Persons like Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs weren’t born with a lottery ticket. They had to work hard to build their tech empires, all of which had very humble beginnings.
All of them had an idea, an ingenious gut feeling for business, and a great determination to do whatever it took to start off ahead of everyone else.
Jeff Bezos deposed Bill Gates to become the richest man in the world in 2017, and now his personal net worth is well over $100 billion. Little did he imagine this day back in 1995, when Amazon.com began out of his home in Bellevue, Washington, where he started the online bookstore in his home garage. There was barely enough room in there to store, package and ship books to customers all over the world. Now Amazon sells pretty much everything!
When Elon Musk started SpaceX in 2002, he had a grand vision of colonizing Mars and saving humanity — but he still didn’t have the means to do it himself. He was inspired by one Tom Mueller, a frustrated engineer at SpaceX, who was building a rocket engine for fun in his garage. This happened to be the largest liquid-fueled rocket engine ever to have been built by an an amateur, and the earliest version of the Merlin, which powers SpaceX’s rockets. A rocket that took SpaceX to space was literally built in someone’s garage!
No prizes for guessing where the world’s most popular social media website, which attracts over 2 billion registered users daily, came into life. It was inside the Harvard dorm room of pimple-faced teenage genius Mark Zuckerberg, of course. The year was 2004, it was 14 years ago! Right now Mark Zuckerberg has a personal wealth of $74 billion, behind only Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos.
Back in 1976, Steve Jobs wanted to start a PC business with his friend Steve Wozniak — the original geek — who was building computers for fun. A year ago, Wozniak began developing the Apple I — the personal computer which would usher in a revolution and put Apple on the map. But in order to complete his ambitious design, he needed lots of cash and room to work in peace. So he raised $1,300 and assembled the circuit boards of the computer in Steve Jobs’ very own garage. The rest, as they say, is history.
The largest search engine in the world began as a Stanford school project, believe it or not. In 1998, two Stanford students named Larry Page and Sergey Brin rented a garage belonging to Susan Wojcicki — their colleague at the time. You’d be surprised to know but for the next five months, this garage was Google’s headquarters, where Page and Brin developed their algorithms to start indexing websites on the. But very soon, Google outgrew the garage and took Susan Wojcicki in — she’s now the CEO of YouTube.
6) Hewlett-Packard (HP)
Known as a giant of the PC world, Hewlett-Packard or HP began in 1938 as a company that made a whole host of electrical devices. Very quickly they started to get a reputation for building audio oscillators with a streamlined technology that made it more affordable. This attracted the attention of Walt Disney at the time, who purchased eight of Hewlett-Packard’s Model 200B oscillators for his upcoming musical film, Fantasia. And Hewlett-Packard literally built these pieces of equipment in a one-car garage in Palo Alto, CA — a place that’s been declared as a historical site.
Another major force of the computer world is Dell, company named after its founder Michael Dell. The story goes such that in 1984, Dell began building and selling computers from his off-campus dorm housing while attending the University of Texas at Austin. Business was so good that he dropped out of school to focus full-time on the venture. He was still running the company from his garage, building PCs which began selling under his name from 1985 onwards. He grossed more than $73 million that very year.
Founded in 1975, Bill Gates and Paul Allen, began Microsoft in a garage in Albuquerque, New Mexico. What they didn’t have in the way of office space, was compensated by a great deal of determination, grit, and raw talent, all of which helped propel Microsoft to the pinnacle of technological innovation for the greater part of three decades.
Popular micro-blogging and breaking news website, Twitter began as a day-long brainstorming session in 2006 at a small office on South Park Avenue, San Francisco. The idea began as an SMS service that people could participate in as groups. It was called Twttr, initially, and later on corrected to its current version at SxSW in 2007.
Samsung’s first office was a 16.5 square metre office with a telephone and a noodle machine, located in Ingyo-dong, Daegu, South Korea. That was back in 1938, of course. By the late 1960s, Samsung pivoted into an electronics company. And now, it’s a consumer electronics behemoth that spans across the globe!