Surprising First Office Spaces of Three Billion Dollar Companies


Photographed above: Sara Blakely’s home in 2000, aka, the first headquarters of her billion dollar company, Spanx

Every business has to start somewhere. Even the biggest companies in the world launched from meager beginnings. Just like many small business owners and side hustlers, some of the biggest business leaders in the world brought their ideas to life in home offices and apartments. Take a look at the first headquarters of Amazon, Spanx, and Apple in the early days of their development, and let them serve as a reminder to you that you don’t need a shiny building and a parking spot with your name on it to kickstart your dream. Just start where you are—and keep going!


Founder Sara Blakely started Spanx out of her apartment in 2000 as a side hustle to her 9 to 5 job selling fax machines. She wrote in this post on LinkedIn recently: “Semi-trucks would drop off boxes of Spanx at my doorstep while I was still at work selling fax machines.”


This famous photo of Jeff Bezos in his first Seattle office in the early days of shows the company’s beginnings were anything but Silicon Valley chic. Wired magazine described the office space in a 1999 article as a “cramped, poorly insulated converted garage of a rented home in the Seattle suburb of Bellevue. A pot-bellied stove commanded the middle of the room, and extension cords ran everywhere because there weren’t enough electrical outlets …”


Steve Jobs and his partner Steve Wozniak founded Apple in the garage of Jobs’ childhood home in Los Altos, California. A few years later, they moved to a small space in Cupertino, CA which Business Insider chronicled in this 2017 article. Both are a far cry from the current 175-acre Apple headquarters in Cupertino, where more than 12,000 employees work today.