Some of today’s flourishing companies started in garages, bedrooms or living rooms. If you think that your small home-based business will stay that way, draw inspiration from some of these entrepreneurs and start thinking big!
- Operating from his college apartment in Austin, Texas, whiz kid Michael Dell started Dell Computer Corp., in 1984 with just $1000 in saving. His idea then was simple: to sell computers by phone. Today, Dell Corp., is a $2 billion company which manufactures and handles the direct sales of personal computers (PCs) and PC accessories and is the fourth-largest PC maker in the US.
- Only 20 years old, Steve Jobs founded Apple Computers along with Steve Wozniak, a childhood buddy, in his parents’ house in Los Altos, California, in 1976. The bedroom served as the duo’s office while the garage was turned into a production line, where the two produced computers in kit form for electronics hobbyists. Barely six years later, Apple was a Fortune 500 company.
- In 1938, with an initial investment of $538, two engineering students from Stanford University began tinkering in a garage in Palo Alto and launched what became the first start-up venture in Silicon Valley. A year later, William Hewlett and David Packard established a formal partnership and sold their first product―a resistance-capacity audio oscillator used to test sound equipment―to Walt Disney Studios.
- By 1940, the partners’ business had grown to include eight instruments and they had to move to a bigger building. Today, Hewlett-Packerd Is known as the pre-eminent instruments company with revenues of more than $14.5 billion.
- At 21, Konosuke Masushita had a secure job with an electronic company, but he was restless. Wanting to follow up on his idea for a light socket, Matsushita, then already married, set up shop with a partner in 1917 in a two-room tenement in eastern Osaka. He and his wife slept in one corner of the smaller room. When an electric parts wholesaler approached them and asked if they could produce 1,000 electric fan insulators with in a month’s time, Matsushita decided to accept the project and give up his light socket experiment for the time-being. The insulators sold very well and demand for them grew so much that Matsushita, his wife and partner had to move to a bigger house. The business that started in a small room is now one of the world’s largest consumer electronic companies, Matsushita Group, which operates in Asia, Europe and North America.
Some of today’s flourishing companies started in garages, bedrooms or living rooms.