9 Founders of Worldwide Brands Who Prefer To Stay Out Of The Spotlight

Founders of famous brands, at least the majority of them, like to enjoy their fame and sucess. Duhh! We can see their faces on magazine cover, events, and everywhere else. However, there are some other who prefer to stay out of the spotlight, and they are just as successful. Today, we are sharing those names with you.

1. Lego — Ole Kirk Christiansen

 

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Almost everyone knows about Legos nowadays, the best toy line in the world. But, I bet not everyone knows that the founder of Legos was Ole Kirk. It was the beginning of the 1930s when Kirk opened a company that made ironing boards and ladders. Soon after that, he started making wooden toys. For those who don’t know, the word “Lego” is a combination of two Danish words, “leg” meaning “play”, and “godt” meaning “good”.

The toys became plastic in 1947. They also had parts allowing children to connect the pieces together. Interestingly, all the elements of Lego fit to each-other no matter the form. The design and shape have changed ever since, but not the parts that attach the pieces together. This enables you to combine the first ones ever created, with the modern parts.

Ole Kirk died at the age of 66, and after his death, his 4 sons inherited the company.

2. Instagram — Kevin Systrom

 

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Instagram, where I spend all my days and nights thanks to Kevin Systrom. He was a Standford University student, a lover of photography. He even went to Florence to explore more about his art.

Kevin, together with Mike Krieger, found investors and started to develop their own photo service. And boy, they did right! Their idea was to create something that is unique and not too complicated to use. Back when he was in Florence, a teacher showed him a Holga camera that made photos in retro style. This is where his filter inspiration came from, and how the first X-Pro II filter was made.

Facebook then bought the application for $1 billion 2 years after the launch, and since then, it has become the best way to connect with your friends.

 

3. Nike — Phil Knight

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The history of Blue Ribbon Sports company, started this way. Young Phil Knight and his coach both loved running. But, they weren’t really fond of the running shoes that were sold in the US in the ’60s. So they decided to create their own sneakers, Blue Ribbon Sports company (that now is called Asics), thus, selling Japanese sneakers in the US.

When Phil and Bil saw that it was very hard working with suppliers, they created their own brand of sneakers. Name a more iconic duo, I’ll wait.

Then, Bowerman went and designed the sneakers, and you know the waffle-like design?! Well, he was inspired by looking at his wife’s waffle iron. How iconic!

The company got its official name, Nike, together with their famous logo. All this and a lot more, you can read from Knight’s book, titled Show Dog.

 

4. Google — Larry Page and Sergey Brin

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Larry and Sergey, again Standford University students. They created the company and registered the google.com domain. And if you are wondering where the name Google came from, it’s from the English word googol, meaning a number with 100 zeros.

Thanks, guys, you have literally saved my life!

 

5. Starbucks — Howard Schultz

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When Starbucks was first opened in 1971, it was a store that sold coffee beans and equipment. In 1987, the company was bought by Howard Schultz (the owner of II Giornale), and was turned into a real coffe shop.

He was a fan of Italian espresso bars, and the one who made espresso-based beverages a sensation in the US.

Thank God and Howard for Starbucks!!

 

6. Laсoste — René Lacoste

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Interestingly, Lacoste was not made by a fashion designer, but by a French tennis player. In 1920s, while everyone else played tennis in long-sleeved shirts, René Lacoste in 1926, sewed himself a short-sleeved shirt for his tournament.

His nickname “alligator”, became the logo of the company. The company was founded in 1933, and made shirts for tennis, sailing and golf.

 

7. ZARA — Amancio Ortega

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Amancio was partnered up with a German, making nightgowns and bathrobes. His studio was his living room where he worked with his wife. When their German partner declined an order once, they decided to go on separate ways. Amancio and his wife opened their first store in 1975, in Spain.

The company started to follow fashion and the latest trends where new clothes appeared in stores every 2 weeks. The name of the company was changed later into Indtex, opening new clothing stores such as: Massimo Dutti, Pull and Bear, Oysho, Zara Home, Uterqüe, Stradivarius, Lefties, and Bershka.

Amancio Ortega is the richest person in the world, according to Forbes.

 

8. Hard Rock Cafe — Isaac Tigrett and Peter Morton

 

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In 1969, the musicians from the Doors were recording their album titled Morrison Hotel. They found out that a diner named Hard Rock Cafe and their music have similar styles. After taking a few pics in the cafe, they used the pics for their back side of the album cover.

Isaac Tigrett and Peter Morton, two Englishmen were interested in using the name of Hard Rock Cafe to open a cafe in London. The musicians agreed, and the cafe was a huge success.

 

9. Ferrero — Michele Ferrero

 

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Michele inherited a family business of creating a chocolate paste with nuts. When he thought of creating new products, he came up with the solution by asking himself questions such as: What do Italian housewives buy for themselves and their children, what do they like?

Kinder Surprise chocolate eggs were found this way, mixing chocolate and milk. Then, he created Ferrero Rocher and Raffaello. After improving the recipe of the chocolate, he changed the name into Nutella.

As for the American ladies who took care of their weight, he created Tic Tac with only 2 calories.

Michele died at the age of 89 and left his children the brand today known all over the world.

 

(You might also be interested in: Did You Know That Nike Owns All Of These Brands?)