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20 Billion-Dollar Companies That Began As Home Businesses

TristaOctober 9, 2020
Although this apparel company is famous, did you know it started as a basement gig? Shutterstock

4. Under Armor

Kevin Plank, the creator of Under Armor, was only 24 when he designed and created his first sample of the sportswear. Kevin, a former football player, found it too uncomfortable to take off his t-shirt drenched in sweat underneath his team jersey. He observed that his shorts, which he used to put on during practice, stayed thoroughly dry.

The hygroscopic quality of the compression shorts motivated him to create a t-shirt prototype from moisture-wicking fabric. After Kevin earned his graduate degree from the University of Maryland, he produced the original specimen. He made the breakthrough in the basement of his grandmother’s home in Washington, DC. He gave away the first few shirts he had made to his friends and teammates who went on to play in the NFL wearing the moisture-wicking tees.

Initially, Plank traveled across the East Coast to promote and establish his sportswear brand. He clenched his debut deal towards the close of 1996 worth $17,000, and there was no looking back. Within a few months, he moved out of the Washington basement and shifted to Baltimore, Maryland, which continues to be Under Armor’s headquarters.

Under Armor also makes sports accessories such as protective kit, caps, gloves, bags, and much more. Under Armor’s revenues totaled $5.22 billion. The company’s market cap was worth more than $10.7 billion in 2018.

This notorious company is known for using the letter ‘i’ before product names, such as the iPhone, but you already knew that. Shutterstock

3. Apple

Steve Jobs teamed up with Steve Wozniak to create the first Apple PC blueprint in 1976. Steve was astute enough to realize that Wozniak’s obsession with computers could be effectively transformed to a lucrative venture.

The duo got going in the garage of Jobs’ parents’ home in Los Altos, California. They first assembled 50 Apple I computers for a local trader. It took them about a month to make all the components. They were paid $500 for their first order. Over the years, both the tech wizards upgraded the technology, developed new products, and stayed with innovative thinking. They made Apple Inc. the largest tech company worldwide as a result of their hard work. 

Today Apple Inc. is a multinational tech firm with its headquarters in Cupertino, California. They operate 511 retail stores worldwide. Apple designs, manufactures, and promotes premium quality computer software, consumer electronics, and online services. The tech behemoth’s annual global revenues were $260.17 billion in 2019, making it the world’s most valuable company.  

Apple became the first publicly-listed company in the US, with a valuation exceeding $1 trillion in August 2018 because of their position. As of August 2020, Apple was valued at $2 trillion, the first US-based multinational to attain that mark. Though Steve Jobs passed away, his vision continues to inspire.

The Google platform consists of multiple uses from emails to search engines. Shutterstock

2. Google

Of all globally-renowned tech companies that originated in a garage, Google is the most well-known. Larry Page and Sergey Brin teamed up to design Google in their dorm. All Sergey and Larry wanted to do was simplify searching for anything with a search engine.

In those days, the majority of search engines, including Yahoo!, demonstrated the ‘search term’ several times on a page. However, Page and Brin turned the search process on its head by introducing the PageRank algorithm as a result of their new way of thinking. In no time, the PageRank system became the exclusive hallmark of Google. The groundwork for Google was laid in 1998 in a Menlo Park garage rented out to them by Susan Wojcicki. Google was therefore up and running five months after Larry and Sergey started on the project.

The duo attempted to sell Google to Excite for a paltry $1 million, which was turned down. Had Excite accepted the proposal then the company would have been rolling in money as Alphabet (Google’s parent company) as a result. This company is worth more than $1 trillion. Google is now synonymous with the term ‘search engine.’ It is easily the most popular search engine globally because of its position.

Google is headquartered in Mountain View, California. This billion-dollar company employs over 115,000 professionals. With an individual net worth exceeding $30 billion, Sergey Brin and Larry Page are two of the wealthiest people globally.  

This company dominates the tech industry from computers and software to emails and video games – and so much more. Shutterstock

1. Microsoft

Another US multinational tech company that had its beginnings in a garage is Microsoft. In 1975, Bill Gates and Paul Allen joined hands to start designing the infrastructure of Microsoft in a garage in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Both Bill and Paul quit college to therefore devote all their time to developing and programming software.

The garage where Gates and Allen worked together was not spacious enough for even two adults. On top of that, they hardly any resources due to their lack of funding. However, their lack of resources and adequate working space was more than made up for due to their exceptional programming skills.

Paul and Bill exploited their programming expertise to install Microsoft’s first operating system thanks to their skill. After that, they did R&D for more sophisticated and complex software systems.

Today, more than 80% of all workstations and processors run on different Microsoft office applications and suites as a result of their successes. This enables the corporation to rake in annual revenues of approximately $93 billion as a result. Along with Apple, Facebook, Alphabet, and Amazon, Microsoft is one of the ‘Big Five’ companies that dominate the US’s IT sector. From 2010 onwards, this technological giant has become one of the most valuable publicly traded companies worldwide thanks to their success. In 2018, Microsoft deposed Apple by reclaiming its position as the most valuable publicly listed company globally.

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