At the end of August 2021, there were 20 unicorns in Brazil. Which are the entrepreneurs behind these Brazilian startups? For inspiring local entrepreneurs, Florian Bartunek, Pierre Moreau, and Ariane Abdallah wrote Fora da Curva 3: unicórnios e start-ups de sucesso (Out of the Curve 3: successful unicorns and start-ups). The book features first-person testimonials from 12 Brazilians, such as the creators of companies such as Ebanx, Vtex, QuintoAndar, 99, and Movile (owner of Ifood).
Young Brazilians want to become entrepreneurs
In Brazil, there is a generational change. According to a survey published by EY in partnership with Junior Achievement, an organization that prepares young people to become entrepreneurs, more than half of people born between 1997 and 2007 expect to open their own business in the next decade.
These young people are interested in the stories of entrepreneurs who are closer to their age and who have gone through situations they wish to live. The desire to encourage entrepreneurs is so great that all of our income from the publication is being donated to Fundação Estudar, created 20 years ago by Jorge Paulo Lemann. The organization supports and encourages education through scholarships.
Fortunately, this project we are dedicated to will reach even more people in the coming months. In addition to being a book, Fora da Curva 3 is now also a podcast season. Attitude Empreendedora, created by our co-organizer Ariane, launched a special series with interviews in audio format, which will help the stories inspire even more people – in this case, listeners.
Some interviews were re-recorded, but most of the episodes feature excerpts from the backstage conversations that gave rise to the testimonies in the book. Listening to entrepreneurs again, we get the feeling that, despite such different profiles, there is a lot in common between the people who created successful companies. We have compiled some of the lessons below.
Enjoy what you do and fall in love with the problem
The testimonies of Fora da Curva 3 remind us that working can be a pleasure. Entrepreneurs are passionate about their businesses and their areas of expertise. They do what they like or are so committed to the problem that they have decided to make their career their cause. No matter how many difficulties they encounter along the way, they have a clear purpose and tend to carry out their work regardless of the context. Anderson Ferminiano, for example, says that since he got his first job as a programmer, his day-to-day work was confused with what he did to have fun at home. “It’s a lifestyle I try to keep to this day, do what I enjoy. I feel as happy working as I am playing video games,” he says. Duda Falcão, from the education group Eleva, says her main objective goes far beyond financial success: “I built a dream, a passion, a long-term group.”
The focus and obsession are so present that many of the characters in Out of the Curve don’t have a plan B if the deal doesn’t work out – it’s all or nothing. They don’t share their attention with side activities or opportunities that might seem more tempting than their endeavors. Thus, they avoid distractions and do their best (and sometimes the impossible) to accomplish what they envision. André Penha, the founder of the QuintoAndar real estate rental and sale platform, had his idea rejected by an investor in one of his first presentations about the business when he was still a student at Stanford. The rationale: he wouldn’t put money into the business because he thought entrepreneurs would accept the first salary offer that appeared after the MBA.
At that moment, André and his partner agreed: it would be all or nothing, regardless of the possibility of being hired by someone who paid the course debt. “My student debt in the US was $200,000. But we were betting on the deal. So we made the decision not to respond to any offer that appeared on LinkedIn. If there’s something you want to do in life, don’t have a plan B, because the temptation to take the alternative on difficult days is enormous”, he says.
Fora da Curva 3 is available on Amazon in digital and paper format. It would be interesting to find similar projects in Latin America in near future to inspire young leaders.
Read also: The year of the Brazilian unicorns