Accelerate your business with these expert tips about "Serendipity". Analyse and discover this TIP!

Serendipity for entrepreneurs

Serendipity can be an important source of business opportunities for entrepreneurs. By being open to new ideas and willing to explore new areas, entrepreneurs can find opportunities that others do not see.

Here are some ways in which entrepreneurs can foster serendipity to find business opportunities:

  1. Networking: By attending events and meeting new people, entrepreneurs can discover new ideas and opportunities. It is important to be open to talking to different people, even those who may not seem relevant at first glance.
  2. Reading: Reading and being informed about different topics can help entrepreneurs to discover new trends and opportunities in the market.
  3. Trial and error: Trying different approaches and solutions can lead to unexpected discoveries. Entrepreneurs must be willing to take risks and explore different approaches.
  4. Remark: Observing the world around us can help entrepreneurs identify unmet needs and opportunities in the market. Observing trends and patterns in different industries can also lead to new ideas and opportunities.
  5. Collaboration: Working with other entrepreneurs, researchers, scientists and experts in different areas can lead to new discoveries and opportunities.

Serendipity can be an important source of business opportunities for entrepreneurs. Fostering serendipity through networking, reading, trial and error, observation and collaboration can help entrepreneurs discover new ideas and opportunities in the marketplace.

What is serendipity?

Serendipity is a term used to describe the chance or accidental discovery of something valuable or interesting, while looking for something else or doing something else. In other words, it is the fortunate or unexpected finding of something valuable while doing something else. The term originates from a Persian tale called "The Three Princes of Serendip" which tells the story of three brothers who make amazing discoveries as they travel and solve problems through observation and deduction. Serendipity ands an important source of innovation and discovery in many fields, such as science, technology, medicine, art and literature. Many of history's most important discoveries have been the result of serendipity, such as Alexander Fleming's discovery of penicillin and Albert Einstein's discovery of the photoelectric effect.

However, for serendipity to occur, it is necessary to be open to new ideas and to be willing to see opportunities where others do not. It is also important to be willing to take risks and explore new areas, even if they do not seem relevant at first glance. In short, serendipity is a fortunate and unexpected discovery of something valuable while doing something else. It is an important source of innovation and discovery in many fields, and requires an openness to new ideas and a willingness to take risks.

Success stories of companies created by serendipity


  1. Post-it: Post-it is a product created by the 3M company that became a global success. The original idea for the Post-it came about when Spencer Silver, a 3M chemist, developed an adhesive formula that was not strong enough for its intended use in the aerospace industry. However, Arthur Fry, another 3M employee, realised that the adhesive would be useful for marking pages in music books and creating sticky notes. From there, 3M developed the product we know today as Post-it.
  2. Viagra: Viagra is a drug used to treat erectile dysfunction that has been a great success for the pharmaceutical company Pfizer. The discovery of Viagra was the result of serendipity. Originally, Pfizer researchers were looking for a drug to treat angina pectoris, but during clinical trials, patients reported unexpected side effects related to erectile function. Pfizer recognised the value of this discovery and turned it into a successful product.
  3. Teflon: Teflon is a material used in non-stick pans that was discovered by accident by the DuPont company. A DuPont chemist was trying to create a non-toxic coolant when he discovered Teflon. The material turned out to be heat and water resistant, and DuPont used it to create non-stick products.
  4. Velcro: Velcro is a fastening system used on clothing and other products that was invented by George de Mestral, a Swiss engineer, after he came up with the idea after returning from a walk in the Alps. De Mestral noticed that the seeds of the burdock plant stuck to his clothes and his dog, which led him to devise a similar fastening system.

In summary, these success stories show how serendipity can be an important source of innovation and discovery in many fields, and how ideas that emerged from serendipity can lead to successful products and companies. Serendipity is according to the Royal Academy "A valuable discovery that occurs by accident or chance. The discovery of penicillin is an example of serendipity.

The origin of serendipity:

The word Serendipity comes from the English Serendipity which was coined by Horace Walpole when he alluded to the Persian Legend "The Three Princes of Serendip`" who made discoveries of things they were not looking for. It seems that many inventions are the result of serendipity. However, serendipity should not be seen only as something totally coincidental. The fact that the discovery of penicillin falls into this category perhaps suggests that behind serendipity there may be a method for developing better ideas. While it is true that chance is characteristic of serendipity, it is no less true that the researchers, inventors and discoverers worked attentively and with an open mind to what they might encounter.

Columbus discovered America when his goal was to reach India. Newton got his theory of gravity from an apple that fell on his head, Velcro was discovered when he was looking for the formula to remove thistles from a dog. Fleming worked all his life to find a solution to infectious diseases, and it was a culture he left behind one night in his laboratory that provided the key to saving millions of lives.

Chance or method?

So not everything is luck or chance in serendipity. Experts who have analysed the common patterns of these great discoveries or inventions show that their authors worked towards a goal, but were able to abandon it when reality showed them other paths. Spencer Silver, a 3M engineer, in his search for a powerful glue discovered another, weaker glue whose only advantage was that it was reusable. As this was not his objective, he discarded it. Later, another engineer in the same company, Art Fry, tired of losing his document dividers, rescued Silver's invention and began to test it, and thus the post-it was born. A mistake, or an unexpected event, led to an innovation that has brought immense benefits to the company and certainly far in excess of those brought by the powerful glues the company sells. The question they ask themselves at the time is... with what happens to me, how do I turn it into an opportunity? Not everything that distracts me from my goal is bad.

When neurons enter into the dynamic of generating ideas, new connections are made between them. This pattern is reproduced in organisations. When we open up to new horizons, when we get to know new realities and new people, we establish new connections that will stimulate creative processes. The problem is that routine and the urgencies of everyday life stifle creativity. Reality shows us that it is the companies that unleash creativity that adapt most successfully to changing environments and see opportunities where others see only black swans. 


It is not easy to find entrepreneurs who, at least in the initial stages of their project, are able to state their objectives unequivocally. Entrepreneurship requires an explorative spirit that assumes that the goal is the path and that the objectives appear as we move forward and that serendipity (exploratory spirit and eyes wide open) can be an ally when it comes to detecting opportunities, developing new products or services and also new forms of management. Lonnie Johnson NASA employee invented an environmentally friendly heat pump, and on the same principle developed the Super Soaker, one of the most successful toys of the 20th century. In the first decade, 200 million units of this water pistol were sold. Khan Accademy was born as a result of its founder, Sal Khan He taught maths to a cousin of his through Yahoo! His family started asking for his teaching and Khan switched to YouTube. In 2009, he quit his job to devote himself fully to his non-profit education platform. Khan Accademy's impact on the world of online education has been significant worldwide.

Ways of generating serendipity:

Serendipity arises at any time and in the most unexpected way. The important thing is that we are able to create the right circumstances for it to arise. Here are some tips. Be aware of what others are doing in all sectors. 


  1. Friends, family, colleagues.
  2. Events.
  3. Networking groups.
  4. Potential clients.
  5. Possible partners.
  6. Potential suppliers.
  7. Potential investors.
  8. Related entrepreneurs.
  9. Competence.

Incorporate literature, novels, biographies, documentaries into your reading. Subjects that are outside your everyday context are great sources of serendipity.



Now that you have learned all about this TIP, you should be able to answer these questions:

  1. Could you list two advantages of legaltech?
  2. To what extent was serendipity the trigger for your business idea?
  3. Do you think serendipity can be a useful tool in the future of your business?
  4. If your answer above is positive, how would you provoke an environment conducive to harnessing serendipity?




Rate this TIP!

Click on the stars to rate

Rating "15" - Average " - Average4.6"

No votes yet, be the first to vote!

We are sorry you did not find it useful.

Help us improve this TIP!

Leave us a comment and tell us how you would improve this TIP


Fernando Weyler

Fernando Weyler

Todos los Comentarios

  1. Irene Belza

    Serendipity was undoubtedly the driving force behind my idea and what makes it a business opportunity, as it was my own weariness of reading web pages for hours on end, together with the fact that I am a voice actress, that made me want someone else to read these web pages to me. I had to spend too much time, more than I actually had, to be informed on topics of interest to me. The fact that I had to sit in front of the computer to receive all the information I wanted to know made me feel like I was wasting my time, because if I had been able to listen to it, I would have been able to do many other things in the meantime. My hands, my legs, my ears .... all at the service of my eyes. It made no sense to me. I am a multitasker, I can listen while I cook, while I walk, while I run, while I clean windows, walk the dog or lie in the sun. I was sure I was not the only one. Journalists, students, followers and fans, newspaper readers, people who need to read clauses in contracts offered by banks, pharmaceutical leaflets. There are so many documents we have to read that make us lazy and "steal" a lot of our time. How many people must feel like this? And then I realised that visually impaired people miss out on this content. I found out, through a friend who works at ONCE, that there is a robotic reading system for the visually impaired. But I want to make art. We are going to convert the corporate image into corporate sound, bringing a new dimension to the web pages. Music, dubbing actors and actresses, ambient sounds, all perfectly studied and measured to touch the users' heartstrings and make that tedious and boring reading easier. Music generates endorphins, we don't feel that emotion when we read a web page, but when we provide them with sounds, music and velvet voices, users will connect with their emotions and it is emotion that drives us to buy.
    I believe that serendipity is fundamental for the future of my company. Eyes, ears and minds open to allow everything to flow and evolve towards our best version. As we move forward and receive feedback from our clients and their users, we will be able to grow and provide a better service. In addition to this service, we have 6 or 7 services already prepared and under development to be implemented in the near future. We know that they will add a lot of value to our service and will be very useful for companies and their users. But, without a doubt, others will emerge that our public will reveal to us and we will be very attentive to take advantage of every opportunity to learn.
    To provoke serendipity, the team must certainly be aware of it. To keep the concept in mind and detect any new opportunity, to develop new solutions that bring more value to the experience of listening to the web. On our website, it is programmed so that users and customers can leave us their comments. They will help us to grow and we will be flexible to listen to them, adapt and develop fully.

    1. Jaime Cavero

      Irene thank you very much for your personal contribution

  2. marisol

    I like this word, which is new to me. It has to do with curiosity, with an open mind. It reminds me of a trip to a country we don't know, which is the moment where all my senses are sharpened.

Tabla de contenidos

  • mentorVIRTUAL: Soy tu mentorVIRTUAL. ¿alguna pregunta?

La respuesta tardará unos 20 segundos. Generando respuesta ...


Ir al contenido