By Steve Tobak
November 10th, 2009 @ 6:55 am
Entrepreneurs worry too much about what they're going to develop, make, or market. What's more important is that they make, develop or market something. The odds that they end up making it big doing something different are apparently pretty high.
Here are 15 companies that became famous, not for what they started doing, but for something that came later. Sure, they may be related, but the point is still valid: better to get started on something; innovative people find a way.
* Backed by French venture capital, DuPont began making gunpowder in 1802.
* McDonald's. In 1927, brothers Dick and Mac McDonald opened a hot dog stand called "The Airdrome" at the Monrovia airport in California. 21 years later, the company began focusing on hamburgers.
* Nokia was originally a paper mill in Finland.
* Sony started as a radio repair shop named Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo in post-war Tokyo. Its first original product was a tape recorder, but its breakthrough was the first "commercially successful" transistor radio, the Sony TR-55.
* 3M was originally formed in 1902 to mine corundum for making grinding wheels. The "corundum," however turned out to be anorthosite, which the company tried to use to make sandpaper. That didn't work either.