You’ve probably heard of famous garage bands, but did you know that some of the world’s biggest businesses also had their humble starts in a garage?  Take a look at the following list and see how they’ve grown.  What might this list inspire you to do in your garage?


It’s amazing to think that the world’s largest online bookstore and retail seller got its start in a garage in Bellevue Washington.  Creator Jeff Bezos started amazon in 1994, sold his first book in 1995, and issued his IPO in 1997.

2. Harley Davidson

In 1901, 21-year-old S. Harley had an idea to create a small engine that would power his cycle.  Partnering with friend Arthur Davidson, the two worked for two years on their design in a small shed in Wisconsin.  Their first motorcycle, and their company, launched in 1903.

3. Disney

Walt and Roy Disney created their first studio in the garage of their uncle’s Los Angeles house in 1923.

4. Google

Larry Page and Sergey Brin first rented the Menlo Park, CA garage of Susan Wojcicki in September of 1998. After 5 months, Page and Brin emerged with the now famous Google algorithm.

5. Yankee Candle

in 1969, 16 year old Michael Kittredge made a scented candle for his mother out of melted candle pieces in his home garage. That candle caught the attention of his neighbors, who began placing orders. After 4 years Kittredge had to move into a bigger location, eventually becoming the biggest manufacturer of scented candles in the USA.

6. Apple

Steve Jobs and Steve Wozinak created their first Apple computer prototype in 1976 in a small Cupertino, CA garage.  They sold the Apple I to a local retailer for $500/unit.

7, 8 & 9. Microsoft & Dell & Hewlett Packard

Apple was not the only computer company that started in a garage.  Microsoft, Dell and Hewlett Packard all started in garages of their own.  Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard started in a Palo Alto garage.  Bill Gates and Paul Allen started Microsoft in a small Washington garage. And Michael Dell started in his Texas garage in 1984.

10. Mattel

In 1945, Ruth and Elliot Handler began taking scraps from their wooden frame business and turning them into dollhouses. Their popularity really soared in 1955 when they began advertising their toys on the Mickey Mouse Club television show.

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