Five business empires, which started its work at the wrong end

Educated in full, the Dalai Lama, told us that if in your life everything goes wrong, perhaps you stand on the threshold of something great. Controversial, of course, the thesis. But in this statement there is a bright picture of the facts. Today we will write about companies that wanted to achieve popularity in a completely different area, not in the fact that now brings them a multi-million dollar income.

1. Papa Johns

Poradi.s.ua_11.09.2014_mCJFkryC2UecWIn 2014, the largest pizza chain (4,400 restaurants worldwide) «Papa Johns z» celebrates its thirtieth anniversary. The company got into the Guinness book of records, and for seven years occupied the top rankings from customers «Choice networks», and Forbes puts the restaurant on the 10th place in the list of two hundred best small companies in the US.

But the famous pizza chain has not always had such tremendous popularity, and in the beginning of his career was on the brink of failure.

In 1983, when John Sitter received a University diploma in «Business Management», he decided that he would remain to work in their native lands Jeffersonville, in Indiana, in the parent bar, when I saw that the bar «Mick s Lounge», the business of life his father and grandfather, was on the brink of ruin and total bankruptcy. The school was incredibly rusty, and drunk bikers constantly have completed the picture of chaos, fights and property damage a few.

John sold his unique Chevrolet Camaro Z28 1972 for $ 2,800 to save his father’s business, purchased a set of used restaurant equipment, repainted and cleaned the bar, bought a couple of billiard tables and slightly increased prices on beer. Improvement paid off in a few months.

Like most Americans, Sitter been a big fan of pizza, and he decided that he could make even more money if «crossed» restaurant and pizzeria. The only additional space that he had was a broom cupboard and cleaning products, so he took a sledgehammer, broke down the walls and installed a brand new oven for the pizza. First, selling pizza was part of the bar business. It took a few years to «work» of the pizza into the age-old «business» of the bar.

In 1987, Knetter decided to focus on creating a full-fledged pizzeria. He sold his share of the bar and opened his first restaurant «Papa John’s». World famous brand that is known for quality and great taste and of course a decent profit — not bad for pizza, which originated in a closet of brooms.

2. Yankee Candle Company

manygoodtips.com_11.09.2014_Eozy5e71EloEyIn the distant 1960s, Michael Kittredge Jr., was a normal kid from high school who played guitar in a band and dreamed of world fame rock singer-songwriter. We all have heard many times stories about how the young talents fought their way to fame from a very early age, but the fate had prepared the Kittredge’s another way.

His group disbanded, the money for few performances he never got, and all these unfortunate events left him without the means to gift beloved mom for Christmas.

Instead of having to borrow money, he decided to do something himself. The best gift is one that is made with your own hands, as they say.

He put a wick in a glass jar, melted the connection of crayons to make a colorful wax candle, but before he wrapped it up, a neighbor saw his creation and wanted to buy a homemade candle for yourself. Kittredge was a promising entrepreneur and he sold the candle for two dollars. He realized that in his hands there is a great business idea and decided to make more candles to sell them to other neighbors who heard many good things about his product. He asked for the help of his cousin, and together they began producing candles in bulk, directly from his parents ‘ garage.

After school, Kittredge went to the local University, and continued to make candles, nice earning. Soon, the candles, like multiplying by budding, took most of his parents ‘ home, and they were forced to ask the son knocked the father’s house, and continued their business elsewhere. Michael rented a nearby factory and began to devote all his attention to this business. The company grew, and eventually, scented candles and accessories Candles Yankee has had great success on all five continents, including in Europe and Asia. Yankee Candle has a new York seventeen specialty shops, and Kittredge sold his company in 1998 for $550 million.

3. Gibson Guitar Corporation

Orville Gibson, Creator of the global guitar brand for a long time worked as a salesman in a music shop in his home town, Kalamazoo (Michigan). In the 1880s he decided to attend courses in order to practice his hobby of creating musical instruments.

Gibson was a big fan of mandolins, which were much more popular than the guitar. Based on the shape of the violin he created a guitar with a convex deck, which became known as «artcop». In 1896 he was able finally quit my job in retail and focus exclusively on building instruments.

But he died before the company became world famous. However, the devotion as his receivers turned the brand «Gibson» one of the best manufacturers of tools worldwide.

4. Twitter

History Twitter began in March 2006, when Facebook was just gaining popularity, and the smartphone was not everyone. But in these times Simeonovo run by Jack Dorsey had the idea to create a social network that lets you stay connected with friends by sharing short messages in real time.

At the time, Dorsey was working on podcasting company Odeo. Podcasting started to gain popularity, and Odeo reasonably said that the idea of Dorsey, which is embodied, at first only for internal use, the company will help them cash in. The original code name for the project — «twttr», inspired by the title of the famous photo sharing site Flickr .

When the number of users has reached the top hundred, Jack thought about the need to ensure the privacy of each account and soon implemented the plan.

Despite the fact that Twitter has already been presented to the court a mass audience, people are still weakly understood its value. Triumph service came in 2007 at the event, South by Southwest (SXSW), the number of users increased to 20,000. The project received a lot of positive feedback and was well received by the participants of the festival.

Today Twitter has over 200 million active users and is said to be worth approximately $10 billion.


Craig Newmark moved to San Francisco in 1995 to work in the company of Charles Schwab, industrial magnate, owning one of the largest steel companies in the world.

Then the Internet was still young and green, but Newmark considered it as a way to find like-minded people who lived nearby.

To this end, he began to send email messages on the company’s website for their colleagues with information about emergency events entertainment, of all dates, passwords and appearances.

Mailing was a success. Newmark revealed in the market demand for cheap, quick and easily accessible source of diverse kind of ads. First, the bulk of electronic announcements posted on the company website for a small fee. This service is used by the employers of San Francisco and applicants. Gradually they added the ads for the surrender of the space, the announcement of the sale and purchase of movable and immovable property, announcements of a personal nature, Dating, forums. Mr. Newmark has created a separate web site

When he expanded Craigslist out of San Francisco, he began to spend more of his time and in 1999, Newmark left his job as a software developer and started to focus my attention on the website.

Gradually the business grew, and now Craigslist geographically covers all regions of the world where there is any significant demand for electronic ads. Russia is also represented in Craigslist, but so far only two cities: Moscow and St. Petersburg.

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