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6 Garages That Changed The World

6 Garages That Changed The World

Everyone loves a rags to riches story. The majority of us aren’t royalty or offspring of oil barons, but spend our time merely attempting to make ends meet while trying our best to make the most of our time while we’re here. That’s why when we see a story of triumph, like a journey from modest pastures to fields of great success, we find it awe-inspiring.

Here were people, just like us, who with great vision, sacrifice and innovation, seized an opportunity to achieve. Funnily enough, nothing can typify this sentiment more than the spawning of some of the world’s biggest and most influential companies. Many of them started out in very humble workplace arrangements. It’s hard to believe. When we think of the big corporations and conglomerates of today, we think of skyscrapers and executive living, not computers paired alongside pedestal fans and gardening equipment. It’s truly amazing that some of the world’s leading companies, of which arguably bear influence over the direction of mankind, all began operating out of a home garage.

Don’t believe it? Read on to see how the modern world was defined and changed all thanks to a few trusty lock up, (we hope), garages!

1. Google

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Google Office California

    It’s September 1998, and a couple of Stanford graduates, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, decide to rent a garage from a friend, Susan Wojcicki. They worked day and night over the following months to develop an online search engine called ‘Google’. Their goal was to create a platform that could pull all the information on the web into one portal accessible for anyone (and anywhere) that had an internet connection.

    Fast-forward 18 years and Google is the most used search engine available, as well as the most visited domain in existence. This was no accident. Page and Brin were not your average students – they were prodigies, blessed with capabilities worthy of transfiguring the world. Think about just how big Google is for a second. In your immediate surroundings, fathom how many people use it, need it, rely on it. Stats highlight that every minute that passes, 2 million searches are conducted on Google.

    Since its inception, Google has firmly cemented its global domination and is only getting bigger. They recently announced developments in things like basic artificial intelligence. This all stemmed from a small room attached to a house. For Page and Brin to succeed, all they needed was a garage setting to compliment and fuel their brilliant minds – and thus Google was born. When Google bought out Youtube, they made Ms. Wojcicki (their initial garage landlord) CEO as a token of appreciation.

    2. Microsoft

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    Microsoft Office Building

      It’s weird to think that Microsoft, creator of the most popular software in the world, with a market share of 80%, was conceived in the garage of a small suburb in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Bill Gates, alongside friend Paul Allen, worked on a small software program in partnership with IBM. These early days lead to the creation of the landmark software application ‘Windows’.

      Microsoft is now one of the biggest companies in the world, worth several hundred billion in capital. More than a billion computers worldwide are running Windows. As the company constantly updates and refines its programs, it will no doubt get bigger. The company also channels a large amount of its wealth for philanthropic purposes. Microsoft, under the guise and encouragement of Gates, is always starting new charities to help aid and assist people or regions in need, most notably in Africa. Donations to notable causes and organisations are now a fundamental pillar in Microsoft’s company values. As of today, Microsoft is the leading software provider worldwide and has lead to Gates being dubbed the 4th most powerful man in the world. A simple garage is all it took to get it all going.

      3. Amazon

      Amazon Warehouse

        The story of Amazon is much like the river; long, meandering and wild, yet compelling and inspiring. Its founder, Jeff Bezos, worked in computer science on Wall Street throughout the early 90s, building networks in international trading. After being exposed to the rapid growth in internet based business, Bezos left his well paid job in New York in pursuit of his own venture, driving cross country to relocate in Seattle, drafting the formative plans for an internet-based shopping centre along the way. This road trip led to the creation of what is now the biggest online retailer in the world, Amazon.

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        Arriving in Seattle, Bezos set up shop in his garage, pooling together his ingenuity and creative resources to pave the way for a corporate juggernaut that is today the pinnacle of E-commerce and online shopping. The company sits around $65 billion in value, serving customers worldwide. Funny to think it all started from selling a book out of a garage. Now, people associate Amazon with the retailer more so than the breathtaking river.

        4. Disney

        A Disney Store in Paris

          In 1923, brothers Walt and Roy Disney, who were looking to start their careers as artists, politely asked their uncle if they could use his garage to make films (you know, as one typically does). Unsure of what exactly Walt and Roy were referring to, he kindly permitted. The works that were created in this garage, all due to the generosity of Walt and Roy’s uncle, would influence storytelling, filmmaking, and the worldwide landscape of media and entertainment. Their legacy continues to touch the hearts and imaginations of generations upon generations to this very day.

          This success, like all great stories, didn’t come without its challenges. There was a high chance the Disney company was going to be as prolific as Bambi’s mother’s screen time. Disney faced overwhelming rejection from investors in the early stages of production. However, the animated film eventually triumphed, and Disney became one of the highest earning film studios in the world. Today, it’s one of the biggest media entities, leading the way in family animation with Pixar and blockbuster entertainment with Marvel movies and Star Wars. All it took was great imagination, a generous uncle, and a modest garage to help inspire stories that touch our hearts still to this day and create a show business empire.

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          5. Apple

          Apple Store

            Probably the most popular garage story, a lot of us are very aware of Apple’s humble beginnings. Founder Steve Jobs, given the scarcity of the industry at the time, opted to work from his parents’ home garage to create ‘Apple’ along with pals Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne. This was in negotiation and strict agreement with Steve’s adopted parents, Paul and Clara. This garage would become the birthplace of Apple 1, Apple’s first major computing product. This was the beginning of what would lead to a journey of worldwide technological advancement.

            Apple’s journey was one that encompassed tumultuous and cyclonic events in its early years, which saw creator, Jobs, leave and then later return to establish Apple as one of the biggest tech giants in the world. Innovative products like the ipod, macbook, iphone, imac, and ipad have transformed the way in which the world connects and engages. Apple’s success is best highlighted by the fact it was the first company in the United States to be valued at $700 billion and is the largest publicly traded corporation in the world by market capitalization. Next time you look at your iphone, or order a much needed coffee courtesy of an ipad, thank Paul and Clara Jobs for generously sub-letting their garage.

            Conclusion

            It’s overwhelming to think that the world has been so heavily influenced by inventions and innovations conceived in plain old garages. A room usually reserved for cars, storage, garden equipment, and unwanted furniture is also apparently a recurring source of creative, highly lucrative, and influential ideas. If you’re looking for an office space to fuel your startup or entrepreneurship, remind yourself of the admirable stories mentioned here, where creative geniuses opted for a garage over an overpriced feng shui workplace.

            By combining the wealth of these ideas created in garages, the figures reach north of several trillion dollars. Let that sink in. You can’t help but imagine what would’ve happened if the individuals mentioned throughout hadn’t locked their garage doors. Ideas are synonymous with theft, so if you decide to follow the footsteps of these great innovators from the contemporary world, be sure to research how to lock up, service, and maintain your garage.

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            Last Updated on July 18, 2019

            How to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills For a Swift Career Switch

            How to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills For a Swift Career Switch

            Most people grow up with dreams to go to college and graduate with high-paying job offers waiting for them the week after graduation. Others may favor non-traditional career paths. But the desire is the same: to find a job we love where compensation is commensurate with experience.

            However, plans change. For instance, what started out as a dream to be a surgeon is cut short by a nasty injury and you’re debating how to transition into a new role. Or you might be facing being let go from your current employer and are anxious about “options out there.”

            Whatever the case may be, switching careers can be intentional or unintentional. What matters is that you’re well-prepared, and the only way to do so is to learn new skills — hone in on your transferable skills.

            Why Hone in on Your Transferable Skills?

            There are several reasons you need to develop these skills if you want to go far in life and your career. In a nutshell, honing in your your transferable skills can lead to:

            Better Job Offers

            Continuous assessment and improvement of your skills widens the pool of job offers for you to make selections from. You’re no longer tethered to one industry as you’re able to lead your career by design, not by default.

            People with transferable skills on a resume also open up opportunities for more potential employers.

            Increase in Pay and More Responsibilities

            You’ve heard the saying “with great power come great responsibility.” In your case, transferable skills make you more marketable to employers which could lead to pay raises.

            Although this isn’t an automatic process– you have to be proactive about what you want in the marketplace, there is a chance that these pay raises will come with change in titles and roles.

            A Shot at Entrepreneurship

            Yes, changing career paths also includes the possibility of working for yourself. With these skills and work experience, you could live anywhere in the world and design a life and career you want.

            We’ve talked about why you need to strengthen your transferable skills but what are some these skills, and how can you work on them?

            13 Tips to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills

            1. Update Your Resume

            You might be surprised to know this but yes, updating your resume is a skill. The very first thing you should do while thinking about switching careers is to highlight attributes that make you very desirable candidate to employers.

            Think about your volunteer experiences, freelance projects, and school projects. Although they might seem insignificant, they demonstrate your ability to deliver results that several companies are looking for.

            While you might have held several positions since college, switching careers will require you to have a different type of resume.

            There are three different types of resumes: functional, chronological, and a combination resume. However, if you are looking to switch careers you’ll want to have a functional resume. A functional resume is strengths-based that emphasizes skills that are transferable rather than a collection of dates and job titles.

            2. Brush up on Your Communication Skills

            Every attempt to get ahead in business and in life starts with the need to communicate effectively. Whether it is interpersonal, intercultural, or multi-generational, the ability to be seen and heard while respecting the boundaries of work relationship matters.

            That’s why it’s one of the top skills you need to master. Strong communication skills allows you to effectively tailor your messages to specific audiences, which will make you a stronger asset to any organization.

            To hone this skill:

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            Pay attention to your listening skills. To communicate effectively, you need to first learn how to understand others.

            Your ability to decode overt and implied messages, no matter how nuanced they are, is key to knowing how to foster deep relationships with others.

            This article can also give you effective ways to enhance your communication skills:

            How to Master Effective Communication Skills at Work and Home

            3. Learn Technical (or Business) Writing

            Another form of communication, writing, is a skill that can take you anywhere.

            Companies communicate a lot through written memos, emails, newsletters, and other audio-visual means. But at the crux of this all is someone or some people who are tasked with translating the organization’s vision into statements anyone can understand.

            To hone this skill:

            Consider taking some free or paid classes online. You can accomplish this through several community colleges or online platforms like Lynda, Udemy or edX .

            4. Practice Public Speaking and Presentation Skills

            No matter how intelligent you are, no one will take you seriously if you’re unable to pull off a decent level of persuasion through presentation skills.

            Most presentation can be done through either electronic devices or require your physical presence. Your chosen career may require you to be in front of several hundreds of people or you could be charged with developing materials for presentation.

            To hone this skill:

            Volunteer to lead projects that give you some responsibility for putting together presentations.

            Also, try taking courses that will improve your public speaking skills if you feel lacking.

            These tips on public speaking would be helpful too:

            The Ultimate Public Speaking Tips to Hook and Impress Any Audience

            5. Get Comfortable with Identifying Problems and Solutions

            Every organization has got its problems no matter how greener the grass is on the other side.

            How to hone this skill:

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            Practice being resourceful.

            Do you know where to find every company policy on the intranet in less than five minutes?

            Think about a time you noticed some inefficiency at work and proposed a solution. Think about instances where you lent your voice to a cause which resulted in improved processes for your department.

            No matter how small or inadequate you might feel, you’ve got some problem-solving skills that some organizations want.

            If you look for more ways to improve your problem solving skills, take a look at this article:

            6 Effective Ways to Enhance Your Problem Solving Skills

            6. Recognize Your Team-Building Ability

            Your ability to smoothly switch careers also depends on how well you can energize your team, especially if you’re aiming for a leadership role. Unfortunately, team-building usually isn’t something you learn on the job in most careers unless you hold a managerial position.

            The good thing is that you possibly know one or two things about team-building. Think back to moments in college when you had group projects with colleagues and had to work with 3 to 4 other strangers for months. Were you able to get past your differences and disagreements to focus on the uniqueness of everyone at the table?

            Making a career switch might require that you work with multidisciplinary teams whether you have a deep knowledge of what the other team does or not. I can easily think of doctors, nurses, physical therapists, and social workers working closely to achieve the goals in a patient’s care plan.

            How to hone this skill:

            Look for collaborative projects and team building activities that excite you and challenge yourself with new possibilities.

            Try some of these tactics to keep your team motivated as well:

            17 Proven Tactics for Motivating Employees and Building a Stronger Team

            7. Lean into Your Leadership Skills

            Although similar to the previous point, leadership skills extend far beyond building teams, managing time sheets and correcting behavior.

            What I’m referring to here is your ability to develop a vision, believe in it, and inspire buy-in from everyone involved. This isn’t about knowing how to run a particular machine; it’s about how to lead a team of people with various backgrounds, experiences, and ideas of how things should be done.

            How to hone this skill:

            Although more complex than the rest, it all starts with an introspective look into your strengths and weaknesses. Then get a mentor or a coach who can bring out your leadership qualities so you can operate from a place of strength.

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            Learn more about the effective leadership types here:

            5 Types of Leadership that Help You Build a High Performance Team

            8. Improve Your Analytical Skills

            Are you good at taking large amount of data and interpreting them? Your skills could come in handy.

            Organizations are looking for people to make sense of the data around them, explain how it affects profitability, and make projections based on it. Best of all? You don’t need to be an accountant to be analytical.

            How to hone this skill:

            Try taking data interpretation classes online or at a community college. Learning Microsoft Excel or Access is also a plus. If you’re ambitious enough, you could consider getting additional certifications to up the ante.

            Take a look at these ways to help sharpen your analytical skills:

            What Are Analytical Skills and How to Strengthen Them For Success

            9. Don’t Discount Your Time Management and Prioritization Skills

            How good are you when it comes to deciding how important tasks are, organizing schedules, and coordinating plans?

            Should you be willing, there is a market waiting for you out there. Organizations and busy executives are always looking for talented individuals to outsource these tasks to.

            How to hone this skill:

            Although not everyone possesses secretarial superpowers, you can improve this skill by focusing on taking huge tasks and breaking them into smaller goals or steps in order to achieve a bigger goal.

            Here, you can learn to prioritize to achieve more:

            The Ultimate Guide to Prioritizing Your Work And Life

            10. Embrace Your Creative and Critical Thinking Side

            Although it’s often believed that creativity is for the arts and right-brained people, I believe everyone is capable of being creative. In fact, most organizations recognize creativity as a vehicle that will drive successful inventions in the future.

            How to hone this skill:

            Try doing something fun. As simple as this sounds, you’d be surprised to learn how much. In fact, behavioral and learning scientist, Marily Oppezzo, says taking a walk might be all you need to get your creative juices flowing.[1]

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            Anyone can be creative, you just need the right way to train your brain:

            What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

            11. Don’t Stop Learning Tech Knowledge and Skills

            Being tech-savvy is a huge plus. If you have an affinity with computers, software applications and are abreast of technological improvements, it is a transferable skill that is worth highlighting.

            You don’t have to be a young college graduate with silicon valley dreams to work

            How to hone this skill:

            All you need is the determination and the readiness to learn. This article will give you some ideas on the types of skills to learn:

            How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career

            12. Build Networks and Relationships

            You aren’t free from networking. Not at the moment. With your goal to switch to a different career, your networking skills will come in handy.

            Fortunately for you, networking doesn’t have to be so hard.

            How to hone this skill:

            Attend conferences and job fairs. Chances are you already have people in your network you can move you closer to your dream career.

            To enhance your networking skills, take these steps:

            How to Network So You’ll Get Way Ahead in Your Professional Life

            Final Thoughts

            Although there are several people with the same qualification and degree(s) you possess, what ultimately determines hireability comes down to a myriad of things such as culture fit, how teachable you are, cultural sensitivity, inter-generational awareness, and your ability to navigate uncertainty.

            You have a chance to stand out by letting your dream companies know how these soft skills make you an invaluable asset, and how saying ‘YES’ to you is a win-win for both parties.

            Happy career switching!

            More Resources About Career Advancement

            Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

            Reference

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