10 Startup Celebrities and What You Can Learn From Their Success

Learning from the top startup celebrities is a sure way to get ahead in business

Zappos logo

Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos online shoe retailer, is considered a startup celebrity by some

There is power in learning from others. Whether you are just starting out or have been in business for years, there is always a tip or new strategy that you can learn from others to help grow your business to new heights. Take advantage of the knowledge of other individuals; learn from their trials and triumphs.

[Related: 10 Tips To Rev Up Your Company In 2016]

The following answers come from members of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses. The question that was asked of these young entrepreneurs: Who is your favorite “startup celebrity” and what’s the number -one lesson they’ve taught you about entrepreneurship?

Here’s what they had to say:

Vinny Antonio, Victory Marketing Agency
Tony Hsieh of Zappos
“Tony preaches ‘causing collisions.’ Get your people to mesh well and enjoy spending time together. Millennials are changing the way we need to attract and retain the best talent, and all of them want a good culture fit.”

Firas Kittaneh, AstraBeds
Richard Branson of Virgin Group
“Branson teaches us all to follow our passions, even in spite of our lack of experience or expertise. He has built a conglomerate made up of unrelated businesses, simply because he wanted to. Impressively, he has turned a number of them into wild success stories.”

Brittany Hodak, ZinePak
Jason Fried of Basecamp
“Favorite lesson from Jason is to not be afraid to rethink a problem to find a new solution. If something has been done the same way for a long time, chances are it needs to be redesigned.”

Josh Weiss, Bluegala
Kevin O’Leary of Shark Tank
“While Kevin O’Leary of Shark Tank may appear to be ruthless at times, from watching him on Shark Tank I’ve learned that there’s a potential opportunity in every deal at the right price.”

Doreen Bloch, Poshly Inc.
Mark Cuban of the Dallas Mavericks
“He is always sharing insight about how putting in effort can be one of the biggest determinants of success, and that his only regrets are the times when he was “outworked” by someone else. The big takeaway is that each of us controls our own effort to achieve our goals.”

Kenny Nguyen, Big Fish Presentations
Alexis Ohanian of Reddit
“Alexis Ohanian taught us the power of embracing and creating communities through the web. While you may never be able to meet your fans face-to-face, creating a platform for your users to engage, laugh, and educate each other is a great way to create meaning in their lives.”

Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance
Marcus Lemonis of Camping World
” He takes startups and other small businesses from struggling to successful with a proven and stellar strategy. He taught me that making tough business decisions are a part of life for an entrepreneur.”

Vladimir Gendelman, Company Folders, Inc.
Steve Wozniak of Apple
” He taught me that you should create things for the love of creating them. People will always desire things created by passion, and that’s what I experience with our presentation folders. People love our products because we’re passionate about creating them.”

Logan Lenz, Endagon
Derek Sivers of CD Baby
“Not only does he have a model entrepreneurial startup story of “see problem/fix problem,” but all his work on the venture stemmed from his passion. His hard work eventually led to a very financially rewarding acquisition for him. Instead of taking the money and retiring, he set up a trust and donated most of it to charity.”

Lawrence Watkins, Great Black Speakers
Peter Thiel of PayPal
” His premise is that there are two different types of progress: horizontal (globalization) and vertical (technology). I’ve realized that I’ve been focusing a bunch of time on the horizontal, but not investing in things that can make the world better by leaps and bounds.”