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Where 14 Of The Top Internet Businesses Got Started

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Hello Everyone,

Today I decided to show everyone where 14 of  my favorite top internet businesses were started. Just goes to show you that you don’t have to start with an office etc.  A good number started from dorm rooms and their bedrooms with just a laptop.

Some of the images are a little dodgy — but remember 11 years ago we did not have the highly sophisticated ditital cameras we have today ;-)

1)    Website: Facebook
Founder: Mark Zuckerberg
Place started the business: At his Harvard Dorm Room
The birth of Facebook is related to Zuckerberg’s appetite for hacking.
He got into limelight when he refused $1 billion offer from Yahoo. Later on he settled with $240 million dollar deal, giving Microsoft 1.6% stake in Facebook raising the valuation to $15 billion.


Where Facebook.com Was Started

2)    Website: Google
Founder: Larry Page and Sergey Brin
Place started the business: In a garage
Larry and Sergey started on a name BackRub. But Larry and Sergey decide that the BackRub search engine needs a new name. After some brainstorming, they go with Google — a play on the word “googol,” a mathematical term for the number represented by the numeral 1 followed by 100 zeros. The use of the term reflects their mission to organize a seemingly infinite amount of information on the web.

Where Google.com Was Started

3)    Website: Runescape
Founder: Andrew Gower
Place started the business: From a bedroom in his parents’ house in Nottingham.
He has involved in coding for games since his childhood. He had a penchant for dungeon gaming. He initially started RunEscape as a hobby, and later monetized his website and turned out to be a successful business venture.


Where Runescape.com Was Started

4)    Website: PopCap Games
Founders: John Vechey, along with Brien Fiete and Jason Kapalka
Place started the business: In his office
John Vechey, along with Brien Fiete and Jason Kapalka founded Popcap games in the year 2000. They earlier worked with internet gaming sites like flipside and pogo. Their first gaming product was Bejeweled, which became a big hit, and received numerous awards.

Where PopCapGames.com Was Started

5)    Website: Threadless
Founder: Jack Nickell along with Jacob Dehart
Place started the business: From a studio apartment
Jack Nickell along with Jacob Dehart ( both college dropouts ), started threadless when they were still working on their regular job. Both the partners put a modest $500 as their initial investment. Now the company has annual revenue to the extent of $50 million.

Where Threadless.com Was Started

6)    Website: Biz Chair
Founder: Sean Belnick
Place started the business: From his bedroom
He started with $500, with an initial inventory of 50 products. Now the company has 75 employees and sells more than 25000 products online. He sells office furniture, home furniture, school furniture and medical equipment in online shop. Microsoft, Google and American Idol are amongst some of his notable clients.

Where BizChair.com Was Started

7)    Website: Digg
Founder: Kevin Rose
Place started the business: In his apartment.
David Prager (The Screen Savers, This Week in Tech), originally wanted to call the site “Diggnation”, but Kevin Rose wanted a simpler name. He chose the name “Digg”, because users are able to “dig” stories, out of those submitted, up to the front page. The site was called “Digg” instead of “Dig” because the domain name “dig.com” had been previously registered by the Walt Disney Internet Group.

Where Digg.com Was Started

8)    Website: PlentyOfFish
Founder: Markus Frind
Place started the business: In his office
Back in 2001 after his birthday someone in the office introduced him to online dating sites.  He went back to his desk and checked out udate.com and kiss.com and lavalife/web personals. He was bored and He wanted to chat with people.  He was really annoyed when he found out you had to pay for everything, he ended up telling the girl who introduced him to the sites that he could do better and make them for free, so he went and registered Plentyoffish.com.

Where PlentyOfFish.com Was Started

9)    Website: Voltage
Founder: Rishi  Kacker and Matt Pauker
Place started the business: In a basement office in the engineering building
Rishi  Kacker and Matt Pauker worked on the technology as a summer research project while attending Stanford. They entered a business-plan competition they won the contest. With the help of some seasoned executives, the two have created a thriving security-software business with more than 130 big-business customers and 75 employees. “It’s still amazing to me,” says Pauker.

Where Voltage.com Was Started

10)    Website: YouTube
Founder: Chad Hurley
Place started the business: In his office
After that fateful dinner party, where Hurley and Chen wanted to create a simpler way to share their videos of the night, they immediately went to work at the office creating the answer. “In February, we started developing the product,” says Hurley. “In May, we had our first public preview. And in December, we officially launched YouTube. By that time we were serving over three million videos a day.”


Where YouTube.com Was Started

11)    Website: FastHost
Founder: Andrew Michael
Place started the business: From his bedroom
He became a multi-millionaire after selling an internet business he started as a teenager. He started up Fasthosts as an internet project for a sixth form project at the age of 17. With the sale of Fasthosts, Mr Michael’s wealth has rocketed to £47m.

Where FastHost.com Was Started

12)    Website: WhatEverLife
Founder: Ashley Qualls
Place started the business: started at her kitchen office.
Started her business in 2004 with an $8 domain name and an old computer,  at the age of just fourteen. She didn’t know she was starting a business at the time – she thought she was just creating an easy way to share her cool MySpace background designs with her friends.

Where WhatEverLife.com Was Started

13)    Website: eBay
Founder: Pierre Omidyar
Place started the business: In the home of Pierre Omidyar
There aren’t many sites on the Internet that can claim the success that eBay has enjoyed. The first name eBay used was Echo Bay Technology. When the company tried to register the domain name echobay.com, they found that it was already in use. They shortened the name to eBay.com and the Website was born.

Where eBay.com Was Started

14)    Website: LinkedIn
Founder: Reid Hoffman
Place started the business: In the living room
LinkedIn was officially founded in 2003. The site was launched on May 5th (affectionately referred to by employees as “Cinco de LinkedIn”) when the five founders invited about 350 of their most important contacts to join. At the end of the first month in operation, LinkedIn had a total of 4,500 members in the network. LinkedIn’s first “real” office was on Shoreline Road in Mountain View.


Where Linkedin.com Was Started

I hope the list has inspired you and has made it clear you can start anywhere!

To Our Success in 2009,

Michael Dunlop

PS. Where did you start you first business?

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