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9 Humbling Facts About The World’s Largest Tech Companies

We sometimes forget that even behemoths in the tech world began as startups. Their stories are often romanticised and made legendary; we love an eccentric founder, skeletons, and talk about an impending downfall of the hegemon. One thing that does hold true for all these companies is that, disregarding the staggering scale and rapidity of their success; their origins are often humble.

Our name Garage Society is a nod to amazing companies born from a garage, of which Google, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon are on this list. From that, visionaries behind these companies were able to create significant value and pioneering impact. Some silly and some unexpected, we bring you interesting facts about the humble origins of the largest tech companies in the world:

  1. The main reason the Google homepage is so minimalist is that founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin didn’t know HTML very well when it first launched, so they just went with a simple interface. (Source)
  2. During the first Summer that Facebook started, the Zuckerberg family had to spend US$85,000 to keep the company afloat. As of 2015, Mark Zuckerberg has a net worth of US$34.8 billion. (Source)

 

2-created-chat Source

 

  1. In the very early days of Amazon, there was a bug that allowed customers to credit money back into their account by ordering a negative number of books. Oops! (Source)
  2. Founder Jack Ma set up Alibaba by borrowing US$60,000 from 18 people. The first employees had to pretend the company wasn’t Chinese when communicating with overseas customers. (Source).
  3. Ronald Wayne, one of the 3 founders of Apple, personally drew the first logo, which depicted Sir Isaac Newton under a tree with a single suspending Apple. (Source)

 

Apple_LogoEvolution_Fig5 Source

 

  1. Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer starred in the first Windows 1.0 commercial as an overly zealous salesman. Watch  ithere (a must).  
  2. Lee Byung Chull founded Samsung as a small trading company for local grocers. (Source)
  3. Sony founder Masaru Ibuka launched the company’s first product right after WWII, which was a wooden rice cooker. It failed because the rice would always be overcooked or undercooked. (Source)

Source Source

  1. Pony Ma founded Tencent in 1998 with 4 friends. The first couple of years were tough and Ma assumed janitorial duties, among others, to keep the company afloat. (Source)

Inspired by these tales and ready to embark on your own epic startup journey? Or just curious and want to learn more about working at a startup? Join us this Saturday for the second Hong Kong Startups and Tech Job Fair, which followers from the success of last year’s event - the first of its kind in the city. We’ve joined with W Hub to bring together the best talent with top startups for a day of networking. We’ll also be hosting panel talks and workshops with EasyVanGeneral AssemblySoundbrenner, and more! Get your ticket HERE, or head over to the Facebook Event Page for more information about the exhibitors.

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WHERE: 19F, 299 Queen’s Road Central, Sheung Wan

WHEN: Saturday, June 6th from 10 am — 4 pm

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