Larry Ellison never knew his biological father. His mother gave him away to relatives to raise. His adoptive mother was kind but Larry’s adoptive father was disparaging.
Challenges at Every Corner
Larry was a bright student, excelling in science and math. However, whatever little success he would have, misfortune and bad luck always followed. He attended the University of Illinois, and in the first year, he was named Science Student of the Year. The following year his adoptive mother passed away. Deeply hurt, Larry failed his exams and dropped out of college. He later went to the University of Chicago but left soon after. Subsequently, he moved to California and took on several odd jobs without accomplishing much. He lived with his wife in a one-bedroom apartment for years and the relationship eventually ended.
Achieving Success Beyond Imagination
With constant upheavals in his personal life and a patchy professional life, there weren’t too many bright spots. Yet, he had a dogged spirit to survive. In 1976, Larry read a research paper, “A Relational Model of Data for Large Shared Data Banks” by IBM’s Ted Codd. The potential for the technology energized Larry and it drove him to build a commercial system based on this research, beating IBM to the punch.
Larry’s database technology became a roaring success. He aggressively built Oracle through M&As to become one of the most admired enterprise software company in the world. Today, Larry Ellison is the fifth richest man on the planet.
Despite his difficult childhood, incomplete education, and rocky relationships, Larry Ellison realized big success. What was his recipe for success? Striving by doing the things most uncomfortable to achieve incredible success. This is the spirit of Strive!