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Monthly Archives: August 2012

People who are suckers for convenience shopping and affordable prices all have but one person to thank – Sam Walton.

The man behind the gigantic chain of department and warehouse stores, Walmart, Sam had the makings of a successful entrepreneur even when he was still a little boy. Sam was constantly in the honor roll, a great athlete and the youngest boy ever to become an Eagle Scout in his state’s history.

His diligence and determination brought him to the summits of the corporate world, but that was right after he had to join the army, save up a huge percentage of his salary and borrow money from his father-in-law to open up a convenience store.

Through a great deal of hard work, bucket loads of determination and thorough use of his inherent entrepreneurial know-how, Sam maneuvered his tiny business to the heights of success. Today, Walmart is everybody’s go-to store, all thanks to its knack for quick and convenient shopping at a rate everybody can afford.

Chocolate lovers all around the globe owe Milton Hershey a lot. After all, he was the one who founded the Hershey Chocolate Company, the largest chocolate manufacturer in the entire world.

Born on September 13, 1857 in a Pennsylvanian farm, Milton Snavely Hershey was a little boy with huge dreams. But because his family moved around quite a lot, he had to quit school when he was in fifth grade. To make good use of his free time and help his family out with the day to day expenses, he decided to become an apprentice in a printing shop in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. However, this stint was short-lived as he found the job dull and dreary. He then began another apprenticeship with a candy maker and completed it after four years. Hershey proceeded to set up his own candy-making business in New York and Chicago, but failed in his first few attempts.

Hershey went back to Lancaster and built the Lancaster Caramel Company. He manufactured caramel using a unique recipe he came across during one of his travels. The product was a hit and soon enough his business was growing, jumpstarting his career as a successful candy maker and entrepreneur.

With the money he earned from his company, Hershey bought 40,000 acres of land just a few kilometers away from his hometown. He was able to obtain huge quantities of milk needed to create the finest milk chocolate which at that time was exclusively a product of Switzerland. Pretty soon, he was able to concoct a brilliant formula and by 1903, he opened his chocolate manufacturing plant. Little did he know that this would soon become the world’s largest chocolate manufacturing company with the most avant-garde mass production facilities.

When his company grew uncontrollably and the profits returned were much greater than expected, Hershey and his wife decided to use the money to help those who are in need by donating to public schools and setting up the M. S. Hershey Foundation.

At the age of 88, Milton Hershey passed away, leaving behind a sweet legacy that will forever be cherished by everyone – chocolate lovers or not.

 

Then 21-year-old Alex Tew needed no more than a few minutes to generate an idea that has made him the millionaire that he is in a matter of just four months. A lot would love to know what his secret is, and a lot would certainly be surprised to know that he just started with a blank notepad in which he started scribbling, “how can I become a millionaire?”

Alex Tew is the owner of the MillionDollarHomepage.com, an advertising website made up of one million pixels. Alex Tew came up with a relatively simple idea of selling the spaces in his website in chunks of 10 x 10 pixels, minimum. He sold each pixel for one dollar. These pixels or spaces, when clicked on by the visitor or user, will direct them to the website of the space’s owners.

The popularity of the website can be attributed to word of mouth. As Alex made money, more people talked about his website and its success, and the more businesses got interested with advertising with his MillionDollarHomepage.

It did not take Alex Tew a huge capital and a great advertising effort to make it big in the world of Internet entrepreneurship. All he had to have are a few bucks, some support from his friends and family, a uniquely great idea that nobody else has thought about before.

As the mind behind Craigslist, one of today’s widely visited and used sites on the Web, Craig Newmark has undoubtedly shaken the platform on how people use and perceive classifieds. With his website, Newmark has transformed classifieds into a Web-based industry, making it more accessible to users, and interactive enough for them to benefit from it better than ever.

Craig Newmark was born in Morristown, New Jersey in 1952. As he describes himself, he is a nerd who happened to find the way towards Internet success. He is one of the pioneers of Internet entrepreneurship and is also a philanthropist, public speaker, at the same time, a dedicated advocate of using modern technology to bring comfort and convenience to today’s life. He personally loves to watch birds and squirrels, and anything about science fiction.

In 1995, Craig Newmark founded Craigslist together with the expertise of IT consultant, Charles Schwab -and the rest is Internet-based classifieds history. In the beginning, Newmark tirelessly circulated emails among friends, colleagues, and other acquaintances to inform them about events happening in San Francisco Bay Area. Newmark started receiving suggestions as to what services he can incorporate in his website. In 1999, he left his job and incorporated Craigslist to begin making profit out of it.

Newmark may be a wealthy man, but he did not forget to give something back to the community. In 2011, he founded CraigConnects, an Internet-based initiative that aims to stand up for organizations which interest him. Its mission is to link individuals and institutions for them to see the efforts being exerted by different organizations, and encourage them to help and get involved as well.

As of today, Craigslist receive about 50 billion pages views per month and has around 50 million U.S.-based users. It also supports 12 languages across the world.

Better known by her nickname which she used as the name of her clothing and accessory line, Miu Miu, Miucci Prada is the granddaughter of Mario Prada, founder of the fashion giant, Prada. Born in Milan, Miucci is famous for holding a Ph.D. in political science, but choosing instead to go into fashion, with the help of her husband and business partner, Patrizio Bertilli.

Miu Miu is Miucci’s personal brainchild, her own innovations on her grandfather’s already famous luxury designs. Taking unusual fabrics and making clothing that are minimalistic, graceful and comfortable has become her trademark, something that is also evident in parent company Prada. Selling garments and accessories both for men and women, Miu Miu has boutiques in virtually all parts of the world, particularly in Italy and the United States, although the brand has become increasingly popular in Asian countries in recent years. Miucci Prada is in charge of all creative decisions for Miu Miu, while her husband maintains the business side of things.

There’s arguably nothing quite like eating steamed crabs and drinking cold beer in a venue where the ambiance is excellent and good music plays. Whatever the place may look like or where it may be, there’s undeniably something fantastic about eating a good meal with equally good beer. The best beer restaurants around the world, from North America to Asia to Central Europe, have built stellar reputations on this alone. Ebenezer Kezar’s Restaurant and Pub in Lovell, Maine is ranked at the top of this list.

Simply known as Ebenezer’s, Jen and Chris Lively bought this quaint place on the American East Coast in 2004 and turned it into what it is today. They started out with only five beer taps and an old bar that was already there, but now, Ebenezer’s serves more than 35 fantastic vintage and high-quality brews, from Limoncello IPA, Nethergate Old Growler, Pannepot Wild to Portsmouth Struise Kabert. The restaurant/pub has an extensive beer cellar, a custom beer cooler and more than a thousand bottled beers. Jen and Chris Lively have even teamed up with the famous Belgian brewers, De Struise, to hold special events.

Ebenezer’s is proud to have Sean Paxton, one of the country’s best brew chefs, working with them. Their range of wonderful brews include the award-winning Black Albert, a special, custom-brewed beer commissioned by Chris Lively and created by De Struise for the pub’s 3rd Annual Belgian Beer Festival. Aged in bourbon oak barrels, this brew was declared a work of art by critics, experts and patrons alike.

The name of the pub came from George Ebenezer Kezar, a trapper hailing from Canterbury, New Hampshire who, according to local legends, fought with a bear and killed it, losing an arm in the process. This unique twist to the pub’s history is part of why it was ranked number one on Beer Advocate magazine’s list of best beer bars in America for five years running!

Much has been said about the life and achievements of Apple’s iconic founder Steve Jobs, but what the younger generation may not know is that the computer that put Apple on the map was invented by another “Steve”.

Born in 1950, Steve Wozniak was always ahead of his peers. Even as a child he was already a wiz when it came to electronics. He was able to work on complex computer projects without any formal training or the help of how-to instructional books, but it was his job designing calculators for Hewlett Packard that gave him the idea for his biggest and most promising project yet. With his newfound fascination with micro-processors, he began to build a computer which would later be known as Apple I.

He then partnered up with Jobs and went to work on producing PC Boards and the biggest computer company in the world was born. Wozniak left the company in 1985, but his contribution to the popularity of the personal computer will never be forgotten.

There was once a time when students, teachers, and basically anyone who wanted to know something about anything would browse through volumes of bulky encyclopedias just to get the information they need. In the 1990s, these heavy books were replaced by CD-ROMs which became a more handy solution for those who owned a computer. Around this time, the internet was also gaining popularity, and soon information about anything became readily available on the World Wide Web. The internet paved the way for people to get information from online encyclopedias. In 2001, Jimmy Donal Wales created a website which allowed users to contribute and edit content using the Wiki software platform. By 2006, Wales’ Wikipedia website became one of the internet’s most popular websites.

Jimmy Wales was born on August 8, 1966 in Huntsville, Alabama. Even as a child, Wales showed quite an interest in reading and learning. He spent hours reading encyclopedias and other informative materials. He attended Randolph School, a university-prep school and graduated at the age of 16. He then attended Auburn University, graduating with a degree in Finance. He earned his Master’s Degree at the University of Alabama, and his PhD at Indiana University. He worked in the finance sector for a time before leaving to become an internet entrepreneur. His first project in 1996 was Bomis, which Wales described as a “guy-oriented search engine”.  Bomis did not do very well, but this was not the end of Wales’ fascination with the internet. He then set his sights on what would be Wikipedia’s predecessor. He founded an online encyclopedia he called Nupedia. He hired Larry Sanger as editor-in-chief of the project which had experts in different fields contributing content. Unfortunately, the pressure of experts reviewing and criticizing content submitted by writers made it difficult to pursue this type of model. In 2001, Wales and Sanger decided to create a website using the wiki software platform that would allow users to contribute and edit content. The site became very popular despite some users abuse of their power to edit or create content for the site.

The success of Wikipedia paved the way for Wales to establish a company in 2003 called the Wikimedia Foundation which aims to oversee all of Wales’ online enterprises and websites which included Wiktionary, Wiki News, and Wikia, Inc.

There are many little inventions that people take for granted, not knowing that it took years of research to perfect them. Such is the story of the Post-It, a concept created by American chemist Spencer Ferguson Silver and Arthur Fry in 1970.

Silver has over 20 US patents to his name, but the Post-It note sticks out as his most successful achievement. In 1968, Silver had come up with a kind of adhesive that was strong enough to hold papers together but not strong enough to tear them when pulled apart. The adhesive could be used repeatedly, which was its most interesting feature. The idea however, was not easily accepted until Arthur Fry came along.

Fry was frustrated at the paper bookmarks he used in church because they would always fall off. He realized that Silver’s invention would be useful and presented the idea to his supervisors at 3M, and it took a few more years for the invention to be perfected, patented and distributed, and the rest, as they say, is business history.