The Most Inspiring Famous Failures

Written by Ruben Garcia —  December 19, 2013

Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently Henry Ford

Each star has a history, and in fact, the biggest names in History wouldn’t have been that big if they wouldn’t have learnt from their mistakes and so, from their failures. Let me show you some of the most inspiring cases of failure the world has ever heard from the most famous, mediatic, creative, intelligent and inspiring people on Earth.

Henry Ford


Ford’s first two automobile companies failed. That did not stop him from incorporating Ford Motor Company and being the first to apply assembly line manufacturing to the production of affordable automobiles in the world. He not only revolutionized the industrial production in the United States and Europe, but also had such influence over the 20th century economy and society. His combination of mass production, high wages and low prices to consumers has initiated a management school known as “Fordism”. He became one of the three most famous and richest men in the world during his time.

Albert Einstein

Imagination is more important than knowlegde Albert Einstein

When Einstein was young his parents thought he was mentally retarded. His grades in school were so poor that a teacher asked him to quit, saying, “Einstein, you will never amount to anything!” Also he didn’t speak until he turned 4 and didn’t read until he was 7.

We know him as the theoretical physicist widely regarded as the most important scientist of the 20th century. He was awarded the 1921 Nobel Prize for Physics for his explanation of the photoelectric effect in 1905 and “for his services to Theoretical Physics”.

Walt Disney

Wathever you do, do it well Walt Disney

Disney started his own business from his home garage and his very first cartoon production went bankrupt. During his first press conference, a newspaper editor ridiculed Walt Disney because he had no good ideas for film production.

Disney was an American film producer, director, screenwriter, voice actor, and animator. One of the most well-known motion picture producers in the world, Disney founded a production company. The corporation, now known as ‘The Walt Disney company’, makes average revenue of US $30 billion annually.

Michael Jordan

The key to success is failure Michael Jordan

Before joining the NBA, Jordan was just an ordinary person, so ordinary that he was cut from his high school basketball team because of his “lack of skill”.

By acclamation, Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player of all time. He is a phenomenal athlete with a unique combination of grace, speed, power, artistry, improvisational ability and an unquenchable competitive desire. Jordan single-handedly redefined the NBA superstar.

“I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game winning shot, and I missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

Ludwig van Beethoven

don't only practice your art, but force your way into its secrets Beethoven

Before the start of his career, Beethoven’s music teacher once said of him “as a composer, he is hopeless.” And during his career, he lost his hearing and yet, he managed to produce great music – a deaf man composing music, ironic isn’t it!

German composer of classical music, is widely regarded as one of history’s supreme composers. His reputation has inspired – and in many cases intimidated – composers, musicians, and audiences who were to come after him.

J. K. Rowling

anything is possible if you've got enough nerve j k rowling

At one point in her life, Rowling was nearly penniless, depressed, divorced and had to raise her child on her own. While writing the manuscript of Harry Potter, she was on welfare. Adding to that, 12 publishers rejected the manuscript.

She created Harry Potter, a global brand estimated to be worth $15 billion today.

Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln's famous failures

Steve Jobs

the ones who are crazy enough to think they can change the world steve jobs

At 30-years-old he was left devastated and depressed after being unceremoniously removed from the company he started, Apple, after a power struggle with the board of directors in 1985. Later, he acquired the computer graphics division of Lucasfilm, which allowed him to regain the funds needed to regain control of Apple.

An American entrepreneur and inventor, he is best known as the co-founder, chairman, and CEO of Apple Inc. Through Apple, he was widely recognized as a charismatic pioneer of the personal computer revolution and for his influential career in the computer and consumer electronics fields, transforming “one industry after another, from computers and smartphones to music and movies… .” Jobs also co-founded and served as chief executive of Pixar Animation Studios; he became a member of the board of directors of The Walt Disney Company in 2006, when Disney acquired Pixar.

Isaac Newton

To every action there is always an equal and opposite reaction isaac newtonMany thought that Isaac was born a genius, but he wasn’t! When he was young, he did very poorly in grade school, so poor that his teachers gave up on improving his grades.

The greatest English mathematician of his generation, his work on optics and gravitation made him one of the greatest scientists the world has ever known.

Marilyn Monroe

fear is stupid. so are regrets marilyn monroe

In 1947, one year into her contract, Marilyn Monroe was dropped by 20th Century-Fox because her producer thought she was unattractive and couldn’t act. That didn’t deter her at all! She kept on going and eventually she was recognized by the public as the 20th century’s most famous movie star, sex symbol and pop icon.

Stephen King

any word you have to hunt for in a thesaurus is the wrong eord stephen king

His first book, Carrie was rejected 30 times. He proceeded to throw it in the trash.

It was his wife who retrieved it from the trash and encouraged him to try again. He’s the king of horror and his books have sold more than 350 million copies worldwide.

Oprah Winfrey

if you want to accomplish the goals of your life, you have to begin with the spirit oprah winfrey

Winfrey was fired from her television reporting job as “she was deemed not suitable for television.”

She became, as some might say, the undisputed queen of television with her talk show, “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” Oprah was viewed as an influential figure who inspired people with positive and uplifting messages. She’s also a billionaire.

Thomas Edison

i haven't failed. i've just found 10000 ways that won't work thomas edison

Edison developed many devices which greatly influenced life in the 20th century. Edison is considered one of the most prolific inventors in history, holding 1,093 U.S patents to his name. When he was a boy his teacher told him he was too stupid to learn anything. When he set out on his own, he tried more than 9,000 experiments before he created the first successful light bulb.

Steven Spielberg

people have forgotten how to tell a story. stories don't have a middle or an end any more steven spielberg

As an American film director, he has won 3 Academy Awards and ranks among the most successful filmmakers in history. Most of all, Steven was recognized as the financially most successful motion picture director of all time. During his childhood, Spielberg dropped out of junior high school. He was persuaded to come back and was placed in a learning-disabled class. He only lasted a month and then dropped out of school forever.

if you've never failed you've never tried anything new


To the composing of this post, I’ve been inspired in some references appeared in and

Ruben Garcia

Ruben Garcia

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Since young, I've always had lots of imagination, and management skills. now is time to set that up. Potential Biomedical Engineer graduated in UPC, Barcelona.