We’re back to finish up our list of 10 most iconic garage brands! Here are five more companies that started out just like you and I. Starting out as an entrepreneur can be daunting. It’s hard to gauge your own success against that of larger more established brands. However, many companies have humble beginnings. Here are business that started in garages, dorm rooms and sheds. You may have heard a few of their names before.
Nike, originally Blue Ribbon Sports, was found by University of Oregon track athlete Phil Knight and his coach Bill Bowerman in January 1964. As a distributor for Onitsuka Tiger they made most of their initial sales out of the trunk of knight’s car at track meets. One of the first customers, Otis Davis, a student athlete at the University of Oregon, claims he watched Bowerman make his first pair of Nike’s using a waffle iron.
Nike has gone from pressing together sneakers with hotplates to making $30.601 billion in 2015 and employing 62,600 people. The company now has factories all over the world, none of which rely on waffle iron technology to produce goods.
Launched out of Susan Wojcicki’s garage in 1998, Google started as a few college grads with a mission to organize a seemingly infinite amount of information on the internet. The name Google is a play on the mathematical term “googol,” or the number represented by the numeral 1 followed by 100 zeros.
Google is characterized not only by its ease of access but also by its playful interactions with customers, like their homepage doodles and their annual april fools jokes. The first one of these jokes was the announcement of MentalPlex in 2000. Google advertised the spoof as technology that had the ability to read your mind and visualize the search results you want.
Childhood friends, Paul Allen and Bill Gates, officially founded Microsoft in 1975. Their first project was to create a BASIC interpreter for Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems (MITS) Altair 8800 microcomputer. Literally no one knows what that means but the duo was able to move their operation to Bellevue, Washington in 1979.
SInce then, Microsoft has created Internet Explorer, the Xbox gaming console series and Windows. The company now has a net income of $12.19 billion and employs 118,584 people. Not bad for couple of nerds who grew up together.
Originally Hewlett-Packard, the company was started in a one car garage by William Redington Hewlett and David Packard in 1939. The two were mentored by their former professor, Frederick Terman, and launched their company with an initial investment of $538. In order to decide if the company would be named Hewlett-Packard or Packard-Hewlett the two tossed a coin. Apparently Hewlett won.
The company’s first financial success was the Model HP200A precision audio oscillator. Again, no one knows what that is, but HP was able to produce a better product at almost a quarter of the price of their competitors. Since then, the company has evolved into HP inc. which employees 50,000 people.
Michael Dell launched Dell out of his University of Texas dorm room in 1984. Dell began by selling IBM PC-compatible computers built from stock components. Michael dropped out of school after receiving $1,000 from his family to focus on his business. In 1985, the company released the Turbo PC, which sounds pretty badass, for $795.
In its first year of operation Dell grossed more than $73 million. The computer software and hardware companies headquarters are now in Round Rock, Texas. Dell has 108,800 employees and creates $59 billion in revenue.
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