Written By Luis Munoz

5 Driven Duos

July 08, 2014 | leadership

Duos have often been at the core of some of the greatest and most innovative businesses. Hitcents itself was the creation of twin brothers Chris and Clinton Mills, who took a passion for website design while in high school, and turned it into a successful creative and interactive agency that now spans applications, games, website design, marketing services, and more. Let’s take a look back in history at five businesses that were the result of two individuals coming together, whether by chance circumstances, through the suggestion of friends, through family, or through shared dreams and visions. 


1. Larry Page and Sergey Brin -- Google

Photo credit: Joi Ito  


Sergey Brin and Larry Page first met at a spring orientation for new Computer Science Ph.D. candidates at Stanford. Soon after, they quickly became friends. Though they had distinct interests, they used this as a basis to complement each other’s skills. They infused their independent passions and embarked on the creation of a new search engine, famously suspending their studies at Stanford and renting out a garage space to work on the system that would soon become Google. 


2. William Procter and James Gamble -- Procter & Gamble 


When William Procter married Olivia Norris and James Gamble married Elizabeth Ann Norris, not only did they create strong familial ties, but they also landed upon the opportunity to become business partners due to their newfound relation. Both William Procter and James Gamble had standing individual businesses, the former as a candle maker and the latter as soap maker. Upon the urging of their father-in-law, they combined forces to create Procter & Gamble in 1837. This multinational consumer goods company now has over 100,000 employees and numerous products and brands under its name.


3. Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield -- Ben & Jerry’s

Photo credit: Paul Stein 


These two Long Island, New York natives met while at gym class in middle school, where they first proposed the idea of creating an ice cream business. Many years passed, as Cohen and Greenfield each pursued their own educational paths and career ventures, holding a variety of jobs until they reunited to bring their original business idea to life. Taking a 5-dollar correspondence course in ice cream making, they transformed an idea into a business, creating their first Ben & Jerry’s ice cream shop in Burlington, Vermont in 1978.  


4. Richard Warren Sears and Alvah Curtis Roebuck -- Sears, Roebuck and Company


Usually when a person receives an undesired item, they discard it or leave it untouched. In the case of Richard Warren Sears, a railroad station agent, he took an unwanted shipment of watches at his station, purchased them, and then sold them at a higher profit to other station agents. He used this chance circumstance to establish a business selling watches through mail order catalogs. After moving to Chicago and listing an ad for a watchmaker, he soon met Alvah Curtis Roebuck, who responded to the ad and became his business partner under Sears, Roebuck and Company. The company originally opened under a mail order catalog business model before expanding and opening department stores. To date, it’s the 4th largest department store company in the United States.


5. Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs -- Apple

Photo Credit: Ed Schipul 


Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak first met through a mutual friend, while Jobs was still in high school. It was their employment at Hewlett-Packard, though, that led to their friendship and the pursuit of establishing their own company, Apple Computer. Wozniak left his job at Hewlett-Packard, focusing his efforts with Jobs to create home computers. It was their collaboration on the Apple II, a series of home computers adapted from Wozniak’s Apple I, that brought great initial success to Wozniak, Jobs, and Apple Computer.  


Photo credit: Ben Stanfield 



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