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What’s Hot & Cool? #24: Rebounding & Reinventing

Make your comeback better than the original.

What’s happening? Startups boom astronomically from seemingly nowhere, but as they say, “the brightest stars burn out the fastest.” When speed-bumps appear in the ascent to success, the startups with lasting power are adapting quickly and decisively, reinventing their missions and products to stay in the game.

Why should you care? With the new Digital Democracy, innovation is anyone’s game. However, with this opportunity comes increased competition, governmental blockades, and other challenges that quickly dampen the upward trajectory of fledgling businesses. Cautionary tales, like Uber’s, prove just how quickly public opinion can sway (though a team of women are expected to make strides in improving Uber’s image!). For your business to outlast the rest, it must be able to rebound from challenges.

Who’s leading? Anne Wojcicki, CEO of 23andMe, found her company quickly losing its edge. After amassing initial investments of $126 million, the business, which focused on accessible genetic testing, hit a roadblock in 2013. The FDA forced 23andMe to critically limit the scope of their testing due to the grey area between diagnosing users and merely assessing their risk of disease. With competitors, like Ancestry, 23andMe could have easily burned out. However, Wojcicki managed to raise another $115 million in 2015. She maintained her business’s value by limiting the number of tests (to fall within FDA guidelines) while using opt-in patient data to create large databases of genetic risk factors for common ailments. 23andMe came back from crippling government intervention and found its second wind.

What can you do? Expect big challenges. It takes passion and vision to grow a company, but even more than that, it takes persistence. Whether in entrepreneurship, your career, or your personal life, you must be able to adapt and recover from the unexpected. For inspiration on overcoming some common entrepreneurship challenges, check out this article!

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