Cameron Chell has one the most inspiring stories I’ve ever heard from successful entrepreneurs. He’s experienced the great heights of raising hundreds upon millions of dollars, taking startups into space, and entering new frontiers within crypto and blockchain.
He also knows firsthand what it’s like for success to get in the way.
Cameron Chell never knew anything else except entrepreneurship. His parents were entrepreneurs long before the term ‘entrepreneur’ was invented. Cameron states that they went to church every Sunday, but still worked seven-days a week.”
He started his own irrigation startup as a teenager and later sold a one-hour photo chain that he created in his early 20s. He’s now the founder or CEO of at least eight companies and possibly more. He has also sold businesses Cameron Chell Calgary to Microsoft and taken them all public.
FutureLink was Cameron’s very first tech company. At the dawn of the internet, FutureLink was probably the first version what could be called a cloud computing business.
FutureLink has worked with numerous companies, from Oracle and Sun to Microsoft, IBM, IBM, Compaq, and others. It achieved a market cap of around $3.2 Billion, back when a trillion dollars really did mean something.
Dark Days, Hidden Blessings
There is one thing entrepreneurs can always be sure about: they will have dark days. Cameron has certainly experienced his fair share. Perhaps Cameron has had more than most.
At the suggestion of an investor, he hired an outside chair. Cameron said that he became a true chairman when he assumed his chairmanship. That insulted me greatly. He didn’t seem to understand me as a 20-year old founder and CEO.
Cameron was then fired from his company. He now admits that he was probably too arrogant, too stubborn and insecure at the time. He was determined to sell the shares that he could. Although many people would still be bitter about the incident, this founder now claims that it was “absolutely the best thing that could have happened” – a great lesson and opportunity.
Cameron was also at the World Trade Center in the morning of 9/11 2001. Cameron reflects on how his life was already heading toward major catastrophe.
At 9:01 on the morning, he was in disarray, wondering why he was here and not others. He now views it as the first step toward a shift in his ego- and mindset.
The spiral didn’t stop there. He was forced to quit his bad habits after two years and was soon bankrupt.