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Open Your Ingenuity: 3 Legendary Garage Start-ups

Workshops, cars, studios, motorcycles—for many households, the garage is a place of lively activity and brilliant commotion.

Over the past century, it has also been the birthplace of imaginative inventions and discoveries, many of which have altered our cultural landscape as we know it. With only a garage, a few passionate people, and a great idea, these businesses went from humble start-ups to the most successful companies on the planet.

It’s this spirit of ingenuity, this industrious attitude, that we bring to every garage and overhead door project. Like these start-ups, we focus our all to bring new ideas and technologies to the communities and businesses we serve. Read on to learn about their stories.

Apple: Technological Revolutionaries

Smartphones—where would we be without them? To many of us, this once novel gadget is now a lifeline and necessity. You can thank three resourceful young men, and the company they launched in a Los Altos, California garage, for its existence.

Back in 1976, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne began Apple in Jobs’ parents’ garage. There, they assembled the first Apple computer, selling 50 models at $500 each to a local computer shop.

After facing decades of highs and lows, the company soared to global success through game-changing technology like the Macintosh, iPod, iPad, and iPhone.

Now a historic site, the Jobs’ bungalow remains in all its 1970s glory—even the distinctive white steel garage door.

Disney: Where Technicolor Tales Began

If any animation studio epitomizes magical storytelling and visual artistry, it’s Disney. But, it hasn’t always been a multibillion-dollar conglomerate, boasting huge movie franchises and colossal theme parks.

Disney’s beginnings were much humbler—and hands-on. In their uncle’s one-car Hollywood garage, Walt and his brother Roy perfected their animation craft, filming cartoons with only a plywood box and a used camera. In 1923, they created the “Alice Comedies,” which eventually became the fantastical film, Alice in Wonderland.

Soon, the studio outgrew its small quarters, and the colorful Disney characters and stories that we all know and love were born.

As Disney expanded into an animation empire, the garage was forgotten and nearly torn down—until, decades later, a group of interested citizens banded together to save it. Today, the tiny blue structure, along with its carriage-style garage doors, still stands.

Google: Imagining a Better Internet

From email and cloud-based storage to digital maps and driverless cars, today, Google dominates almost every corner of the tech world. But, before the Googleplex headquarters became a hub of groundbreaking inventions, the company’s story began in a Menlo Park, California garage.

Stanford grads Larry Page and Sergey Brin started renting this space from their friend Susan Wojcicki in 1998. Knowing there was a better way to explore and interact with the internet, they began a scrappy dot-com start-up, spending day and night in the garage, perfecting the search algorithm that would eventually become Google.

Now, “Google” is not only a verb ingrained in our cultural consciousness, but it also represents a successful suite of apps, social platforms, and products that millions of people interact with every day.

To preserve the founders’ legacy, Google purchased that unassuming garage on the company’s eighth birthday. Search it on Google Maps, and you’ll still see the white wood garage doors on the front driveway.

The Birthplace of Ingenuity

Contrary to popular belief, ingenuity doesn’t come from large sums of money, or boundless intelligence, or endless resources. It comes from energetic people with an unbridled passion for great ideas.

Interestingly, across America, the garage has often been the place where ingenuity thrives. That’s why, at NationServe, we celebrate this space, and all the doors that open it.

Whether it’s sourcing sophisticated garage and overhead doors, or providing expert installation, maintenance, and repairs, our people work tirelessly to find better, smarter solutions for homeowners and businesses throughout the country.

Ready for your own ingenious garage or overhead door? Visit your local NationServe to get started.

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