“Do what you love and you’ll never work another day in your life.”
Topics (founders of) Facebook, MicroSoft, CraigsList, Disney, Harley-Davidson, Under Armour + 9 more.
These Founders did just that, and they’ve made millions. From to Craig Newmark of Craig’s List to Harley & Davidson of Cycle fame to Walt Disney from his first Cartoon sketches to Mark Zuckerberg, who started a Social Media platform for his friends, then Univ, which eventually became Facebook. Here are 14 Founders who turned their Hobbies into $M & $B companies.
Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook
When Mark started a small social media website for students at Harvard University, it was just a hobby. But his side project — which ultimately became Facebook — blossomed into a multi-billion-dollar global company. Today, his net worth is estimated to be just under $70 billion – which is #5 in the world. “I probably learned more coding from random side projects that I did than the courses I took in college,” Mark said recently.
Bill Gates, MicroSoft
When Bill was studying at Harvard University, he fully intended on becoming a Lawyer, and spent his free time in the Computer Lab. After two years at the school, Bill dropped out in 1975 to pursue his passion — SW that that would make the Computer — that was just developing — a useful tool. So he & Paul Allan launched Microsoft — which became the World Leaded in Computer SW. With an estimated net worth of $90 billion, Bill has been #1 or #2 of the world’s wealthiest people for 3 decades. In 3
2006 has stepped down as leader of MicroSoft to focus on an Educational Philanthropy. — with his wife.
Craig Newmark, Craigslist . . .
moved to San Francisco in 1993 for a job in computer programming at Charles Schwab brokerage (which helps Investors buy & sell Stocks). When he was laid off 2 years later, he made the most of the situation by using his Severance Package toe start a small Message board that aggregated events that fellow programmers might be interested in.With terrific timing, Newmark’s project coincided with the release of the early internet browser Netscape. With the addition of a job-listing section, the site, which eventually became Craigslist, boomed in popularity and is now #1 for Shopping & Classified with 50 billion page-views per month. Today, Craig’s net worth is estimated to be $1.3B.
Walt Disney, The Walt Disney Company
Walt’s early interest in drawing Cartoons ultimately culminated in a Multi-media Empire that encompasses beloved Cartoon characters, Animated movies, & Theme Parks. At just 7years old, he sold his earliest Cartoon sketches to neighbors. Wherever he went — including a stint as an ambulance driver in Europe during World War I — he would draw cartoons. Returning to the US after the war, he got a job as an Advertising Cartoonist as a teen. He moved to Hollywood – when the Movie was just and created the first Animated Short with the Mickey Mouse character in 1928 – which became very popular. He went on to create Animated Short and eventually full length Movies & TV Shows At the time of his death in 1966, he was worth over $20M [14% of his co] which has continued and is now grown to $140M.
William Harley + Arthur Davidson = Harley-Davidson
Motorcycles are usually synonymous with one of the most famous brands in the business: Harley-Davidson [HD] (not Hard Drive). The ubiquitous vehicles began as the hobby of two friends in 1903, who saw the advent of the gasoline engine as a way to innovate bicycle design. Today, it is one of the biggest public companies in USA – $6B in annual sales.
Debbi Fields, Mrs Fields Cookies
Success was just the way the cookie crumbled for Debbi Fields, founder of Mrs. Fields. “We made every dollar stretch,” she said, referring to her working-class upbringing. “My father believed that true wealth was found in family, friends and doing what you love. “For Fields, baking — and cookies in particular — was her Hobby and brought her joy. Even when her family couldn’t afford real ingredients, she use some artificial ingredients. Her famous Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe launched a Dessert empire in Palo Alto, CA in 1977 – that is now worth $450M.
Kevin Plank, Under Armour
The best inventions are solutions to everyday problems — something that Founder, Kevin Plank knows all too well. Despite the Under Armour founder’s unremarkable football career at the University of Maryland, the hours he spent training and working out inspired his multi-million dollar idea – moisture-wicking athletic clothing – starting in 1966 with sales of over $5M annually now and has a personal net worth of over $1B.
Michelle Schroeder-Gardner, Making Sense of Cents . . .
paid off $38,000 worth of Student Loans in just 7 months after she graduated from Business School. Her secret — and the reason she now earns more than $100,000 a month through her Blog — is to focus on earning. “The biggest reason for why I was able to pay off my student loans is because I earned as much money as I could outside of my day job,” she explains on her personal Finance & Lifestyle Blog, Making Sense of Cents. “I mystery shopped and got paid to take surveys, but the biggest thing I did was I made an income through my blog.” She started her Blog while pursuing an MBA in Finance. Although she first envisioned it as more of a Diary, the site now generates revenue through online Classes she teaches on the site, affiliate marketing, and advertising (both company-sponsored ads &display ads). She and her husband both quit their jobs in 2013 and now travel across the US in an RV.
Michael J. Kittredge, Yankee Candle
When he was 16 years old, Michael crafted a Candles made of melted red crayons for his mother as a Christmas gift. After a friend offered to buy the wax creation, he started making candles in his parents’ garage and selling them at his school and to local businesses in his Mass. hometown. By 1972, Michael was paying $0/mo to rent a former Paper Mill as a workshop. Over time, the primarily wholesale business garnered $1B in annual sales. A decade later, he took out a Loan to open a Retail Outlet & Factory complex. By the mid-1990s, Yankee Candle had become a household name. He now is worth over $1.75B.
Alicia Shaffer, Three Bird Nest of Etsy
Although she left Etsy’s eCommerce site in 2015, at one point Alicia Shaffer — founder of the BoHo-inspired accessories shop Three Bird Nest — was the handmade marketplace’s biggest seller – earning an average of $60K/month. “I would have been thrilled to make $100 to $200 a month to pay for my daughter’s dance lessons,” Shaffer told Business Insider. “I was really just trying to make a couple sales a week, because I had lost confidence in my ability to start a business.” She ended up exceeding that goal by a long shot. Three Bird Nest’s now earns almost $1M/yr.
Al “Bubba” Baker, Bubba’s-Q Boneless Ribs
Although he was already an NFL legend, retired football player Al “Bubba” Baker’s second career has been equally successful. After pitching his barbecue rib concept, Bubba’s-Q, on “Shark Tank,” (the biggest deal ever). The business — which he began as a Catering company – went from earning $154K to $16M/yr in 4 years. In addition to an online shop, there’s a brick-and-mortar Bubba’s-Q restaurant in Avon, Ohio. Bubba is no worth $17B.
Jennifer Hyman & Jennifer Fleiss, Rent the Runway
Both passionate about Fashion, Harvard Business School classmates Jennifer Hyman & Jennifer Fleiss founded Rent the Runway, an apparel and accessories rental service, in 2009. “We started by purchasing dresses at retail in our own sizes — we figured if the concept didn’t work, at least we’d have a great wardrobe! We just went to different under-graduate campus and started renting dresses to women,” Fleiss said. On its 2016 roundup of the Richest Self-Made Women to Watch, Forbes reported that Hyman & Fleiss each had a yearly Salary of $80M.
Megan Duckett, Sew What? & Rent What? . . .
who moved to Los Angeles from Australia in 1992 at age 19 and worked in the Entertainment & Event planning industries before launching Sew What? – in 1997, a theatrical draping company. She also operates Rent What?, a drapery rental company. Her handiwork has been seen everywhere from KISS concerts to a New Year’s Eve party at Las Vegas’ Mirage hotel. “With a little creativity and the incentive to go digging around to find the clients, I knew that there was an opportunity there,” she told CNN, which report that she earned $7M in annual Revenue.
Comments: Do you know any Founders who have gone from Hobby to healthy Business?
from Business Insider.com 6/31/18 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4.biz