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Startups

The 10 Greatest Entrepreneurs

Source | MSN

There is a tough truth that any small business owner has to face. Even in the best of times the vast majority of small businesses fail. In this slideshow, we’ll look at ten entrepreneurs who not only succeeded, but built vast business empires.

1. John D. Rockefeller

© AP Images

Industry: Oil refining

Company: Standard Oil (broken up by antitrust, now Exxon, Conoco, etc.)

Bio: Rockefeller’s big idea was to enter the oil business mid-production, giving up the thrill and huge returns of well exploration for the steady returns and economies of scale in refining. His use of R&D to make the most of “waste” by-products created useful compounds that gave him an edge. Later, the sheer size of Standard Oil was all the edge he needed as he squeezed out competitors by selling fuel to the consumer at the lowest possible price.

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