromanager is a successful GPS tracking app that is helping our customers turn their time into money. As the number of people using it continues to grow, I can proudly proclaim that yes, being a solo founder is absolutely worth every risk.

Lisarna :-) 

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