When you think of a garage, you assume it’s housing your car or somewhere for you to store your tools. That’s usually the case, but some of these creative minds decided to use their garages for something else and ended up starting some of the biggest companies in the world.
Let’s take a look at a few.
Look around the room and you’re almost guaranteed to see an Apple product, whether it’s an iPhone, iPad or even an Apple Watch. It seems crazy to think that Steve Jobs’ global technology juggernaut got its start in the garage of his home.
In 1975, the team of Steve Jobs and friend Steve Wozniak put together the initial ideas for the company and began assembling what would become the Apple I.
The company eventually grew and achieved wide success, becoming one of the world leaders in technology and helping change the idea of what we use mobile phones for. And it all started in the comfort of his garage.
This is the big one.
Google is something that is just a part of our everyday lives. You can find out any kind of information in seconds thanks to the hugely popular search engine. It’s even in the dictionary! Before becoming the Internet giants they are today, their beginning took place in a much smaller location.
The idea of Google came from Larry Paige and Sergey Brin, two college students in the summer of 1997. In 1998, the pair rented a garage from colleague Susan Wojcicki and developed the idea that would become Google.
Now for something that involves a little less technology.
Yankee Candle has become the staple for all things candle related. Their brand is instantly recognisable and with hundreds of different scents to choose from, you’re likely to find at least one you like.
Michael Kittredge founded the company after making his mother a “one-of-a-kind” present for Christmas using household items in 1969. While the present was made for his mother, a neighbour caught wind and asked to purchase his homemade candle. He used the money from this to create one candle to give to his mother and another to sell and the rest is history.
He initially used his garage to create his unique candles before moving to an official store further down the line.
US toy makers Mattel have revolutionised the toy industry, from the creation of the Barbie dolls, Hot Wheels cars and classic WWE figures to purchasing Fisher Price. The majority of toys you played with growing up were likely to be made by Mattel, and likely provided you with some great memories.
It all began in 1945 when Elliot and Ruth Hander started producing picture frames in their garage alongside partner Harold Matson. They eventually decided to use the scraps left over to produce furniture for dollhouses and achieved a lot of success doing so. When the sales of the toys had overtaken the picture frames sales, the team decided to pursue the toy industry and would go on to shape a lot of people’s childhood.
As you may have noticed, there is a slight pattern appearing. If you are trying to start a technology company, a garage seems like the best place to start.
It was the same for Bill Gates and Paul Allen, the two people responsible for the creation of Microsoft in a garage in 1975.
Microsoft is best known for producing software such as operating systems for computers, being used in millions of computers around the world. They are also known for producing the Xbox video game console, which continues to shape the modern day video game industry alongside Sony’s PlayStation.
It’s hard to imagine that a company like Amazon could have operated out of a garage in its initial beginnings.
Today, Amazon is known for being the Internet’s leading online retailer and generally being the go-to place to buy anything online. The company now offers shipping to the majority of the world and has multiple websites in different languages. How could this have worked in a garage?
The initial concept for Amazon was an online bookstore, started by Jeff Bezos in the summer of 1994 after quitting his job when discovering the potential in the use of the Internet. Working from his garage, he was able to use it for the storage of the books and used it to package and ship his products.
Little did he realise just what his small time online bookstore would grow into.
It makes sense that one of the leaders of the motorcycle industry came out of garage.
Harley-Davidson is known for creating some of the highest quality, top of the range motorcycles on the market today and you can thank creators William S. Harley and Arthur Davidson for that.
The team came up with the concept and prototype of their first motor-bicycle in 1901 whilst working out of a shed. As you can imagine, the pair eventually found their way into the motorcycle industry and went on to become a household name.
The last entry to this list is a company that you might have heard of.
The Walt Disney Company is simply a giant in the entertainment industry. They’ve provided us with many fantastic films over the years and revolutionised the animation industry. Disney has become such a key part of pop culture that it’s hard to find someone who has doesn’t know who Mickey Mouse and the gang are. They also own just about everything these days, so you’re almost guaranteed to have seen something with the House of Mouse name attached.
Walt Disney actually got his start animating and editing his films in his uncle’s garage in 1923. It wouldn’t take long before the company moved to a bigger lot and we all know where it would end up.
And that’s our list.
As you can see, some of the biggest companies in the world started off in the confines of someone’s garage. Do you have the potential to start a multi-billion pound company in yours?