Brandon Wu, 29, was recruited into Sony's Tokyo-based global MBA internship program during the summer of 2006. After the internship, Sony offered him a full-time position, and he took them up on it after graduating in 2007 from USC's Marshall School of Business. He worked at the company's Tokyo headquarters in the network services and products strategy division as a strategist and global business development manager.
Wu decided to leave behind his six-figure salary and move in with his parents in California because he wanted to do something independent, creative, and personal. He decided to start a business focused on passion over profit. Two years later, he had collapsed one company, but successfully built a video game studio while writing a book called 30 Day GMAT Success.
He is now the co-founder of 30 Day Books, a book marketing and promotions company. The Kindle version of his book became the bestselling GMAT book of 2011. Moving forward, he plans to build My Giants, a game that re-creates the experience of playing with neighborhood kids on the streets. His team is preparing a public demo at the PAX exhibition in Seattle this summer.
The following startup founders decided to take the scenic route -- as opposed to the eight-lane highway -- toward business success. Here's what they were thinking.
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