How They Started: How 25 Good Ideas Became Great Companies
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
How do you turn a good idea into a great business?
Lots of us have ideas we think would make great businesses. Most of us never do anything with those ideas. Maybe it's because we're really happy with our jobs, maybe it's because we're not confident that our idea would really work. Or maybe it's simply because we don't know where to start.
This book is about 30 people like you. They had an idea, and went on to start a business. Those businesses are all extremely successful and most are now household names all across America.
With success stories ranging from retail and gaming to social media and the restaurant business, How They Started relives the humble beginnings of companies such as Coca-Cola and Disney, Google and Twitter, Zynga and Chipotle Grill. Through personal interviews with key sources - including founders, investors and past employees - each profile reveals how the company took its first tentative steps and subsequently became the famous name it is today.
Written by Carol Tice, regular writer for Entrepreneur Magazine, and David Lester, who set up a highly successful software company in Farmington, CT and now runs a company dedicated to supporting start-ups and entrepreneurs, How They Started is an enlightening and fascinating book that answers key questions for each business, such as:
-What happened first?
-How did they choose their name?
-How much did it cost to set up?
-Where did they find suppliers?
-How did they get their first customers?
-What problems did they run into - and how did they overcome them?
Profiles include: Blackberry, Chipotle Grill, Coca-Cola, Disney, Dropbox, eBay, Electronic Arts, Etsy, Gatorade, Google, Groupon, IBM, Jamba Juice, KFC, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Pinkberry, Spanx, Trip Advisor, Twitter, Wholefoods, Zipcar, Zynga.
looking for a more visionary company where he could explore computer animation. At first, John found Lucasfilm an intimidating place. “I mean, there I was, surrounded by all these PhDs who had basically invented computer animation,” John relates in To Infinity and Beyond! The Story of Pixar Animation Studios. “But then I realized they couldn’t bring a character to life with personality and emotion through pure movement like I could.” Though the animators in the Division were considered a
millions in the technology industry, and he turned down a prestigious scholarship at the University of Chicago to seek an MBA in California at Stanford Graduate School of Business. At Stanford, Gary was part of a gifted generation of digital entrepreneurs, with classmates going on to become driving forces in household-name companies such as Microsoft and Sun Microsystems. After graduating, he found a job in a biotechnology company—nothing too exciting, but the company’s CEO allowed him to sit in
for positive ways to use the slow time. It was during this tough first summer that Juice Club launched a marketing program, selling reusable Juice Club-branded plastic mugs for patrons who didn’t want to create waste by getting Styrofoam cups. Soon, Kevin recalls, San Luis Obispo’s streets teemed with cyclists and joggers with Juice Club mugs clipped onto the outsides of their backpacks, essentially creating walking ads for the store. “We were both biting our nails a bit, Kirk especially,”
the academic environment encouraged risk-taking and entrepreneurship. Its office of technology licensing offered technologists resources, advice and assistance with the patent process to help its students commercialize their research projects in return for a stake in the businesses. It was also a stone’s throw from Sand Hill Road, home to some of America’s most successful venture capital firms. Sergey and Larry had both grown up surrounded by science and technology. Larry’s father was one of the
first year were $5 million—the company was off and running. Just six months after the first venture capital round, Trip went back and raised $3 million more in investor funding, mostly from the same investors, plus A&M’s Moss. For the second round, with a few products out and several of them shaping up as solid sellers, Trip was able to obtain the funds at a company valuation four times greater than on the first round. The desert years As the company was releasing its first games, the