15 Companies Who Started Out Selling Wildly Different Stuff

It's wild how many tech giants started out selling toilet paper or dried fish. That's like if you kept up with that lemonade stand you ran one summer, and pivoted it to a brewery. Actually, that's not a bad idea… we're taking the rest of the day off.

16

LEGO was started by the world's unluckiest carpenter. TYAT CUBES RIPLIX DULDING INTERLOCKING ASR Ce W SRVLAL Danish carpenter Ole Kirk Christiansen was forced to scale back operations twice - once when his kids burned down his shop, and again when the Great Depression hit. He was in the wooden

6 Global Corporations Started by Their Founder's Shitty Luck

15

Zildjian cymbals were created by a war merchant alchemist. K. .ZILDjIAN CONSTANTINOPLE CRACKED Avedis Zildjian accidentally developed an extremely durable, loud alloy out of tin, silver, and copper. He successfully pitched it to the Ottoman Empire's army, who used it as of their scare-the-sh*t-out-of-the-enemy

6 Bizarre Origins of Famous Companies

14

Twitter was a side project at a podcast platform. AHnnfcatim trples nane phane set In Amhir o going CRACKED TechCrunch admonished Odeo for touting the funky new platform that came out of an employee hack-a-thon: How do their shareholders feel about side projects like Twttr when their primary product line

13

Groupon was a social network foractivists._ When it was still called The Point, it was a place for activists to use their collective clout to pursue... activist activities. Then founder Eric Lefkofsky noticed users were pooling money to buy various things in bulk, and changed direction.

12

Samsung was in the noodle and fish game Lee Byung-chul founded Samsung in 1938, shipping dried fish and noodles from Korea to China. An unlikely series of investments later, the company found itself on the cutting edge of phones and smart devices.

11

Marriott sold root beer on the street. ORACKEDCON J. Willard and Alice Marriott started up an A&W root beer cart in the heat of a Washington, DC summer, before expanding to restaurants, hotels, and ultimately entire resorts.

10

Taco Bell sold hot dogs. CRACKEDCO Glen Bell ran a hot dog stand for almost 20 years before renaming it Taco Bell, in which time he perfected the art of hammocking meat in the loving parabola of a slab of carbs.

9

Raytheon made refrigerators. ORACKED COM Founded in 1922 as the American Appliance Company, they made big strides in refrigeration technology before dipping their toes into the military-industrial complex.

8

Hasbro sold textiles scraps. M POTO HAlO RES HEAD -hu TACE KIT TUNMY o TAALE taaT 799 ANE ACE UNNY MAKES CRACKEDcO COM Before they were Hasbro, they were the Hassenfeld Brothers textile company. They broke into the toy biz by selling potato accessories, AKA Mr. Potato Head.

7

Nintendo sold playing cards, then love motels. hINEnCAD C ABVRDT $1 E CRACKED Nintendo Koppai was a playing card company that had tons of feelers out in other industries -instant rice, taxi cabs, and sticky sex motels. One of their first electronic toys was a Love Tester, and their games got

6 Global Corporations Started by Their Founder's Shitty Luck

6

William Wrigley, Jr sold soapu GUM GUM AVOR wing PERFECT RIGIEYS SREARMINT NOBEMINT: CRACKEDCO He utilized his factory machinery to make some gum, which was taking the nation by storm, as a free gift to customers who bought his baking powder and soap. People started requesting just the gum, SO

5

3M sold the world's most boring mineral in bulk ELLULOSE TAPE Seals Instantly Without Water ellophane Ros 'xsoa toches one TRANSESINhe FOLLOWING 3 Inch Core MINNESOTA MINING & MIG Co SAINT CRACKED COM PAUE MINNESOTA The Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company started out selling corundum more like BOREundum -- to manufacturers, which

4

Nokia was always in the communication biz, kind of. OKia SILK NO nerEnc CRACKEDcO Nokia started as a Finnish pulp mill in 1865, and pumped out paper (including that of the... toilet variety) for a while before pivoting multiple times, and ultimately landing on remarkably robust mobile phones.

3

Avon perfumes were a freebie with book purchases. CRACKED cO David H. Mcconnell was a door-to-door book salesman who would toss in some gratis perfume with every purchase. Eventually his clients decided that books suck, and not smelling like damp cabbage rules, SO he pivoted to promoting cosmetics parties instead of

2

WeWork grew out of a baby clothing operation. CRACKED COR Founder Adam Neumann was selling specialized baby clothes onesies with pads sewn into the knees out of a warehouse. He had some extra space, and decided to lease it out as an ostensibly green workspace, which quickly became a more viable

1

NASCAR was developed to run-booze.- CRACKED COME During Prohibition, southern bootleggers banded together and developed new ways to make their vehicles faster and more nimble than cop cars. In their downtime, they would race each other, which eventually began to draw crowds.

6 Bizarre Origins of Famous Companies