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Lessons in Life and Success from the Technology Giants – from Twitter to Tumblr

So, you want to be the next Mark Zuckerberg? Are all of your best ideas scrawled on a post-it, going nowhere? All you need is a little self-belief and a lot of hard work. Even the most successful technology entrepreneurs have experienced moments of creative block, but it’s how you deal with these moments of doubt which makes the difference between success and failure.

Be curious

Challenge norms and question everything. To innovate, you need to be curious about the world you live in and query existing processes. Apple co-founder and veritable tech titan Steve Jobs believed in this ethos in a big way, ‘I’m a big believer in boredom (…) boredom allows one to indulge in curiosity and out of curiosity comes everything.’

Steve Jobs

Find patterns

Read the news, keep up-to-date with changes in industries which influence you. Subscribe to a few blogs which inspire you, follow the Twitter accounts of industry experts and generally increase your exposure to new developments and innovations. Also keeping a journal or notebook to document your ideas can help you make connections when brainstorming later. These practices will put you in the best possible position to have your own eureka moment.


Although true innovation does start with a spark of inspiration, getting to the end result requires a lot more than just a great idea. You need real belief, hard work and focus to ensure you stay on track in the face of criticism. Great successes in the digital world may appear to have come out of nowhere, but in reality they have been years, and even decades, in the making. Biz Stone, co-founder of Twitter endorses this outlook: ‘timing, perseverance and ten years of trying will eventually make you look like an overnight success.’

Don’t be afraid to take risks

Mark Zuckerberg

One of the over-riding mottos of Facebook is ‘move fast and break things’ – which CEO Mark Zuckerberg has explained as not being afraid to take risks and retaining the ability to react to changes in the market rapidly. This is an important ethos for the individual too, don’t be afraid to fail as if you don’t try, you’ll never know. But also don’t be too single-minded in your vision as you will probably have to make changes to your idea as it evolves. This is a natural progression and something which should be welcomed as it streamlines your innovation and makes it more desirable to whatever market you are targeting.

Be open to new possibilities

Your idea may not develop in the way you expected, but don’t get in your own way when it comes to unexpected opportunities. Even well-established innovators sometimes get knocked for six by seismic shifts in their industries. Yahoo’s one billion dollar acquisition of Tumblr shocked the world earlier this year, and even founder David Karp was taken by surprise by how quickly the transition occurred: ‘I was not expecting to sell the company this year […] This was a really, really remarkable opportunity to shortcut a lot of the very hard things that we’re about to be going though.’

So, if you stay open to change, take risks and remain curious about the world and the way it works – your world-beating idea might be just around the corner.

Jennifer is a self-confessed tech junkie, who loves to write about the latest technology releases on behalf of QMS, who supply businesses of all sizes with ISO 9001 certification helping to drive down costs and increase productivity.

{ 1 comment… add one }
  • Amber

    June 18, 2013, 6:15 pm

    Great article! Persistence is the key to success, I believe. Excellent quotes from all those tech giants!


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