Billionaire Naveen Jain Had $5 In His Pocket When He Came To The US Here Are His Secrets To Business Success

Naveen Jain is worth around $8 billion. But it has not always been so.

“The life of an entrepreneur is like a heartbeat. It goes up and down, and up and down, and when it’s smooth, you’re dead. If you ever find yourself living life smoothly, that means you’re living the life of a dead person, and that’s not the life you want,” Jain said. Fortune in a recent interview.

It’s one of the many lessons that Naveen Jain, founder of InfoSpace, Moon Express, and more recently food testing startup Viome, has learned in life.

Born into poverty in India, Jain spent much of his childhood moving from town to town, attending desolate schools lacking basic furnishings like chairs and tables.

But despite having a less than poor primary education, Jain attended the prestigious IIT (also known as India’s MIT), earned his MBA, and landed in the United States for vocational training. He only had $5 to spend.

“Immigrant entrepreneurs… we all come from very modest backgrounds. The purpose in life is to stay focused on what makes life better for everyone. Focus on your karma,” says Jain.

After arriving in the US and working for several tech startups, Jain rose through the ranks in Silicon Valley, working closely with Bill Gates at Microsoft.

Frustrated with his inability to make a big impact within a large company, he quit his job to start InfoSpace. The search engine and database eventually grew into a $31 billion business at its peak.

Every idea is a crazy idea until the breakthrough happens… then it becomes an obvious idea.

Jain says the secret to building a billion dollar business is to create a product or service that can help a billion people live better lives.

After InfoSpace, Jain redefined what was possible with his company Moon Express, which became the first company to win US government approval to send a robotic spacecraft to the moon.

“For me, every entrepreneur has probably been told by a hundred people that ‘it’s a dumb idea or it won’t work’. Every idea is a crazy idea until the breakthrough happens…then that becomes an obvious idea.

Jain says the people who often disrupt industries with their “crazy” ideas are often non-experts who, due to their naivety, are able to question the foundation of everything industry insiders hold to be. acquired.

Photo by Naveen Jain

“Think about it. Who would disrupt the space industry? It was internet guys like Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson. Who disrupted the automotive space? Wasn’t it the GMs or one of the Fords… It was Tesla. It wasn’t the taxi industry that disrupted it. It was Uber that came in and disrupted it,” he said.

Jain practices what he preaches. A tech professional with no healthcare background, he is now disrupting the healthcare industry with his wellness brand, Viome, which is on a mission to eliminate chronic disease and create a disease-free world. .

Viome recently received breakthrough device designation from the FDA to detect stage 1 mouth and throat cancer using just a person’s saliva.

Jain has racked up a lot of success and recognition throughout his career, and he believes life has been his biggest teacher through it all.

He summarized his top tips for success.

  1. Prioritize service over money.

  2. Focus on what you can control rather than what you can’t.

  3. Treat everything as information, then form your own opinion.

  4. Challenge the status quo.

  5. Ask the right questions. The question you ask is the problem you solve.

  6. Do not seek the approval of others.

  7. Love yourself and don’t change anything.

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