For most people, garages are where you store your car, your motorcycle, or your extra stuff you don’t want in the house. But for some, the garage is more than storage.
It is their office. Their laboratory. It’s where they go to get things done and sometimes, attempt to change the world.
It sounds a little crazy, but these companies showed that the garage just might be the perfect place to start a business.
Let’s start with arguably the most famous garage start-up: Apple.
If someone mentions they’re starting a business in their garage, it’s hard not to think of Apple. Their story has become so romanticized in modern tech culture, appearing in movies, books, new stories, and more. Two men sat down one day and decided to change the world of computers.
Of course, the truth isn’t so glamorous.
In 1976, Steve Jobs saw the potential to build a relatively simple circuit board that people could use to build their own computer. The trouble was, Steve wasn’t a programmer or an engineer. Luckily, his friend Steve Wozniak was, and a brilliant one at that.
The two got together in the garage of Jobs’ parents’ house, and the rest is history.
Hewlett Packard (HP)
Apple often gets the glory for garage startups. Sometimes, people even credit them for putting Silicon Valley on the map. But it’s actually Hewlett Packard that deserves the credit for both of those trends.
Back in 1939, HP started building audio oscillators in a garage barely bigger than storage shed in Palo Alto, California. Things got going pretty quickly, with one of their first clients being a company called Walt Disney Studios.
They purchased HP’s oscillators so they could upgrade theatres for their latest movie, Fantasia.
HP would continue to flourish from there, transitioning from audio equipment to computers and putting Palo Alto on the technological map.
Though Microsoft was at the forefront of the modern computer age, it’s never been located in Silicon Valley or even California for that matter. Instead, Bill Gates and Paul Allen started their computer empire in a garage in Albuquerque, New Mexico, developing software for a new microcomputer on the market.
While hardly mainstream, this initial product was enough to make a splash in a relatively new software market. They’d get the consumers attention a few years later with MS-DOS before taking the computing world by storm with the most popular software product ever created: Microsoft Windows.
With Amazon being the king of online shopping, it’s easy to forget they began has a humble online book store in the mid 90’s. Jeff Bezos built the first Amazon website in his own garage using some investment money he was able to pull together from family and friends.
Interestingly, Bezos’ original vision was to just sell something online. He wasn’t sure what the products were going to be. He simply believed that ecommerce was the future and started setting up a company before a product was even established.
The reason he eventually chose to sell books was because of their low price point, wide-availability, and global demand. Clearly it was the right choice.
The most popular website in the world started in a garage that didn’t belong to either of the founders. Instead, it belonged to their friend and future Google employee Susan Wojcicki. Not that she let them use it for free. Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin had to pay rent.
It was still a great deal for them.
Even in the late 90’s, rent in Silicon Valley was very expensive. Susan charged less than any office space would have. This winning arrangement led to the creation of a website that has truly shaped what the internet is today.
Whatever You Use Your Garage For, We Can Help
Whether you want to start a business, setup up a lounge, or simply park your car, we can help you find the perfect entry and overhead doors that will keep your place safe and secure. Some professional advice, if you’re planning on working in your garage in Ohio, you’ll want to spring for insulated doors.
Don’t worry, we have some great options.