Ultra-rich founders, wide office spaces, massive concrete corporate skyscrapers – these are the images that come to mind, when we think of the biggest companies across the globe. But many of these companies were not always so big to begin with. Many of the Pathwwway success stories began as startups in a garage. Some of the largest companies across the globe, these corporate mega entities run by billionaire CEOs and Managing Directors have surprisingly humble beginnings namely home-based garages! Among the successful garage startups are technology and internet giants, international retailers and famous product manufacturers. These 5 multi-billion dollar companies prove brands are built on hard work.
#1 Apple: Tech Major Reaps the Fruits of Success
This is one of the most valuable IT brands in the world today. But can you believe this Pathwwway success story began life in a garage? Apple’s first computers were built in a small home garage in California’s Cupertino city. Specifically, in 1976, Steve Wozniak launched the first Apple computer and joined hands with Steve Jobs and Ronald Wayne for launching Apple Computer Co. from the Jobs’ parent’s garage.
Jobs and Wozniak, in fact, delivered their first order which was from a local retailer ordering fifth computers at $500 per piece, which they were able to produce in under 30 days. Around 50 units of the Wozniak Apple 1 Computer was sold at $500 a piece to local retailers. Consider that today, Apple is easily one of the most valued tech companies and you’ll understand what defines the enterprising spirit of Silicon Valley.
In present times, Apple has a swanky Cupertino office known as Infinite Loop and it is a world leader in technologies with a net worth of over $550 billion! Their first computer may have been sold as a motherboard, without keyboards, monitors or cases but the tech company moved from its first garage office to bigger things, creating Apple 2 and Macintosh product lines giving Apple it’s big break. Apple is now the most valuable tech company in the world with market-leading products like iPods, iPhones and iPads.
#2 Google: Search Engine Giant Finds Success
Pathwwway success stories here would not be complete without considering world-famous search engine major Google. When Sergey Brin and Larry Page met at Stanford in the mid-90s and decided they wanted to start a company together, it all began in a garage. The partners established Google HQ in Susan Wojcicki’s Menlo Park garage, paying $1,700 monthly as rent for the 2,000-foot space. Wojcicki, a senior VP in Google till January 2014, was a business school graduate at that time and made the deal to pay her mortgage.
Within just a single year, Google outgrew the garage space current YouTube CEO Wojcicki offered back then and the Google team moved to a Palo Alto office. Started as a school project, Google went on to gain a net worth of staggering $500 billion. It is now the largest network in the world, built by Stanford University graduates Page and Brin who are now counted among the leading pioneers in the industry.
#3 Disney: Media Brand That Rose From Rags to Riches
Once upon a time, Disney was a garage startup! Now, it is easily the top-grossing media company in the world named after its founder, Walt Disney. To think it began from an LA-based, single-car garage belonging to Walt’s uncle Robert Disney in the summer of 1923 requires creative imagination. Back in those days, the company was known as The Disney Brothers Studio and located about 45 minutes from Disneyland Park in Anaheim at present in California.
Its employees included Walt and his brother Roy. In this small space, the team filmed Alice Comedies inspiring Disney’s version of Alice in Wonderland. A couple of months later, Walt and Roy moved to a bigger office down the street from their first office in a home garage, where Disney signed a Universal Studios deal to distribute Alice Comedies. The rest is history, even as Disney emerged as the most powerful brand out there for entertainment, media and animation ever after.
#4 Hewlett-Packard: IT Tech Firm Packing a Powerful Punch
This IT powerhouse makes it to the list of Pathwwway success stories because of its amazing transformation from a startup in a garage to a massive corporate entity. Just ten miles from where Apple began life, Stanford graduates Dave Packard and Bill Hewlett launched the company HP or Hewlett-Packard Co. The initial investment was just USD 538 and the duo started operations in the 12×18 foot garage in Palo Alto, CA, located at the back of the house Packard was renting.
HP built its first product here namely an audio oscillator called HP200A. Ironically, one of the first clients of this corporate tech giant was Disney, which purchased 8 HP200B audio oscillators from them. Used as a search lab, the garage was the perfect development workshop and manufacturing facility for nearly a year before it became too small. Incorporated in 1947, HP registered as a public company within just 10 years since its inception. Packard’s garage, now a museum, is considered the ‘Birthplace of Silicon Valley’ with a plaque actually marking the spot. The company is now worth $13 billion.
#5 Amazon: Ecommerce Player With Game-Changing Moves
When Jeff Bezos quit his job as the youngest VP of a successful Wall Street investment company and moved to Seattle to start online retail giant Amazon, he had no swanky office to start with. He actually set up shop in his Bellevue, Washington home garage and began developing the software for it. He also held meetings at the Barnes & Noble store located close by, where the first contracts were negotiated with Amazon. In 1995, Bezos launched Amazon.com and sold his first book from his garage-based startup. In just two years following this, Bezos issued his IPO.
The company is now the largest ecommerce retailer, valued at over $300 billion. Princeton graduate Bezos left to start Amazon only when a new US legislation ruled that online retailers would not have to collect taxes in states where they did not have offices. From his garage startup, Bezos began promoting his business in 48 nations. Amazon shares skyrocketed in 2011 doubling in value. Now, Amazon is not just the ruling the industry as the world’s largest online marketplace, but it also has a king’s share of the ecommerce markets as well.