Prior to March 2020, working from home was broadly unheard of outside of freelance work. The spread of COVID-19 quickly saw to it that working from home became the norm for almost every office-based worker around the world, with some people finding it to be more productive, and others finding it to be broadly unhelpful and a hindrance on their output – especially entrepreneurs who had planned to launch their own company in 2020.
There’s no denying that lockdown restrictions have added pressure to those looking to start their own businesses, with unprecedented hurdles being thrown into the mix at every turn, but that doesn’t mean starting a hugely successful company is out of the question purely because you’re confined to your house.
If working from home has you questioning whether starting a business from your bedroom is a viable venture, or if it has you wondering if you should even consider going it alone at a time like this when you don’t have access to a broader office environment, take a moment to read about famous working from home heroes.
We’ve compiled a list of well-known entrepreneurs who changed the world with their business ideas – all of which were started within the confines of their homes – in the hope it might inspire you to continue on despite all the hurdles the pandemic is throwing your way.
We’ve all more than likely used an HP product at one stage our lives, whether it be a laptop or a printer, but you might be surprised to find out that the giant tech company was started in Dave Packard’s garage. He and Bill Hewlett got to work in Packard’s garage in Palo Alto, California, in 1939 – giving them an additional claim to fame by way of being the first Silicon Valley tech company. Now synonymous with cutting edge technology and a household brand in countries around the globe, the 82-year-old business got its humble start from the comfort of a basic garage, and if that doesn’t inspire you to carry on with your project in your own garage, nothing will.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a person who hasn’t indulged in a scent from Yankee Candle in one way or another; be it through an actual candle, a reed diffuser or a car air freshener. Almost everyone has smelt a signature Yankee Candle scent or given someone else the gift of doing so; the brand is now synonymous with presents and the final step in the tidying/process for people everywhere, but it wasn’t always that way. In fact, the first Yankee Candle was made in a kitchen by Mike Kittredge from crayons and a milk carton because he was too broke to buy his mum a birthday gift, and it exploded from there into the global brand it is now.
It turns out you don’t need a fancy animation studio to start the world’s best-loved animation company – all you need is a house and a vision. Walt Disney and Roy Disney moved from their home in mid-west America to California and started the first Disney studio. Creating lovable characters like Mickey Mouse and Snow White, the pair – who started their journey at home – are now responsible for shaping childhoods everywhere, and they curated such a culture from their residential four walls.
Arguably the most recognised motorbike company in the world, Harley Davidson got its start from a wooden shed constructed by William Harley and Arthur Davidson in 1903. By 1918, the company was selling motorbikes to the U.S. military, and by 1920 it became the largest motorcycle manufacturer in the world. From a wooden shed to glamorous showrooms and collector’s garages, Harley Davidson has gone on to become one of the biggest success stories of all.
A brand relied upon heavily by the world’s top athletes, Under Armor wasn’t always that way. At the age of 23, Kevin Plank has had enough of his football shirts being soaked through with sweat after each game, so after he graduated from college, he took to his basement to find a solution to the problem. He had a few college friends who had progressed in their football careers to reach the NFL, so he gave his prototype shirts to them to test. They were a hit, so he set up shop in the back of his car until he eventually had enough of a demand to move operations from his basement to a warehouse. The company is now worth well over $5.2 billion.
If you’re an internet user, you’ve probably heard of the game Minecraft. It was created in 2009 by Marcus Persson who, at the time, still had a full-time job. The game was widely received by keen coders and gamers, but it didn’t extend beyond its beta stage for a long time. During the beta stage, Persson quit his job to fix bugs and add new features before the game was eventually published in 2011 – a full two years after its conception. It’s now the most downloaded game in the world and has a gaming world that is bigger than the Earth’s surface, but its beginnings were in a humbly sized apartment.
We hope these working from heroes have helped inspire you into continuing with your entrepreneurial dreams – if not – we hope they’ve given you a bit of home if working from home has been getting you down lately.
If you already have your own business and are looking for a way to get it off the ground, get in touch with us to talk about your digital marketing needs today.