friday reflections

Persistence Pays Part 1

Point to Ponder:

But there is suffering in life, and there are defeats. No one can avoid them. But it’s better to lose some of the battles in the struggles for your dreams than to be defeated without ever knowing what you are fighting for.     -Paulo Coelho

Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.      -Churchill

Story Line: Persistence Pays Part 1.

He was born in 1895 in a small town in Illinois. He dropped out of University of Illinois and later joined Army. There he learnt the importance of a well disciplined organization. After completion of his army duty, in 1921, he followed his lifelong dream of starting a business. He founded a storage battery manufacturing company in Marshfield, Wisconsin. Two years later, his business folded because of the disadvantages related to the choice of location.

He returned to Illinois and took a job. But three years later, with his old partner from the first venture, he again started battery manufacturing company in a much better location in Chicago. Just when the business started taking off, a defect was discovered in his product. The problem could not be solved quickly and the customers went to his competitors. The creditors took over the company. Once again, his dreams of building a business were shattered.

But he did not give up. The creditors had arranged to auction off battery eliminator portion of his bankrupt business to recover their losses. He knew the potential of battery eliminator, a device that allowed the radio to draw electricity from the electrical outlet. He borrowed money from friends and went to the auction; his bid was the highest. Once again he became the owner of a business.

In September of 1928, Galvin Manufacturing Corporation was born. By middle of 1929, his business was booming. One would say, “Finally! What a wonderful story?”  Well, it would have been if it had not been for Black Friday, September 29, 1929, the day of huge crash in the stock market. The demand for his product dropped significantly and the winds of bankruptcy started blowing.

But as Paulo Coelho says in The Alchemist, “When you really want something to happen, the whole universe conspires so that your wish comes true.” One of Galvin’s suppliers directed him to an opportunity in car radio business. (Suppliers are excellent source of benchmarking and market intelligence information. And if one is willing to listen, one can learn a lot from suppliers without incurring much expense). With that lead, in 1930, he introduced the car radio which received a good reception in the market. He named his product MOTOROLA. (implying motion and radio)

Reflection: Of course, Paul Galvin’s story and struggles did not end there. But through passion and persistence, he conquered many more challenges and built Motorola into a giant corporation before his death in 1959.

The lessons from Paul Galvin’s life applies to any one pursuing their dream/vision; whether it be product/technology development or quality improvement or whatever subject you are passionate about.

Success, indeed, is built upon a series of failures. Believe in the strength of your dream/vision, stay on course and keep marching in the direction of your vision. You will ultimately enjoy the fruits of your passion and persistence.

Next Week: Persistence Pays Part 2.  The story of SUN.   Week After: Part 3: Sports Stories.




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