10/10/2013 10:56 am ET

There's A .00006% Chance Of Building A Billion Dollar Company: How This Man Did It


David Friedberg was driving home from his job at Google, stuck in traffic in the pouring rain. On the side of the road, he noticed a bike rental shop for tourists, shuttered early due to the weather. The next day, he saw the same thing, and the next — for a week. “It got to the point where I’m sure the guy who owned the place wasn’t even showing up — no one wants to ride bikes in the rain. And I thought to myself, that’s a pretty crappy business.”

But then he thought about it more. “It occurred to me that whether or not this guy was making money in a given month was based on how many days it rained. That’s actually a huge problem.” Digging a little deeper, Friedberg discovered that upwards of 70% of businesses are affected by the weather every year — a simple stat that gave birth to an idea: an insurance service for companies that would pay out when bad weather was on the way.

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