It's normal to think that all businesses, especially billion dollar companies started with lots of capital funding. That’s not always the case. There are many successful billion dollar businesses which actually didn’t have enough capital to even rent decent office space. In fact, most of them started in the lowest of all places – a garage.
The success story of these businesses regardless of their starting places indicates that start-up capital is not all that is required for a successful business. It also shows that whatever your business may be, how and where you start from doesn’t really matter. What matters is your commitment towards achieving a steady growth of your business with time.
Here are five of the world’s most pronounced companies started in a garage.
For every cartoon lover, Disney is the biggest name in the industry. But then, Disney is one of the businesses that began in a garage. The Walt Disney Company started in Los Angeles, a house situated exactly 45-minute drive from Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California. The house belonged to Robert Disney, Walt Disney’s uncle. Both Walt and his brother Roy moved in to stay with their uncle before the business inspiration came. In 1923, right in the one-car garage, they began “The First Disney Studio.”
Although there are lots of theme parks and motion pictures currently associated with the Disney brand, it actually started with the sketching of the original Alice in Wonderland right there in the garage. Not having an actual drawing or art studio to call their own did not hold Walt and Roy Disney back. With what they had, the brothers made something big possible. From that small garage, Disney is today the highest-earning media conglomerate in the world.
After Bezos quit his successful job, he set out to redefine how people buy books online. While setting up the new book-buying model, Bezos’ garage in Bellevue, Washington was his office for a period of time before he launched the online bookstore, Amazon which is now the world’s largest e-commerce marketplace and cloud computing platform.
Bezos sold his first book in July 1995, almost a year after launching the platform, and after two years, in 1997, he issued his IPO. Even though it took close to a year for Amazon to actually make its first sale, the business kicked off after then and started growing exponentially. Today, Amazon is valued at over $300 billion.
Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard, two Stanford graduates also launched their business out of Packard’s garage. The company, HP started in 1939 with an investment of just $538. The duo’s first ever product was an audio oscillator and Walt Disney was among HP’s first customers. HP later became the first company to launch Silicone Valley and started the computer trend. The company is currently one of the world’s largest manufacturers of personal computers and the 12-by-18-foot garage it stated has since become a museum, known as the “birthplace of Silicon Valley.”
The business, which has since 2015, exists as two companies: HP Inc. and Hewlett Packard Enterprises pride over $110 billion in revenue.
In 1976, Apple started in Steve Jobs’ parents’ garage where Job and Steve Wozniak assembled 50 units of the first Apple I computer which they sold to Byte Shop owned by Paul Terrell at $500 each. When the local retailer Paul demanded 50 computers, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, ages 21 and 26 respectively, had to order the computer parts and build the units within 30 days.
From a two-car garage in Cupertino, California, with just two employees, Apple has grown today to become the world’s most valuable technology company, valued around $550 billion. The company, leading most billion dollar companies, now has a swanky office in Cupertino, known as the Infinite Loop.
Google is the most famous among all the billion dollar companies started in a garage, though just a few know about the company’s beginning. The Stanford graduates: Larry Page and Sergey Brin started Google in Susan Wojcicki’s garage in September 1998. Susan Wojcicki is the current YouTube CEO. The entrepreneurial duo took Google as just another college project, and when it began to interfere with their schoolwork at a point, the founders decided selling the project to Excite for $1 million, which Excite rejected.
Today, Google is the most visited site in the world. Excite will certainly regret not buying the company then. Google is now worth over $500 billion.