Where does success come from?

Where does success come from?

Sophie Nguyen

“with the right mindset, you can turn a disadvantage into an advantage”

Despite the fact that most startups fail, entrepreneurship is on the rise due to motivation from the success story of startups such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Uber. These stories tell you about dreams, patient and hard work. Your dream is the pure motivation for your startups. You want to live a luxurious life, you want to help other people, you want to be famous, etc. your dream could be anything. And these create your goals. And then you start working very hard for it. But, are a dream and hard-working enough to lead your startup to success?

Even Spiegel, the founder of Snapchat, said: “It is not about working harder, it is about working the system”. In other words, not only do you work hard, but you also need to work smart.

According to Hasan Kubba – a specialist in technology startups, growth marketing, and fundraising- the way to work smart depends on our mindset, which is related to our unfair advantages. Unfair advantages are something that gives you competitive of hand – a head start on the race. It is not only about your strengths over others, but it is also about your circumstances. Kubba argued that there are five factors of unfair advantages in business. 


Donald Trump is a great example of money unfair advantage. He claimed, “ My father gave me a very small loan in 1975, and I built it into a company that’s worth many, many billions of dollars”. The ‘small loan’ that Trump mentioned was $1 million US dollars. Can you imagine how much $1M in 1975 worth today?

Intelligence and insight

Intelligence and insight are other unfair advantages. Obviously that intelligence would help you in this game. Because by intelligence, you are able to learn faster, adapt faster, creative and be innovative. On the other hand, insight refers to intrinsic advantages. For example, Sara Blakely became a billionaire with SPANX – a company producing underwear for women because she is a woman and she understands the need for women.

Location and luck

It is about being the right place at the right time. Facebook is a typical example. Mark Zuckerberg started Facebook in Harvard and it was exclusive to Harvard – a top university in the world. It was really cool to be on Facebook. Thus, it made people crazy about it. And then it was open through Ivy Leagues and then to the public. Moreover, Mark found it at the right time, when the phone starts to have the camera when there is not much communication channel for students out there. These are key factors that make Facebook succeed.

Education and expertise

Larry Page and Sergey Brin – founders of Google- are great examples of education and expertise. Google was their dissertation in PhD at Stanford University as a part of their computer science course. They make a research on how to map out the internet. They created a better search engine. And Google was found.


Kylie Jenner is a good example of a status. She has massive socioeconomic status, reputation, fame, etc, which come from her background. She grew up on a famous television reality show about her family. By her status, she attracts millions of people. Even before she starts doing business, she has already had millions of potential customers. Bill Gate is another example when he got a contract with IBM because his mom was the IBM board member.

We all have unfair advantages no matter what is it. You need to have the right mindset. And with the right mindset, you can turn a disadvantage into an advantage. Look at Jack Ma and Alibaba. Despite lacking education, intelligence, and expertise, Jack Ma learn about the Internet and Ecommcer by himself. He worked hard at other jobs and save money for his dream. He created his own advantages and you can do the same things. 

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