Millionaires are made in recessions

Millionaires are made in recessions

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Go green and win

Environmentally friendly products are on the rise. Take a look at the evolution of organic food global sales (source). 


Whole Foods, the market leader in this segment was acquired by Amazon for $13B, has a yearly revenue is $17B and over 500 locations across the US.

But this 'green approach' can be applied beyond food products, as we have seen in previous case studies, many starters have created very successful products while trying to leave the smallest possible footprint:

This week we feature Drake's Organic Spirits, the largest organic alcohol company in the United States. Media appearances, events sponsorships, pricing,... this team mastered the playbook of launching a brand.

Our take:

All new brands creating products right now, should considerate should consider working with organically sourced products. It's obvious that this is something that customers value and pay attention to; to turn your back on it is to go against the tide.

Some numbers for you:

Ditch two wheels

Gas prices are at an all-time high so are the CO2 emissions.

On the other hand, cities are becoming more and more crowded with people riding bicycles and scooters. It is clear that the transportation industry is undergoing a transformation. The e-bike market was valued at $26.73 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach $53.53 billion by 2027.

Observing this trend, along with his experience in the industry, was what encouraged Alan to create his e-bike brand. Clearly, he was right because they have generated over $3.3M in sales in less than a year.

This success is not a coincidence, as other projects in the same space have also experienced rapid growth:

Our take:

Cities are changing, more people work from home now and order their groceries, so the need of owning a car is decreasing. And the rise of e-vehicles reaffirms that there is a growing consumer trend that demands more environmentally sensitive products. And that includes mobility solutions.

Joining this wave means sailing with a tailwind. Its demand is only going to increase.

Some numbers for you:

  • $3M -> in sales for Alan's company
  • $80K -> Alan spent to develop a prototype
  • 1 -> solo founder started this business with 50% of the team remote and outsourced

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Millionaires are made in recessions

Almost 2 years after lockdowns and home confinement all around the world due to the COVID-19 epidemic, we are now starting to see the results of those who decided to use that time to start a new business.


Like Dayana, who started a $180K/year online greeting cards company that far from being a 'pandemic product' it's still growing.

These are other businesses that are thriving despite having started at such a hard time:

Our take:

Companies like WhatsApp, Dropbox, Uber, and Groupon were all started during the 2008 recession.

Now is a great time to start a business. The biggest companies of the future are being started now. If you can make it through these tough times, when it gets better it'll be a piece of cake for you.

Some numbers for you:

  • 4.4M → new business applications in 2020 (US), +25% from 2019
  • 350+ → COVID stories to explore
  • $100 → Dayana's Google Ads budget

Military entrepreneurs

Strategizing, problem-solving and mentoring, life in the military and running a company can have a lot in common. That's probably the reason why more than 2.5 million veterans have started their own businesses.

A great example of this is Pat, a former US Navy Officer who owns a $6M/year big data company. Leveraging his knowledge of how government contracts work has given him a great competitive advantage.


In the past, we've featured veterans who successfully started a wide variety of businesses:

Our take:

Do you play sports? Do you volunteer at a charity? Did you use to tutor children after school? Although at first glance they may not seem to have anything in common, all these experiences can make you a better entrepreneur.

These activities will help you develop skills (leadership, team management, budget administration, organization of activities, motivation) that can be very useful when applied to business management.

Some numbers for you:

  • 9% -> of all United States businesses are owned by veterans
  • $100M -> GoDaddy's IPO, founded by a Marine Corps veteran
  • 14 -> months Pat spent working in Iraq

Thanks for reading!

--- Pat Walls, David Bustos & the rest of the Starter Story team :)

Pat Walls,  Founder of Starter Story

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