The Aha Moments – How Entrepreneurs Realized What To Do In Life

Before any entrepreneur became successful there was a time they did not know what to do. And then the aha moment happened. How?

The Aha Moments Of Entrepreneurs

About 2200 years ago Archimedes stepped into his bath and exclaimed, “Eureka!”
It means “I found it.” At that moment Archimedes found a solution to a problem he had been pondering for a long time.

It was a moment of sudden discovery. The eureka effect. A moment of deep insight. It’s an epiphany which translates as “striking appearance.” In that moment a previously unsolvable problem becomes suddenly clear and obvious.

Before The Aha Moment

Life can be divided into two periods. Before you know why you are alive and after. In between there is just a single moment – the Aha! moment. One brainwave that turns a person into a person on a mission.

Here we show the moments that turned famous people onto their missions. Even though for them it was a process to get to that moment, there was a catalyst that one day made them say, “Aha!”

What Makes Us Aha

What brings the Aha moment?

Inconvenience. GoPro founder who struggled to take a picture of himself while surfing.

Limited resources. Ikea founder could not fit a table in his small car, so he thought to take off the legs.

Pain and tragedy. Samuel Morse received a letter about his wife’s illness after she was already buried. Letters took a long time back then. He raced to see her, but it was too late. Grief-stricken, he decided to forever change how people talk to each other and invented the telegraph.

The aha moment comes at different ages. Here are a few examples. Is it ever too late to have the aha moment? Some entrepreneurs had them well into their fifties. Were they thinking it was never too late?

  • Caresse Crosby, inventor of bra – could not fit her bust into a corset
  • Steve Jobs, Apple founder – wanted a computer interface as pretty as the calligraphy on his college campus posters
  • Bill Gates, Microsoft founder – realized he needed to sell his product before he made it
  • Ingvar Kampard, Ikea founder – couldn’t fit a table in his car so he took the legs off
  • Brad Pitt, actor – saw that graduating matters less than being an actor (2 weeks before graduation)
  • Ben Silbermann, Pinterest founder – made 50 versions of the same picture grid
  • Nick Woodman, GoPro founder – went surfing and could not take pictures of himself
  • Brian Chesky, Airbnb founder – rented his air mattress and made cash
  • Sara Blakely, Spanx founder – while selling fax machines discovered slimming underwear
  • Samuel Morse, telegraph inventor – found his wife dead because her letter reached him too late
  • Jan Koum, WhatsApp founder – could not afford to call his father in Ukraine
  • Dietrich Mateschitz, RedBull founder – tried a local drink in Thailand to help with jetlag
  • Donald Fisher, Gap founder – could not find a store selling jeans that fit well
  • Chip Wilson, Lululemon founder – noticed many women do yoga, but have no special pants to wear
  • Momofuku Ando, instant noodle inventor – saw people lining up for soup on a cold day

Illustrated by Evelina Yatselenko