Man who discovered oil lived a destitute, poverty-stricken life; inventor of printing press died without a dime in his pocket. Most-widely used operating system Windows was the original work of XEROX, who sold it to Steve Jobs which in turn was stolen by Bill Gates again.
Such examples strike out the belief that pioneering something marvelous is not sufficient to get you to the land of riches. Luck is an equally crucial factor for success.
It will be a folly of you to think that you can achieve success by simply pioneering something. History is full of instances where pioneers never received the rightful name and fame they deserved for their astounding discoveries. While you might have read about a few of them, here are 4 most unique stories of 4 most unfortunate people/companies.
Discovery Stories You Will Never Read Anywhere Else
The biggest source of energy that helps the world move could have certainly brought the world’s riches to its founder. Right?
Wrong! It brought him poverty, debt, living on limited income, and the tag of “crazy man” until he died of prolonged illness.
Meet Edwin Drake, the man who pioneered a revolutionary method for drilling oil from the ground. The principle he followed is still employed by companies drilling for hydrocarbons.
Although a great engineer, he lacked the acumen of being a good businessman and, thereby, never patented his drilling invention.
As a result, he lost all his savings and never made any significant income out of the invention.
Oil might have made many people fabulously rich, but the man who successfully brought it to the surface got nothing more than the oil itself.
Renaissance, the cultural reformation during 14 -16 century, owes its success majorly to printing press and would have not been possible without it.
The most important invention of 2nd millennium worked like a catalyst and made dissemination of knowledge faster as ideas and teachings started getting available as books, papers, and pamphlets.
So, here we have another unique invention that played a historic role and clearly gives an impression that its inventor must have easily made a good fortune out of it.
Wrong once again!
The inventor was Johannes Gutenberg and he was equally unlucky. After inventing the movable printing press, Gutenberg’s partner and prime money lender, Johann Fust, accused him of misusing the funds and eventually sued him over the debt.
Court acted in favor of Fust and gave him complete control over Gutenberg’s workshop. The failed partnership left him effectively bankrupt.
Gutenberg’s Bible, a successful project of printing the Bible with a movable-type, might have saved him. However, a bad businessman that Gutenberg was, he never made sure that the printed books carried his name or date.
His achievements were finally recognized in 1465 by the court, however they didn’t do him much good since he died three years later.
The world’s most popular operating system came from a software that was originally conceived by XEROX.
The concept of GUI using a desktop metaphor was designed from its inception by Xerox. They also designed the first Mouse.
These new evolutions in computers were so disdained by short-sighted Xerox that they invited Steve Jobs to their research centers to take a look because of his popularity. Being a visionary that he was, Jobs used the concept and incorporated it in LISA, an early Macintosh computer.
Bill Gates at this moment – who also understood the value of Xerox’s new software – was trying to find a way “in”, but couldn’t. Hence, Gates took his team to Apple Inc and manipulated Steve Jobs into believing that they needed Microsoft to ensure the success of the upcoming future of computers, so that he could ‘steal’ the OS.
Steadily, Bill Gates cobbled together the Windows OS from the pirated Macintosh software.
When Microsoft released Windows, it took the world by storm. Xerox, the prime inventor here, is barely recognized for the groundbreaking desktop computing technology they gave to the world.
The greatest company in terms of innovation and futuristic technology might owe its credit to Steve Jobs, but the real hero was Woz.
Stephen Gary Wozniak or Woz co-founded Apple Inc with Steve Jobs and he was the one who built the first Apple computer, Apple I single-handedly. You heard it correct! It was Woz, who pioneered the first ever personal computer that revolutionized the industry during the 70s and 80s. However, it was Jobs’ geniuses that helped sell the computers.
Being not very money-or-fame-oriented, Woz simply allowed Jobs to be the face of his very first and marvelous creation. Like we all know, the rest is history.
The man behind the existence of one of world’s biggest tech companies whose net worth is $700 Billion (ballpark figure) barely even has a stake in the company. Or at least, that’s what we get from his current financial records.
When Steve Jobs died, his net worth was $11 Billion. Wozniak’s today’s net worth is a decent $100 Million.
Currently, Wozniak is keeping busy with speaking at events and seminars.