If you transformed your garage from a place of junk and clutter into a clean, neat and orderly working environment, could it become the birthplace of a billion dollar company?
Certainly it could!
And why not? It’s been done many times before: a great idea, steely determination, and the cozy confines of a sheltering garage have combined to birth a baby business that grew into a world-renowned, international brand.
You probably already know about the humble garage beginnings of some of these companies: brands such as Apple, Google and Microsoft. But here are a few more companies that you might not have known were garage-born:
- Amazon.com. Yep, the world’s largest online retailer was born in a humble attached garage in Bellevue, Washington in 1994. In less than two decades Amazon grew into one of the most powerful and successful companies on the planet.
- Walt Disney. “When you wish upon a dream…” And especially, when you do it in a garage! That’s where Mr. Disney started his company back in 1923. It was just a small and simple wood-framed garage in back of the house of Walt’s uncle. But oh, what magnificent joy was spawned for generations of children from that simple little dream-factory!
- Harley-Davidson. HOG central. This iconic American company has survived the Great Depression, company restructurings and revivals, and hordes of competition from Japanese manufacturers. And yet Harley just continues to roar and rumble along in its role as the most well-known motorcycle brand on the planet. Harley’s birthplace? A 10-foot by 15-foot clapboard garage in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1901.
- Hewlett-Packard. 367 Addison Avenue, Palo Alto, California. A detached, wood-framed garage at Dave Packard’s home housed the birth of HP in 1939. From there Hewlett-Packard grew to dominate the tech industry, and became one of the world’s largest companies. And that little garage is also considered to be the birthplace of an entire industry: the Silicon Valley hotbed of high-tech.
- Maglite. Everyone’s favorite flashlight, and standard issue for officers in every police department in America. And yes – started in 1955 in a small garage in Los Angeles, with the vision of founder Tony Maglica and a $125 down payment for a lathe.
- Mattel. Can you imagine childhood without Mattel toys these days? It’s difficult! That’s because Mattel is the world’s highest-grossing toy company. Started in a garage in Southern California in 1945 by Harold “Matt” Matson and Elliot Handler, Mattel’s first product line was picture frames. They used leftover materials from the picture frames to build dollhouses as a sideline. The dollhouses didn’t remain a ‘side’ operation for long!
Your Garage Might Not Have Quite So Grand a Destiny Awaiting It…
Now, it might be that you’ll get your garage all spic and span and orderly, and then do nothing more with it than enjoy it with family and friends. Nothing wrong with that – after all, that’s what garages are for, too.
But if inspiration should strike one day, and the proverbial light bulb above your head is set aglow with a world-beater of an idea for a new business, well…you’ll know just where to get started.