Stronger Together: The Stories Behind How Some Famous Co-Founders Met
From technology to toys, some of the world’s most valuable companies have started from garages or homes, with minimal cash or resources. What these multi-million and multi-billion dollar organizations all have in common is that they had a partner to ride the roller-coaster with. Here’s a list of how some co-founders of both famous and upcoming companies came together…
Bill Hewlett and David Packard, Hewlett Packard
This partnership is famous for its coin flip decision making. In 1934, after graduating as electrical engineers from Stanford University, Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard become close friends during a two-week camping trip. In 1938, the duo rented a garage in Palo Alto and started working on their first product – an audio oscillator for testing sound equipment. One year on, they formalized the partnership and flipped a coin to decide the order in which their names should appear.
Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, Apple
The two Steves have long been portrayed as having bitter fights and angry arguments. But in a 2014 interview with the Milwaukee Business Journal, Steve Wozniak insisted that the two had always remained friends. “We never had a fight or an argument,” he said. Jobs met Wozniak during a summer internship at Hewlett-Packard. Wozniak, a young engineer five years his senior, was busy building a computer. Jobs, who immediately saw the market potential of what Woz was building, later convinced him to go into business together. The two pals set up shop in Jobs’ parents’ garage and began building the Apple I. With a market capitalization of $821.59 billion, Apple holds the spot as the most valuable public company in the world.
Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Google
Sergey Brin was Larry Page’s campus tour guide when he visited Stanford in 1995 as a prospective computer science doctorate student. Brin was already working on his computer science doctorate. Brin and Page both thought each other “obnoxious” according to a 2005 Wired interview because both were very opinionated. But Page’s dissertation on the structure of the World Wide Web and how websites link between one another piqued Brin’s interest and by 1998 they dropped out of Stanford, and — like Jobs and Wozniak, and Hewlett & Packard, before them — started their company, Google, in a garage.
Danielle Weisberg and Carly Zakin, theSkimm
Friends from college, who later reconnected when they both worked as producers at NBC News in New York, Danielle Weisberg and Carly Zakin founded their newsletter empire after finding their friends constantly asking them for the latest headlines. They recognized that the way people consume the news was changing and decided to quit their jobs, move in together and launch theSkimm from their couch. The current-events email newsletter, aimed at millennial women email newsletter, now has the ear of more than seven million subscribers. Zakin said in an interview with Fast Company that starting a business had further cemented the duo’s friendship. “Honestly, you become family, your families become family,” she said.
Ruth and Elliot Handler, Mattel
Barbie was the brainchild of couple Ruth and Elliot Handler. The couple, who named the beloved children’s doll after their daughter Barbara, founded toy company Mattel back in 1945. Mattel’s initial products were picture frames. But when Elliot started building dollhouse furniture from the leftover picture frame scraps to make a little extra cash, they realized that toys made for a far more lucrative business. Ruth invented the Barbie in 1959 and later also introduced the Ken doll, named after her son. The multi-billion dollar company is one of the world’s three largest toy companies.