Popular Brands: From a basic board game to a humble rice cooker, none of these basic inventions screams the ‘next big thing’.
But everyone gotta start somewhere! In fact, each of these was one of the earliest products released by brands that would go on to become global powerful popular brands.
You think you got what it takes? Take this quiz with popular brands and see for yourself!
Source: Mental Floss
Sony Rice Cooker (1946)
It all began with a failed rice cooker.
After World War II, Sony founder Masaru Ibuka invented a product to try and serve the millions of homes who had electricity but lacked the appliances to use it. The result was this electric rice cooker. Depending on the unregulated electric current at the time, the kind of rice or how much water was used, the rice generally ended up served as overcooked mush or undercooked grain. Because of this, the product was never actually released onto the market.
LEGO Wooden Toys (1923)
The toy brand that’s best known for its plastic, interlocking bricks was founded by a carpenter.
Struggling to find enough wood to build furniture during Denmark’s recession of the 1930s, Ole Kirk Kristiansen began turning wood scraps into children’s toys. Some of LEGO’s first products included toy trains, automobiles, and a wooden duck on wheels that quacked when pulled.
- Electronic Arts
Nintendo Card Game (1889)
Nintendo, the video game brand that launched such 1980s and '90s-era franchises as Mario, The Legend of Zelda, and Pokemon, is actually one of the older companies on this list. It was founded in 1889 as a playing card company based in Kyoto, Japan. The cards (named hanafuda, or "flower cards" for their ornate floral imagery) were popular among the organized crime gangs that inhabited Japan’s gambling halls. The company's origins are even reflected in its name: When separated into three characters, "Nin-ten-do" roughly translates to "Leave luck to heaven," or "Work hard, but in the end it is in heaven’s hands."
Microblogging Service (2006)
Twitter started in 2006 when the podcasting company Odeo realized they needed to reinvent themselves and began brainstorming new creative ideas. Jack Dorsey introduced the idea of creating an SMS that would allow a user to communicate with a small group of people.
Twitter was first called “status” until the group looked in the dictionary for names and found twitter which fit it perfectly. The original product name was twttr.
Amazon Online Bookstore (1994)
Amazon began as an online bookstore in way back in 1994. Founder Jeff Bezos decided at first to call the bookstore “Cadabra,” He later changed the name to Amazon.com, Inc. a few months later, after a lawyer misheard its original name as “cadaver.”
Bezos selected the name Amazon by looking through the dictionary; he settled on “Amazon” because it was a place that was “exotic and different”, just as he had envisioned for his Internet enterprise. The Amazon River, he noted, was the biggest river in the world, and he planned to make his store the biggest bookstore in the world. Additionally, a name that began with “A” was preferred because it would probably be at the top of an alphabetized list.
Computer Apple I (1976)
Steve Wozniak originally assembled the microcomputer Apple I in 1975 for a Homebrew Computer Club meeting in Silicon Valley. Wozniak said, that the basic machine was "the first time in history anyone had typed a character on a keyboard and seen it show up on their own computer’s screen right in front of them."
Another club member, Steve Jobs, helped to sell 50 orders of the machine for $500 each to a local computer store. The success of the sales made the pair over $50,000 for and encouraged them to get to work on the Apple II.
Onitsuka Tiger Running Shoes
The origins of Nike can be traced back to a school paper for a small-business class. Phil Knight was enrolled at the Stanford Graduate School of Business when he got the idea for a Japanese shoe company that manufactured quality products at lower costs than the German brands that dominated the market at the time. The school paper inspired him to found a real-life business in 1964. Nike—then Blue Ribbon Sports—began as a distributor for Onitsuka Tiger Running Shoes made in Japan. Knight initially sold the shoes himself from the back of his station wagon at Oregon University track meets.
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