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The Very, Very Rich and How They Got That Way: The spectacular success stories of 15 men who made it to the very, very top by Max Gunther

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13. Who Says It Can’t Be Done?

There is a recurrent theme in the lives of the very, very rich. You must have noticed it, and will go on noticing it, on our tour through the gallery. Almost every one of these immoderately wealthy men began his career against a background of loud jeers. Whatever he was trying to do, said all the experts with great confidence, couldn’t be done.

Edwin Land was assured that it was perfectly ridiculous to think of making a camera that would develop its own pictures. James Ling’s nutty idea that he could sell his little contracting company’s stock to the public gave rise to guffaws all over Texas. Hollywood laughed uproariously at Howard Hughes’s foolish investments in movies. And on and on it goes.

Evidently it ...

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