Some of the biggest companies in the world got their start from humble beginnings, either from home offices, garage offices, or dorm rooms. It just goes to show that big things can happen from anywhere, as long as you have the belief, drive, and one dynamic idea.
It's well-documented that Jeff Bezos of Amazon started his giant retail company as an online bookseller. He hung up a small, nondescript sign in his garage that simply said “amazon.com”, but you could tell from interviews that he had something bigger in mind even from the start. Creating a successful business was all he needed to make him one of the richest people in the world.
Larry Page and Sergey Brin, aka The Google Guys, didn't even have a garage to call their own when they were starting up what would later become Google. They had to borrow garage space from their friend before eventually moving into the Googleplex. Now the parent company of Google, Alphabet, also owns YouTube, a company that started much the same way Google did.
In the film The Social Network, it shows how Mark Zuckerberg was able to start Facebook from his dorm room in college. Today that website idea has turned into a company worth over half a trillion dollars and has allowed Zuckerberg to buy other companies like Instagram, WhatsApp, and Oculus.
Every biography of Steve Jobs shows how he started Apple with Steve Wozniak out of a garage, tinkering with a computer that would later become the first Apple computer. Only later would he unveil the iPhone, which basically invented the smartphone and completely changed how we communicate and spend our days.
It's hard to believe that the multibillion-dollar entertainment powerhouse known as Disney started off as a home-based business of Walt Disney. Now The Walt Disney Company has bought up enormous franchises like Star Wars and Marvel and has firmed up its position as the largest entertainment company in the world.
While not as big as some of the other companies on this list, it is interesting to note that everyone's favorite auction site eBay started off as a side project of the founder Pierre Omidyar. He was a full-time computer programmer and would work on The AuctionWeb during his free time. It’s always nice when your hobby turns into a multi-billion dollar business!
The lowest valued company on our list, Harley-Davidson, is still worth nine billion dollars and as you would expect was started from a garage. It's interesting to note that such a popular brand could be started from a simple partnership between a man named William Harley and a man named Arthur Davidson.
It’s great to know that big success is possible without big capital investments, especially when you’re just starting out. The common thread of each of these stories is that they weren’t started with a ton of cash, just a dream and a lot of time spent working at it.