Fred Smith And The Package Gamble: The FedEx Story

Fred Smith, the founder of Federal Express had a vision that would revolutionize the shipping industry.  He believed that the only way to provide fast, reliable and efficient shipping from point A to point B was to create single company that was responsible for packages from start to finish.  He believed that a combination of tucks and airplanes could deliver parcels coast to coast in less than 24 hours, and this idea was seen as a major impossibility when he thought of it during his years in college.

However, he proved skeptics wrong and went on to take his company to soaring heights as the world’s dominant fast shipping and delivery service.  What makes his story unique is that he had to learn to beat the system and think outside of the box to pull it off.  When Federal Express was born, the federal government tightly regulated the airline industry, preventing him from using large aircraft.  Instead,  he operated a fleet of smaller jets that picked up packages from various cities and dropped them off at a central sorting location.  Packages would come in from all over the country and go out to their destination in record time.  It wasn’t for years before regulations changed and he was able to use larger jets and provide a more broad and efficient service.

But, this idea took a long time to get off the ground, and the sheer expense of setting up a vast and viable shipping network required an enormous amount of money which the company was not able to raise through revenue.  Federal Express was one of the first companies to rely on venture capital, and it was one of the most heavily funded companies from outside sources for many years.  This is an example of how entrepreneurship sometimes needs creative solutions to solve complex problems.  But, the rest is history and Federal Express, thanks to the vision of Fred Smith was able to grow in to the world’s leading and most reliable shipping company.

Working around obstacles and thinking outside of the box is what being an entrepreneur is all about, and Fred Smith’s story is a good example of how anyone can succeed if they are persistent and creative enough.  His vision developed the modern shipping industry, and his was also the first to compete head to head with the Post Office.  His focus on punctuality, reliability and becoming a service that companies as well as individuals could count on has revolutionized how we connect around the world.

What is your idea?  Every entrepreneur has something up their sleeve that is a gamble.  But, when you take that risk, and move forward with your vision and dream, there is a good chance that you will be successful.  Facing obstacles, setbacks and closed doors always seem to be part of the road to success, and if you are creative and forward thinking, you can beat anything that gets in your way.  Sometimes success is a gamble, and sometimes it pays off.