Despite considerable turmoil in many emerging markets, startups have seldom failed in doing what they are known to do- Creating History! A decade ago (Well, I was a kid then), I embraced a notion that garages were meant only for cars. Little did I know that garages are excellent places to start a company. Amazon, which was once a startup, went on to script a page for itself in startup history books. Let us now take a look at the strange history of some famous company startups:
- Apple: The most valuable technology company was once a startup with less than 5 members. Steve Jobs, the legendary visionary, at the age of 21 years and Steve Wozniack, the extraordinary programmer, at the age of 26 years started Apple Computers. It all began in 1976 when Steve Jobs sold 50 pieces of Steve Wozniack’s computers at $500 per piece. Do you know the specialty of these computers? The 50 computers were hand built in just 25 days in a garage!
- Google: Larry Page and Sergey Bin, the Stanford Graduates started Google in Susan Wojcicki’s garage in the year 1998. It so happened that both the graduates wished to sell their startup idea to Excite for $1 million. Excite rejected their startup idea. Today, Larry Page and Sergey Brin are the mastermind partners of one of the world’s most profitable Internet companies.
- Colgate: This oral healthcare brand was once into selling soaps, candles and starch. For more than 65 years, Colgate tested waters in soap business. In the year 1873, Colgate launched its toothpaste and tasted success. From 1873 till date, Colgate is into making its toothpaste. Colgate has successfully carved a niche for itself and continues to dominate the market.
- Hewlett Packard: Here comes another celebrated technology giant that started in a garage. With an initial investment of only $538, Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard founded HP in Packard’s garage. There is something effusively engaging about the company’s first product- an audio oscillator. Walt Disney, the 22 times Oscar awardee, was one of the first customers of HP. He had purchased eight oscillators to develop the sound system for his movie Fantasia. And yes, today’s reputed American Silicon Valley was once the HP garage.
- Avon: This leading cosmetic company was founded by David H.McConnell in 1886. He was originally a travelling book salesman. In his bid to lure female customers, David H.McConnell used to offer a few free samples of perfume and cosmetics. He observed that the women should immense interest in perfumes and cosmetics. McConnell prodded into action and started California Perfume Industry which was later rechristened as Avon.
Keep watching this space for further insights on The Strange History of Some Famous Company Startups….Cheers!