We are all familiar with the phrase “sky is the limit”, which is usually a saying to describe that there are no limits and that anything is possible. Naveen Jain, born in 1956, coming from the Central Indian state took the phrase literally to mind and currently co-founds Moon Express which is a company that builds machines operated spacecraft to mine materials like gold, cobalt, platinum, and Helium-3 from the moon. But how does a man from Uttar Pradesh in India coming from the rags own a million-dollar company? 

 

Naveen Jain grew up in a rural area where he constantly had to switch from one place to another due to his father’s work. His early years in his life has been burdensome on the family due to his father’s honesty at work. His father was an honest public servant who did not accept bribes. This made his managers furious and transfer to different locations sometimes to remote places. He says there were days they went without food in the family.

Naveen knew despite all the struggles his family was facing, the key to success is education. He completes his primary studies where most of the schools he attended didn’t even have chairs and tables. But his determination was greater than the struggles in learning. He completes his engineering degree from Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee and moves to the United States with $5 in the pocket.

He started his career in Burroughs (now known as Unisys), an American manufacturer of business Equipment. This was an invitation from the U.S for a year long training. Then he worked at Microsoft in 1989 where he worked on OS/2, the MS-DOS, Windows NT and 95.  During this time, he comes to the realization that people carried Palm Pilots and phones together.  (Palm Pilot is a gadget that only lasted a single generation from 1997 which allowed built-in voice and data.

Naveen’s dream at the time was how to merge them all in a way to be able to get emails, content calendar on the same device. For people, it was a crazy idea. He quit his job with Microsoft and started his first venture, Infospace in 1996 with six employees and began developing e-mail and telephone directories. Infospace went public in 1998 and grew Naveen’s value to $8 billion dollars and the company’s value to $35 billion dollars. 

Everything went smoothly until partners had controversies and disputes with Naveen, which led him to retire from Infospace. His thought of retiring lasted only 7 days until boredom struck. He knew that people were willing to pay if someone solved their problems. He called up few of his friends and started another creative venture, U.S based public record business named Intellius in 2003. It’s a company which provides information services to consumers as well as businesses which includes background checks and identity theft protection. Intellius made $150 million dollars in revenue.

The sky is the limit was his approach from the beginning until he proved everyone it is wrong. He co-founded another venture, Moon express in 2010 where he has been approved by the U.S government to land on the moon. He believes there is a lot of work to be done on the moon. His ideas are crazy and teach us a lesson that if you believe in something, although there is not a visible market for it, the effort is worth pursuing.  His idea from moon express in the future is to find human colonies in the moon by 2022. With success in all ventures he leads, he says “imagination is the only limit”

 

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Joanna
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Joanna

He is definitely driven by a very creative mind, being able to lead to success every single company that he built. We need more people like him on this planet!

Amber Solis
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Wow, thas some serious food for thought. I loved the saying “sky’s the limit” but now thinking that even further is the limit is great. Thanks for sharing.

Myndee
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Myndee

What an amazing story! This is really something to think about!

Lucy Barnes
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Really great written post – this just proves to never give up on your dreams!

Ashley Nicole Rice
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That is awesome!! Love that he just kept pushing through!

Taryn
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Taryn

Incredible story! You definitely have an inventive spirit!

And I love the quote, celebrate your failures!

kumamonjeng
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Great video you have included here. Really eye opening to see Naveen Jain’s collection of metorite and space. Really interesting to know that one day we can go visit the moon.

Monidipa Dutta
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The person is really creative.This is not only an amazing story but something which teaches you a lot.

Princess
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This is very inspirational. I really look up to people who made their way to the top on their own and used their own skills and grit as their leverage.

Christa
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Christa

What a fascinating story! Anything is possible with enough creativity and dedication.