Big businesses did not arise out of multi-million dollar investments; instead they arose out of ideas that were aimed at making life easy. Here's a list of 15 such companies that sought conception in the confines of a single room, but later went on to become multi-million ventures!
My happy childhood could be attributed to a house in Los Angeles that belonged to Robert Disney, the uncle of Walt Disney, which served as the first makeshift Disney Studio. Walt and his brother Roy filmed the Alice Comedies in the one-car garage! The Walt Disney Company now employs close to 185,000 people.
2. Hewlett Packard
An initial investment of $538 was what Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard had to start a business in the year 1939, in Palo Alto, California. They racked their brains to launch their first product which was an audio oscillator, which was bought by Walt Disney. 77 years and numerous subsidiaries later, HP still is one of the leaders in computer technology.
3. Harley Davidson
It was the year 1901, when a 21-year-old William Harley drew up plans to create a small engine to power a bicycle. Over the next two years, Harley and his childhood friend, Arthur Davidson, spent time building their motor-cycle in a rundown wooden shed in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Today, this company generates revenue to the tune of over $5 billion.
Stanford Graduate students Sergey Brin and Larry Page sought shelter in Susan Wojcicki's garage on a fine day in September 1998, to work on a project (that would later become Google!) Since, this project was taking much of their time and interfering with school, they tried selling it to Excite for $1 million. Excite declined the offer and 18 years later Google boasts of close to 200 subsidiary companies!
The online store started out as a garage store when Jeff Bezos decided to sell books from his home in Bellevue, Washington. His first book was sold in 1995. 20 years later, in 2015, it surpassed Walmart as the most valuable retailer in the United States.
In 1957, Dhirubhai Ambani started a yarn trading business inside a 350 sq ft room in Mumbai, which had one telephone, one table and three chairs. It wasn't long before he saw his dream of establishing India's largest company, turn into reality. The company is now worth ₹220 billion!
In an apartment room in Bangalore, sat Binny and Sachin Bansal, racking brains over how to start an e-retailer business, that later became Flipkart. During its nascent stages in 2007, both Binny and Sachin even delivered books on scooters to the residents of the city in the hope of growing their business! Today, the company is valued at almost a whopping ₹2000 crore!
Inside the cafeteria of Bain and Company, in the year 2008, think-tanks Deepinder Goyal and Pankaj Chaddah, joined forces to make food ordering easy for their colleagues. Today, Zomato has been able to successfully extend its services to over 20 nations.
Three designer roomates decided to rent out their apartment and to make ends meet they decided to turn their loft into a lodging space. Little did Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia know that they'd soon trump Hilton Hotels out of competition in terms of bookings!
Founder Michael Dell literally ran the whole company out of his university dorm room in 1984, making his own computers. He only had $1,000 as capital money. Today, Dell is a multi-billion dollar company that proves why a "whole lotta" starting capital is not needed to create a profitable business.
Sean Rad and Justin Mateen met in math class at The University of South California. They were both working on separate business ideas before they decided to "swipe right" in 2011! It's jokingly said that Rad needed help meeting people, without leaving the comfort of his home! 4 years later, Tinder was valued at $1.35 billion!
12. OYO Rooms
In 2010, 17-year-old college dropout Ritesh Agarwal's stays in various budget hotel rooms, prompted him to arrive at the idea of OYO Rooms (modelled on Airbnb's modus operandi). His idea of standardized hotels was backed by investor biggies like SoftBank Group, which invested money to the tune of $100 million!
An offspring of technical evolution across the World Wide Web, the idea of Reddit was conceived by Steve Huffman and Alexis Ohanian, who were roomates at the University of Virginia, in 2005. Today, this content sharing website is worth $500 million!
In the year 1994, Stanford University dorm-mates Jerry Yang and David Filo, collectively birthed one of the world's first search engines named Yahoo as "Jerry and David's Guide to the World Wide Web." 22 years later, Yahoo generates $4.96 billion worth of revenue!
Possibly one of the linchpins of the "social media" oeuvre, Mark Zuckerberg came up with the idea of Facebook in the year 2004, when he was a student at Harvard. This dorm-room idea of his soon had the world in its clasps. In just 11 years, it generated revenue to the tune of $17 billion.