Big Business From Little Dreams. Where Did The Huge Corporations Start?


What do you think about this? Who can teach more about how to run your own successful business: a practitioner or a theorist? People, who earn for a living only by teaching others how to create a successful business, while they have nothing or great entrepreneurs that created multibillion-dollar corporations that made fortunes and provided jobs for thousands of specialists, many of whom themselves later became rich and successful?

Reading smartbooks and only theorizing on the philosophy of success is almost the same as being a straight-A student, but order your papers at Be honest with yourself, the theory is not a key to success.

In this article, we have collected biographies of businessmen and the history of the creation of the biggest world companies. Each life story from this list is worth a dozen of the lectures you read from the “great theorists.”



Mac and Dick McDonald brothers became the pioneers of fast food by opening the first self-service restaurant in December 1948. It is likely that their business would have remained a California-scale project if only not the help of a quick supplier of cocktail mixers named Ray Kroc, who, by the way, was on the verge of bankruptcy when meeting McDonalds. He believed in the future of the company and launched the sale of franchises. In 1961 he bought the brothers’ business for $ 2.7 million. In 1965 he managed more than 700 restaurants in the United States.

The initial overseas McDonald’s opened in Canada in 1967, after which the hamburger corporation launched a triumphant march across the planet. In Russia, the opening of McDonald’s took place on January 31, 1990, and caused incredible excitement. By the way, respecting local traditions of different countries, the company adopts a menu and design of dishes. For example, there is no Big Mac in the menu of Indian restaurants, but there is Maharaja Mak made of lamb meat. In total, McDonald’s has more than 35,000 restaurants in the world, and despite scandals and legal proceedings (it’s worth remembering at least the story of the sensational documentary “Super Size Me”, as well as a trial won by Jamie Oliver): during active hours more than 70 million people become its clients daily.



Pulling the plug on the unfulfilled dream of becoming a banker, 31-year-old son of a grocer, Conrad Hilton decided to try his luck in the hotel business. In 1925 he opened his initial Hilton hotel in Dallas, and firmly set out to make the best hotel in Texas – and eventually created the empire of the hospitality industry. Even the Great Depression, which hit America hard in the 20s, did not stop Hilton, he was forced to cede his company to creditors. But, one of the main habits of successful people is persistence, so he bought it out after five years and resumed active work. In 1954 Conrad stunned the whole America, having made the biggest deal, having bought his main competitor – the company Statler Hotels – for $111 million. By the end of the 60s, Hilton owned more than 40 hotels in the United States, plus about the same overseas.

The success of the Hilton business empire was made up of numerous innovations, which today are considered an integral part of the hospitality industry. It was Hilton who invented the “star” (by analogy with cognac) hotel rating system. He also proposed to integrate hotels and casinos (which instantly increased the number of customers), open hotels at the airport and put the quality of service at the forefront. In addition, Hilton liked to visit the hotels of competitors, watching the atmosphere and customer behavior. It was the Hilton corporation that introduced the system of encouraging loyal customers, an information and reference system for booking rooms with air and train tickets, and even the Pinacolada cocktail was created at the Hilton Hotel. Today, the corporation has 3800 hotels of different levels in 88 countries. By the way, after the death of Conrad Hilton, the empire he built became, according to a testament, the property of the Hilton Foundation. However, one of the businessman’s sons was able to challenge the father’s will in court, and a few years later the business empire returned to the Hilton’s family.



In 1967, the headmaster of the school that Richard Branson graduated from said the farewell to his (far from being the best) student: “Congratulations, Richard! You will either go to jail or you will become a millionaire”. The prediction came true. Branson became one of the most famous and the most outrageous high roller of nowadays. His company is the greatest conglomerate of various business areas. Everything was started with an idea as bold as absurd: suffering from dyslexia and, accordingly, not reading a single book, Branson decided… to publish a magazine! After the magazine, he moved to the record store, next – his own record label. Later, to this was added a publishing house, an international air travel, a bridal wear, a vodka production, condoms… Even Branson himself, is rumored, doesn’t realize how many companies belong to his fantastic multi-brand, a total income of which today is 24 billion dollars. Obviously, the secret of the success of the Virgin corporation is in courage, bordering on madness. No wonder the name Virgin Branson chose for his business as a designation of “pristine clean” approach to business and the lack of any experience of employees. A non-standard approach is manifested in Branson’s company at all levels, there is absolutely no subordination here, informality and creativity are welcomed, and employees calmly sip beer during the working day.

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