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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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            Published on August 14, 2018

            17 Versatile Work Skills Employers Want to See in Potential Employees

            17 Versatile Work Skills Employers Want to See in Potential Employees

            When we look at a job advertisement, it can seem as though employers want an exhaustive list of experience and technical skills from their new hire.

            They list desirable qualities such as ‘initiative’, ‘team player’ and ‘strong work ethic’. Those words can mean a variety of things to different people and it can be quite hard for employers to illustrate fully the combination of technical and soft skills they want their potential employees to have.

            What they often want is a mix of versatile skills that make it easy for them (and you) to adapt to the changing needs and demands which occur in businesses today.

            After all, adaptability and innovation are what make businesses thrive.

            In today’s ever-changing environment, versatility is a mandatory attitude every working person needs to have. With the following seventeen work skills, you will not only make your employer extremely happy and confident that hiring you was their best decision, you will experience greater personal satisfaction and results.

            1. Know what you want but more so why you want it.

            Employers need to sense you have a solid idea as to why you are a fit for their role and their organization. They need to sense you have your own sense of purpose.

            However, it can be a double-edged sword to say you know exactly what you want to achieve and gain if you are successful in your application and interview.

            Some employers can perceive this as arrogance; your needs first, theirs second. What employers are really looking for is your internal sense of knowing that potential to join their organization is a winning combination for both of you.

            2. Diplomacy and conflict resolution skills save money, lost productivity and efficiency.

            Can you agree to disagree? Can you evaluate without passing judgment or at least be self-aware of your own biases? Can you put these aside to find solutions for the betterment of the team?

            Employers look for versatility in soft work skills that bring peace, lower stress and contribute to creating harmony. If you have ways with words to help heated arguments reduce to a simmer so there is space for compromises, negotiations and reasoning to take place your employers’ respect for you will jump at least tenfold.

            Peace-making skills are invaluable in changing workplace culture, particularly toxic ones. Any good employer knows a strong in-house negotiator will save them thousands of dollars in engaging an external mediator.

            3. Know how to set and reframe your own goals.

            Much research has documented that when employees have a clear purpose, mission and goals, they are more likely to be highly productive. They are less likely to flounder around in many directions nor be busy and not produce results that matter.

            Employers know well that employees who develop their own goals and can align these with those of the company are more self-driven, self-sufficient and take greater ownership for performing their role.

            And the benefit is not only to the employers. You personally will find greater personal satisfaction from achieving targets you have chosen to set yourself. Everyone wins!

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            4. Great time management and organization skills make you highly productive.

            Being able to exercise versatility with these work skills needs no explanation. Great time management does not mean multi-tasking. It actually uses more brain power and reduces effectiveness.

            Having great skills to prioritize your activities and demands, being able to assess how long things might take you to address are planning skills which greatly aid effective and better execution.

            Working in harmony with your colleagues’ timetables makes for better teamwork and workflow plus a less stressed environment.

            In today’s working world, any strategies for reducing stress-invoking opportunities are like finding golden nuggets. Your employer will want to hold on to those for dear life!

            5. Be a flexible team player by being able to change roles when required.

            Employers will be looking to see how flexible a team player, a potential employee could be.

            If you are a natural leader, being a better team player might, in fact, mean you stepping down from the helm and encouraging someone else to exercise and step into their leadership potential.

            It might be more beneficial to your employer to play the role of Indian as opposed to the Chief in certain situations. Stepping into different positions on your team not only helps you grow but also the rest of your team.

            Employers relish having a versatile work team which can adapt and is ready and willing to play different roles, even if uncomfortable when crises happen.

            6. Initiative, self-motivated and driven.

            When you have your own internal reasons for looking to undertake a role your motivation is driven by something sizzling inside of you.

            There is a personal drive and desire for the satisfaction you will experience when you meet a certain target that no other person will be able to give to you.

            When you can genuinely identify and demonstrate your own personal connection to the role’s objectives and the greater goals of your employer’s business, they will see you have an internal drive that they don’t need to whip and flog to keep the momentum going.

            Any employer will be grateful they just need to help navigate you and support you with the right tools and network and off you go.

            7. Be confident but not arrogant.

            Imagine if you were conducting initial telephone interviews with shortlisted candidates and one of the questions they asked was:

            “How long would it be until I’ll be eligible for a pay rise or promotion?”

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            There is a significant difference between being confident and arrogant. Employers are not looking for confidence purely in you being able to perform every aspect of your role at gold star level.

            It comes with being comfortable to say you don’t understand, you have made a mistake, you need support, further training, acknowledging what your limits are and being willing to risk stepping outside your comfort zone.

            When you’re a new kid on the block, respecting that you may need to learn to walk before you can run is essential. Unless it is your job to start making significant changes from day one, chances are you’re going to create enemies if you’re so confident your new methods and ideas should replace existing processes.

            8. A positive attitude.

            Demonstrating positivity as a work skill that will truly win over your new employer is about being genuine and actively applying strategies which look for the glass half full.

            Recruiters and employers are not dumb. They can easily see through short-term bright smiles, nervous giggling and general ‘you just need to think positive’ statements.

            In the face of grueling challenges, employers are going to look much more favorably on that candidate who can acknowledge the negative features of a situation but still encourage another solution-focused perspective to be adopted.

            Even better, if you can use language effectively to demonstrate how you have adopted a positive perspective and helped turned around a tough situation.

            It is one thing to have a positive attitude but your potential employer will see you as a superhero if you can show them how you have successfully applied it.

            9. You are resourceful but know the value of asking for help.

            There is nothing more unproductive (let alone frustrating) than that person who simply asks out loud a question to their team when they could simply have Googled the answer.

            Or worse still, they have a manual at their fingertips which has the answer to their question…they were simply too lazy to look for themselves.

            Be that person with Sherlock Holmes as their middle name who sleuths like a dog after a buried bone. You can research and turn over stones to discover and learn what you need but you also are able to ask for help and assistance when you need to.

            Any employer will relish that person who looks to discover the answers to their own questions first before reaching out and asking for help.

            10. Emotional intelligence creates a harmonious workflow.

            Despite the level of seniority of your role having a strong ability to handle emotions is fast becoming an essential work skill (and also life skill).

            It is even more desirable for any employer when your work skill set includes the ability to detect, adapt to and have skills in managing certain emotional patterns of others you need to work with, manage or report to.

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            So much time, energy and productivity is lost due to individuals’ lack of skills in this area. Any manager who can see you possess and can demonstrate such versatile work skills will think they’ve won the managerial lottery!

            11. Be able to adapt your learning style.

            There is no real evidence that using preferred learning styles actually increase the rate at which we learn nor the effectiveness of certain styles.

            However, being able to make changes to what we are given to learn and adapting it to suit our needs and preferences does help us settle into a new work transition sooner.

            We also need to recognize that even though we feel uncomfortable learning a new skill a certain way, it might actually be the way we need to receive it to cement the learning. It is also likely that our new employer only knows or has a budget to deliver training in a certain way.

            Either we can choose to adapt or resist but we know for sure the latter is not going to benefit to anyone.

            12. Flexible leadership style.

            Dan Goleman has conducted extensive research on different leadership styles, emphasizing that being versatile to switch between different styles (e.g. authoritative, coaching, affiliate, coercive, pace-setting) and knowing when to do is a fundamental skill for any leader.

            Being able to change your style to lead other people is as important as how you lead your own role responsibilities.

            13. Incredible communication skills that actively listen and give clear messages.

            Strong and effective communication across all mediums takes time, life experience and highly developed intuition.

            Knowing when to use email, a face to face conversation or telephone discussion is one thing. Another is to use words which emotionally connect and influence the receiver to accept, hear and heed your message.

            Great communicators know that it is their responsibility as much as the receiver for good communication to take place. However, they also know that the receiver may not feel this is the case.

            When you can listen equally, be sensitive to read between the lines to hear the message of ineffective communicators and can respond kindly with inspiring, equalizing and encouraging words, your influence and general likeability as a new addition to your employer’s team will develop in leaps and bounds.

            14. Accountability, responsible and dependable.

            We’ve all worked with people or managers at some point who lay external blame the instance something goes wrong.

            Contrary to popular belief, making mistakes and owning up to it is a highly desirable and versatile work skill that gains loyalty and understanding particularly when mistakes occur.

            Owning up to errors early allows both yourself and the business to recover quickly and shows you’re willing to take responsibility to continue forward on when you have stumbled.

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            When you illustrate you can do this, you build your employer’s trust and faith in you.

            15. Exercise proactive self-awareness.

            Self-reflection is a highly empowering work skill that contributes greatly to becoming better and performing better.

            When you actively look for the achievement, celebrate your success and look for pockets of where mistakes you have made can be corrected you improve faster, become more effective and make your work easier.

            When you start to look at your own errors, receiving feedback from your employer about the same errors can feel far less confronting and having corrective conversations is easier, transparent and far less stressful and emotional.

            You naturally increase your resilience and make life easier for yourself and your employer if you conduct regular self-check-ins and keep your employer updated.

            16. Apply a problem-solving growth mindset.

            When faced with a problem or challenge, your ability to activate a growth mindset is a highly versatile work skill employers love. Not only are you able to reduce the pain and anguish that a fixed mindset can sustain but your ability to remain open to possibilities to find different pathways or ideas is refreshing and helpful.

            If your thought patterns automatically ask: “How can we?” or you often think “there must be a way”, you will only contribute to creating growth opportunities for your organization and inspire others to think the same way.

            17. Be teachable.

            If you have ever tried to teach someone a new skill or technique and they keep reverting back to traditional ways that are familiar to them, you might have become frustrated to the point of giving up.

            Don’t be that person who’s stuck in tradition which no longer serves the business. Whether you are entering a new environment, learning new software or negotiation skills, know that all employers need people who are open to being taught.

            Innovation is a core concern of every business. Innovation means change and change means doing something different.

            Stay versatile and keep learning

            Technical skills can often be taught. Ray Croc illustrated how well a systemized franchise can dominate the planet. Over 36,000 McDonald’s establishments around the world are run by managers barely in their twenties!

            Soft work skills, however, take time to develop, learn and confidently apply.

            There is a key combination of work skills that would make any candidate employer’s dream. However, the essential factor underlying all of these work skills is versatility.

            Equip yourself with these 17 work skills, stay curious and keep learning; and you’ll always nail the job you want.

            Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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