Sunday, September 24, 2006

Big opportunties with little capital

Michael Dell (Dell) and Steve Jobs (Apple) are not the only ones....

* In 1930s, Josephine Esther Mentzer assisted her uncle by selling skin care balm and quickly created her own products with $100 initial investment. After convincing department stores rather than drug stores to carry her products, Estee Lauder was on its way to becoming a $4 billion corporation

* Putting their talents together, Roy and Walt Disney moved to California and started their own film studio with $290 in 1923. By mid-2001, Walt Disney Co. had a market-cap exceeding $40 billion

* While working for a Chicago insurance company, a 24 year old sent out 20,000 inquiries for a black newsletter. With 3,000 positive responses and $500, John Harold Johnson published Jet for the first time in 1942. In the 1990s Johnson Publishing published various magazines, including Ebony !

* With $100 Nicholas Graham, aged 24, went to a local fabric store, picked out some fabrics and made $100 worth of ties. Having sold the ties to specialty shops, Graham was approached by Macy's to place his patterns on men's underwear. So Joe Boxer Corporation was born and six months into Joe Boxer's second year, sales already topped $1 million.

* Mark Nelson started Ovid Technologies in the later 1980s in a one-bedroom apartment in Manhattan's Spanish Harlem. Unable to find investors, his company grew while he rented more and more apartments in the building until computer network wires were all over the place. Salaries for his employees were low, but he allowed them to stay rent-free in their office spaces. In 1994, Ovid had 150 employees, went public and raised $10 million equity (1 in 600,000 ventures go public!) In 1999, he sold his company for $200 million.

So, ideas are commodities, bootstrapping is an art!



Post a Comment

<< Home