6. Under Armour
A 23 year old Kevin Plank set out to create a solution to sweat soaked shirt that he had to suffer from every time he played football. So he went down to his basement and created Under Armor. Plank was a fullback at the University of Maryland, and after graduation, he developed his first prototype of the shirt.
He gave the shirts to his Maryland teammates and friends who had gone on to play in the NFL. Originally he sold them from the trunk of his car. Within a year, he had enough of a following to open his own warehouse.
A big break for the company came in 1999 when Warner Brother’s contacted Under Amour to outfit the feature films Any Given Sunday and The Replacements. The company’s revenues outlook for 2016 is approximately $4.95 Billion.
Founder Craig Newmark started Craigslist in 1995 as an email distribution list to friends. Initially Newmark posted notices of social events in the San Francisco area. However, Newmark was surprised when people started to use the distribution list to post other items such as jobs listing.
Craigslist incorporated as a private for-profit company in 1999 and Newmark left his full time job as a programmer to run Craigslist full time. Craigslist is still a private company that does not disclose financial information. It is assumed that Craigslist is worth well over $1 Billion. In 2012 Peter Thiel said “Craigslist would be worth something like $5 billion if it were run more like a company than a commune”.
William “Bill” Redington Hewlett and David “Dave” Packard started up Hewlett-Packard in a one car garage in Palo Alto, California in 1939. They originally spent $538 dollars to rent the space. There were times in their product creating that they even used the family oven to finish test products. There first financially successful product was a precision audio oscillator.
Even with tough competition from companies like Dell and Apple, HP reported a fiscal 2015 net revenue of $103.4 billion.
Microsoft was created in a garage in Albuquerque by Bill Gates and Paul Allen in 1975 . After dropping out of college, the two focused on programming language software. The garage they worked from was only big enough to fit two people.
Microsoft is now a multinational technology company with an annual revenue averaging 93 billion in 2015. Microsoft’s operating system is used by 80% of computers worldwide.
When Walt Disney was 16, he dropped out of school to join the Army but was rejected for being underage. The Walt Disney Company was founded on October 16, 1923, by Walt Disney and Roy O. Disney as the Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio.
Walt’s firsts film studio was his uncle’s garage. Walt rigged up a cartoon stand in his Uncle Robert’s garage, using dry-goods boxes and spare lumber. These days, Disney has multiple studio locations and reports a revenue of $53 billion in 2015.