We often hear about Amazon, Google, Microsoft, HP, Apple and many big brands, be it in terms of their revenue, their giant offices, number of employees, or profits. But isn’t all big things come from small beginnings?
Whoever wants to reach a distant goal must take small steps. This line reminds us of the stories of some of the biggest companies in the world that had the most humble beginnings but are now touching sky-high limits.
When Paul Allen and Bill Gates started Microsoft, they had very limited resources and a small garage in Albuquerque, New Mexico. But what they didn’t lack was their brilliant programming skills which helped them build their first operating system and license it for $80,000.
Today, Microsoft has a market capitalization of $1.676 Trillion (as of January 2023). It is the third most valuable company in the world. One of the Founders of the company, Bill Gates makes it to the Top 10 richest people in the world list.
Who would have known that the garage of Steve Jobs’ parents in Silicon Valley would pave the way for a multinational company that earns trillions of dollars today? Apple was founded in 1976 when Steve Wozniak designed the first Apple I Computer for $500. Steve Jobs and Wozniak got all the parts and completed the order of 50 computers given by a retailer in only 30 days.
As of January 2023, Apple’s total market value stands at $2.062 Trillion. In FY 2022, the company’s total net sales was $394.33 Billion.
Google’s story is known by all. The minds behind the most popular company in the world, Larry Page and Sergey Brin started Google in the current YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki’s garage in 1998. Susan became the 16th employee of Google.
When the Founders stepped down from Google in December 2019, they wrote, “We could not have imagined, back in 1998 when we moved our servers from a dorm room to a garage, the journey that would follow.”
Google is the 4th most valued company in the world with a market cap of $1.137 Trillion.
Founded by Jeff Bezos, the world’s largest online marketplace was started as an online bookstore in his home garage in Bellevue, Washington. Bezos used to do meetings at a nearby Barnes & Noble, where most of the company’s first contracts were negotiated. Although it took him almost a year to sell the first book, the company grew exponentially.
In the last 2 decades, the market capitalization of the company has increased from $7.32 Billion (in 2002) to $878.16 Billion (in January 2023).
Hewlett-Packard (HP) has its inception in Packard’s garage in Palo Alto, California. Will Hewlett and Dave Packard founded HP with an investment of only $538 in 1939. The first product that they built was an audio oscillator. One of the first customers of HP was Walt Disney Productions which gave an order of eight audio oscillators for their motion picture Fantasia.
This USA-based company has a market capitalization of $21.93 Billion.
The Walt Disney Co.
Known all across the world as a popular multinational, mass media and entertainment company, The Walt Disney Co was established by Walt Disney and his brother Roy in their uncle’s garage in Los Angeles back in 1923. The first film that they filmed was Alice Comedies, part of Alice’s Wonderland.
Unaware of the wonders that the company would do in future, Walt Disney and his brother kept bringing entertainment for the people. In 2022, the company generated total revenue of nearly $29 billion in 2022.
The 19-year-old Michael Dell dropped out of college to establish Dell computers. He worked out of his off-campus housing garage in Austin, Texas. In just one year of inception, the company designed and built the Turbo PC which featured an Intel® 8088 processor running at 8MHz, a 5.25″ floppy drive, and a 10MB hard drive.
Currently, Dell is emerging as one of the strongest competitors in the computer manufacturing market all across the world. The revenue of the company ending October 31, 2022, was $105.254 Billion.
Nike’s story is a little different as it started in even lesser space. Phil Knight and Bill Bowerman started Nike as Blue Ribbon Sports in the trunk of a car in 1964. While Knight made shoes, his coach at the University of Oregon, Bill tested them on runners. Although the company didn’t have any retailers for the first 2 years, it started yielding profits in the coming years.
Today, the market capitalization of Nike stands at $194.83 Billion. It is the 50th most valuable company in the world.