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Ghosts of Entrepreneurs Past and How They Influence Today’s Entrepreneurs

October 16, 2017

Many of today’s entrepreneurs are understandably inspired by successful innovators before them. Predecessors from various professional fields are credited with paving the way for thousands of aspiring and rising entrepreneurs. We’ll explore some of the world’s most legendary entrepreneurs and how they continue to inspire us today.

Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs is one of the most recognizable names of the 21st century. Jobs was the co-founder, CEO, and chairman of Apple Inc.; CEO and majority shareholder of Pixar; member of the Walt Disney Company’s board of directors; and CEO, founder and chairman or NeXT, a computer and software company. Needless to say, he had an extremely impressive resume, one that many strive to achieve today.

Apple, the company he was most famously attached to, is known for its innovative updates and yearly new releases. Since Jobs’ death in 2011, Tim Cook, Apple’s current CEO, has kept the tradition of developing and upholding Apple’s core values. During the most recent Apple event, Cook paid homage to Jobs during an emotional visual presentation of Jobs’ philosophy of “expression of appreciation of humanity”, inspiration for the next generation of innovators, and the 10th anniversary release of the first iPhone in the newly-built Steve Jobs Theatre.

Marie Curie

Marie Curie was a renowned physicist, chemist, and mother of radioactivity research. Curie was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, and the first person and only woman to win twice. Her groundbreaking work has established Curie as an inspiration for women and men in the STEM field for over a hundred years.

Curie developed the theory and coined the term of radioactivity, developed a technique for isolating radioactive isotopes, and discovered the elements polonium and radium. She also directed the world's first studies of the treatment of neoplasms using radioactive isotopes, and founded the Curie Institutes in Warsaw and Paris.

Walt Disney

Walt Disney, the legendary pioneer of film animation and creator of an iconic brand, is one of America’s most recognized entrepreneurs. Disney inspired generations of people with cutting-edge film technology and delightful concepts that enchanted audiences worldwide.

Disney’s perseverance to create enjoyable films, followed by an amusement park, and ultimately a massive corporation, established The Walt Disney Company as a top international company. Over 50 years after Disney’s death, his company’s films still have the clout to pull in audiences of all ages - domestically and internationally.

Thomas Edison

Thomas Edison, serial inventor and businessman, earned himself the title of, "The Wizard of Menlo Park," because of his poignant inventions created in Menlo Park, New Jersey. His creations that helped develop the modern world include the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and the long-lasting light bulb - and those are just the highlights.

Most of Edison’s work came from research in his industrial park, which employed other researchers and inventors. From these developments, he held over 1,000 U.S. patents, and many of these patents made significant impacts on the film, electricity, and mass communication industries. Without the amount of inventions and unrelenting spirit of modernization, our technology likely would not have progressed as quickly as it did.

Aside from being household names, each of these entrepreneurs have another detail in common: unrelenting perseverance in the face of adversity. Take a page out each of their respective books and keep moving forward and don’t let minor setbacks or failures stop you from realizing your goals!



Sarah Temple, Communications, Drexel University's Close School of Entrepreneurship