Moneycontrol
Last Updated : Nov 30, 2018 10:50 AM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

The garage days: Multi-billion dollar companies that had humble beginnings

It is hard to believe that some of the leading companies in the world started out struggling to stay afloat. Not only were they denied the luxuries of their contemporary offices, but acute financial conditions forced them to operate from the most unconventional places. Here are ten companies that started from the place that is meant to park cars

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Amazon | The biggest e-commerce company in the world was conceived in founder Jeff Bezos' home garage in Bellevue, Washington. Amazon started off as an online bookstore, however, it took the company almost a year to sell their first book. As of today, it is the world's largest online marketplace with a valuation of over $1 trillion. (Image: Reuters)
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Amazon | The biggest e-commerce company in the world was conceived in founder Jeff Bezos' home garage in Bellevue, Washington. Amazon started off as an online bookstore, however, it took the company almost a year to sell their first book. As of today, it is the world's largest online marketplace with a valuation of over $1 trillion. (Image: Reuters)

Microsoft | In 1975, a young Harvard drop-out, Bill Gates and his childhood friend Paul Allen founded the company in a tiny Albuquerque garage in New Mexico, which could only accommodate two people. The tech giant is now present in over 100 countries with more than 1,31,300 employees on its payroll. (Image: Reuters)
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Microsoft | In 1975, a young Harvard drop-out, Bill Gates and his childhood friend Paul Allen founded the company in a tiny Albuquerque garage in New Mexico, which could only accommodate two people. The tech giant is now present in over 100 countries with more than 1,31,300 employees on its payroll. (Image: Reuters)

The Walt Disney Company | Home of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Star Wars franchise opened its first studio in a one-car garage out back. In 1923, Walt Disney along with his brother Roy Disney started filming Alice Comedies, part of Alice's Wonderland, out of their uncle's garage in Los Angeles, around 45-minutes away from the first Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California. Today, the company is the highest-grossing media conglomerate in the world. (Image: Reuters)
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The Walt Disney Company | Home of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Star Wars franchise opened its first studio in a one-car garage out back. In 1923, Walt Disney along with his brother Roy Disney started filming Alice Comedies, part of Alice's Wonderland, out of their uncle's garage in Los Angeles, around 45-minutes away from the first Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California. Today, the company is the highest-grossing media conglomerate in the world. (Image: Reuters)

Apple | The first trillion dollar company in the world started with three young men and a dingy garage in California. In 1976, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne started assembling the first generation Apple I computers from Jobs' parent's garage after receiving a 50 unit order for $500 apiece, which they had to fulfill in 30 days. After completing the seemingly impossible feat, 'The Steves' embarked on an unfathomable journey, which has made Apple one of the most widely recognised brand globally. (Image: Reuters)
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Apple | The first trillion dollar company in the world started with three young men and a dingy garage in California. In 1976, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne started assembling the first generation Apple I computers from Jobs' parent's garage after receiving a 50 unit order for $500 apiece, which they had to fulfill in 30 days. After completing the seemingly impossible feat, 'The Steves' embarked on an unfathomable journey, which has made Apple one of the most widely recognised brand globally. (Image: Reuters)

Google | After graduating from Stanford University in 1998, Larry Page and Sergey Brin leased a garage in California from Susan Wojcicki for $1,700 per month. Within a year Google started gaining mainstream coverage and had to relocate to other offices, before eventually settling in their 2 million square feet office in Santa Clara. Eight years after the birth of Google, Page and Brin brought the garage in Santa Margarita Avenue, as a tribute to its humble beginnings. (Image: Reuters)
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Google | After graduating from Stanford University in 1998, Larry Page and Sergey Brin leased a garage in California from Susan Wojcicki for $1,700 per month. Within a year Google started gaining mainstream coverage and had to relocate to other offices, before eventually settling in their 2 million square feet office in Santa Clara. Eight years after the birth of Google, Page and Brin brought the garage in Santa Margarita Avenue, as a tribute to its humble beginnings. (Image: Reuters)

Harley Davidson | The brand which is synonymous with high-end luxury motorbikes has its roots in a 10x15 feet wooden shed in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In 1901, William Harvey and friend Arthur Davidson designed the first Harley-Davidson bike based on the former's model of a small engine that could power bicycles. After mastering their art, they officially launched the company in 1903, which today, is worth over $10 billion. (Image: Reuters)
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Harley Davidson | The brand which is synonymous with high-end luxury motorbikes has its roots in a 10x15 feet wooden shed in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In 1901, William Harvey and friend Arthur Davidson designed the first Harley-Davidson bike based on the former's model of a small engine that could power bicycles. After mastering their art, they officially launched the company in 1903, which today, is worth over $10 billion. (Image: Reuters)

Hewlett-Packard | In 1938, Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard started the company with an initial investment of $538 from Packard's garage in Palo Alto, California. Today, the company is worth over $57 billion. The garage in Palo Alto is not only the birthplace of HP, but Silicon Valley itself, as many tech startups followed the company's footsteps and set up operations in the area. (Image: Reuters)
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Hewlett-Packard | In 1938, Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard started the company with an initial investment of $538 from Packard's garage in Palo Alto, California. Today, the company is worth over $57 billion. The garage in Palo Alto is not only the birthplace of HP, but Silicon Valley itself, as many tech startups followed the company's footsteps and set up operations in the area. (Image: Reuters)

Mattel | The toy company that has brought smiles to the faces of millions of children across the world with their Barbie dolls initially started off as a picture-frame making company in 1945. The founders, Harold Matson and Elliot and Ruth Handler started operations from a garage in Southern California, where they started making dollhouses from leftover material. They dollhouses soon began to outsell photo frames, which prompted them to diversify into toy manufacturing. Today, Mattel is worth $8.5 billion and is one of the largest toy manufacturing entities. (Image: Reuters)
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Mattel | The toy company that has brought smiles to the faces of millions of children across the world with their Barbie dolls initially started off as a picture-frame making company in 1945. The founders, Harold Matson and Elliot and Ruth Handler started operations from a garage in Southern California, where they started making dollhouses from leftover material. They dollhouses soon began to outsell photo frames, which prompted them to diversify into toy manufacturing. Today, Mattel is worth $8.5 billion and is one of the largest toy manufacturing entities. (Image: Reuters)

Dell | Michael Dell might not be as famous as Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, but apart from establishing a successful computer business he has one thing in common with them. He too conceived his billion-dollar empire from a garage. Dell started building computers from his off-campus dorm facility while he was studying at the University of Texas in 1984. He dropped out from University to focus on his startup and began assembling computers out of his garage. Within a year, Dell grossed over $73 million. The company is now worth $25 billion. (Image: Reuters)
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Dell | Michael Dell might not be as famous as Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, but apart from establishing a successful computer business he has one thing in common with them. He too conceived his billion-dollar empire from a garage. Dell started building computers from his off-campus dorm facility while he was studying at the University of Texas in 1984. He dropped out from University to focus on his startup and began assembling computers out of his garage. Within a year, Dell grossed over $73 million. The company is now worth $25 billion. (Image: Reuters)

Nike | Unlike other companies mentioned above, Nike's founder Phil Knight didn't even have a garage to begin with. Knight started in operating out of his car trunk in 1964. While Knight made the shoes, his coach at the University of Oregon, Bill Bowerman started testing them on athletes to provide a competitive test. After two years of operating out of a trunk without any retailers, Nike has gone on to become one of the biggest manufacturer of sports apparel and accessories with a valuation of over $110.3 billion. (Image: Reuters)
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Nike | Unlike other companies mentioned above, Nike's founder Phil Knight didn't even have a garage to begin with. Knight started in operating out of his car trunk in 1964. While Knight made the shoes, his coach at the University of Oregon, Bill Bowerman started testing them on athletes to provide a competitive test. After two years of operating out of a trunk without any retailers, Nike has gone on to become one of the biggest manufacturer of sports apparel and accessories with a valuation of over $110.3 billion. (Image: Reuters)

First Published on Oct 2, 2018 08:05 am
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