Ben Cohen And Jerry Greenfield

Ben Cohen born March 18, 1951 in Brooklyn, NY and Jerry Greenfield born March 14, 1951 also in Brooklyn, NY are the founders of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream.

Ben and Jerry both grew up in Merrick on Long Island and first met in high school in 1963. The two became lifelong friends and would eventually become business partners.

After high school, Ben went on to Colgate University while Jerry attended Oberlin College, under a pre-med. curriculum before graduating in 1973. Jerry applied unsuccessfully for medical-school in 1973 and 1974; however, he was unsuccessful in being accepted.

In 1973, they shared an apartment on East 10th Street and while Jerry worked as a lab technician, Ben held various jobs, finally settling in as a teacher at the Highland Community School. In 1974, Jerry decided to move to North Carolina with his future wife, Elizabeth Skarie. In North Carolina, he continued work as a lab technician.

In 1976, Jerry moved back to New York, and again the pair shared an apartment in Saratoga Springs, New York. The two collaborated on an idea to open a business together. Initially, they considered opening a bagel shop, however they soon found the cost of the equipment would be prohibitive. It was then they turned their attention to Ice Cream.

They enrolled in a correspondence course on how to make ice cream, and began looking for a suitable location to open their dream business. After doing some initial research, through almanacs, to find warm weather college towns in which to locate their business, they soon found that practically every college town had an ice cream parlor. One place that stood out was Burlington Vermont, home of the University of Vermont.

They went to Burlington and found an old gas station that was available for rent. Pulling their savings of nearly $8,000, they began to pursue a loan for the initial start-up costs. Soon, Ben & Jerry found that they could not get much in the way of financing as many banks found the location unsuitable and the business less than desirable as an investment.

Finally they were able to secure a $4000 loan, and added with their savings, they leased the gas station, bought the equipment, and began to remodel their new shop. By the summer of 1978, they were ready for business.

In the early summer of 1978, they opened their shop, calling it Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream.
The shop became an instant success; their marketing of a variety of wild flavors and large portions brought crowds of customers to sample their unique new products.

Although, the winters proved a challenge the first two years, they sought out a way to package their product and offer it to local restaurants and grocery stores. In 1980, they relocated the business to a larger location and began packaging their ice cream in pints, to market their product in retail grocery stores.

Jerry temporarily left the business in the 1980s to support his future wife, Elizabeth, in Arizona as she pursued her doctorate in psychology. In 1985, they returned to Vermont, and Jerry assumed the position of Director of Mobile Promotions.

The company grew to open almost 200 franchised shops nationally and reports earnings of more than $230 million annually. In April 2000, Unilever, a multinational food distributor bought Ben & Jerry’s. Ben remains a member on the advisory board of the company. However, neither he nor Jerry is actively involved with the company.

Anita Roddick

From the opening of a small company in Brighton, England, in 1976 Anita Roddick had extended travel where she unearthed a multitude of stories that would influence the recipes for her cosmetics. During her time away from England, the Body Shop was but a thought in Roddick’s head on how to pull in an income for herself and her two daughters while her husband, Gord­on Roddick, was away in the United States. became one of England’s wealthiest women with assets totaling over 300 million.

Before opening her company: the Body Shop in 1976, Roddick had a tremulous upbringing. Having been born from a hard-working Italian mother she was put to work at a young age in her mother and American father’s café where she developed a strong work ethic. Roddick today said there was little leisure for her in the café when she was young. Sadly, her parents were to divorce when she was eight.

She found an epiphany when reading in a Penguin book about the holocaust at age 10 that developed a strong sense of concern for the world around her. In 1962 she left England and studied in Kibbutz, Israel but a school prank got her expelled. Roddick then returned to England where she covered several jobs and was able to later travel.

In 1972 she met her husband, Gordon, running a hotel-restaurant and raising two children. Gordon was soon to leave, with her approval, to ride from Buenos Aires, Argentina- to New York on horseback; a venture that would leave her to fend on her own again.

It was here Roddick revisited her ideas she developed while traveling and out of her garage crafted 15 different skin products and opened a small store. After it’s lucrative success, a second store was opened 6 months later followed by more when Gordon returned from the United States.

By the early 1990’s, the Body Shop had over 700 store branches whose success gave her the 91′ World Vision Award for Development Initiative. Today, after continued growth, the Body Shop has about 2000 stores worldwide and recently, in 1993, Roddick was knighted by the Queen of England giving her the name and title: Dame Anita Roddick.

Adolf Dassler

Also known as Adi Dassler was born in Herzogenaurach, Bavaria, Germany on November 3, 1900. The son of Christoph Dassler, a shoe factory worker made his foray into the shoe making business when he was 20 years old. Adi was an avid sportsman and had a passion to create a shoe specifically for athletes.

He started in his mother’s laundry room using canvas and spare materials. With the assistance of his brother Zehlein (who made the metal spikes) and later his older brother Rudolf (who joined in 1924), the brothers formed the Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory. Adi made it a point to attend every major sporting event in an effort to convince athletes to wear his shoes. By the 1928 Olympics in Amsterdam, several athletes were wearing special shoes from the Dassler workshop.

Early on, Adi concentrated his efforts on the shoes of track and field and was experimenting with spikes. By the early 1930s, the company was making 30 different shoe brands for 11 different sports and had a workforce of nearly 100. At this same time, the rise of Hitler in Germany was occurring, consequently, the brothers joined the Nazi party and signed their party papers with a ‘Heil Hitler’.

The 1936 Olympics in Berlin offered a great opportunity for Adi as he equipped Jesse Owens with spiked shoes that reportedly helped him to win 4 gold medals. Adi is purported to have driven to Berlin to meet with Owens just before the games were to begin. He visited Jesse Owens in the Olympic village and handed him a suitcase full of spikes. After persuading Owens to wear the shoes, Owens, over the next week won an unprecedented 4 gold medals (a feat unmatched until 48 years later).

Although this had propelled sales of the Dassler brand shoes, the impending war ravaged the company the Dassler brothers had started as Rudolf was drafted, and Adi was left to manufacture boots for the Nazi Soldiers. At the end of World War II, Adi and Rudolf had tried to re-organize their company, however, disagreements by the two had essentially put an end to the former partnership. By 1948, Rudolf and Adi separated ways as Adi reformed the shoe company using his nickname and first three letters of his last name to form Adidas, while Rudolf went on to locate his factory across the river and calling it Puma.

In 1949 Adi produced the first shoes with molded rubber studs. A breakthrough in 1954 occurred for Adi when the Germans won the World Cup Soccer against Hungary, the Germans all wore Adidas shoes. This event helped Adi recapture his pre-war sales of over 200,000 pairs of shoes per year. His company was beginning to again become a dominant supplier of athletic shoes in the world market.

In 1960 Adi introduced a sports clothing line to complement sales of their now famous three-stripe shoes. That same year in the Olympic Games at Rome, 75% of all athletes wore Adidas brand shoes.  Adi courted many sports celebrities throughout his career as Owner of Adidas to promote the brand name. Notables such as Muhammad Ali, Max Schmeling, Sepp Herberger and Franz Beckenbauer.

In 1963 Adidas started Ball production, and ever since 1970 the official match ball at all major soccer events has been an Adidas product.

On September 6, 1978 Adolf ‘Adi’ Dassler passed away, leaving his widow and son to carry on the tradition he started nearly sixty years earlier.

Adam Osborne

Adam Osborne born in Thailand on March 6, 1939, to British parents Arthur and Lucia Osborne. He spent most of his childhood in India. He graduated from the University of Birmingham in 1961 and received his Ph.D. from the University of Delaware in the United States. He also was a member of Mensa. In 1968 he became a US Citizen, and shortly thereafter began working for Shell Oil Co., as a chemical engineer.

He left Shell in the early 1970s to pursue his writing and computer passion, and in 1972 he formed a company, Osbourne Publishing, that printed easy to read technical manuals on computers. Within 5 years, he had more than 40 titles to his credit and by 1979 he sold his business to McGraw-Hill for a reported $3 Million.

Shortly thereafter, in 1980, he formed Osbourne Computer Corporation, and within a year, he had introduced the first portable computer known as the Osbourne 1. This portable computer revolutionized the computer business by not only making a computer affordable for business and home use, but easy to move due to its smaller size, weighing less than 25 pounds and at about half the cost of computers already on the market.

His computer was the first to bundle software with his computer, such as word processing and spreadsheet programs. He revolutionized the personal computer by including necessary programs already built-in to his computer unlike his main competitor, IBM. He argued that it was nonsense to buy a computer without the necessary programs to run it. Before his revolutionary concept of bundling software, computers companies were selling their computers with only basic operating systems, and then offering to sell necessary business programs separately.

Within a short period, Osborne Computers were shipping 10,000 Osborne 1 computers each month, generating more than $1 million a month in sales. By 1982, Osborne Computer reached more than $68 million in sales. In 1983, Osborne announced a more advanced version of his computer, which caused a slowdown on purchases of his Osborne 1. The inventory backup caused financial difficulties, which eventually led to Osborne Computer filing for bankruptcy.

Adam wrote a book in 1984 discussing his rise and fall of his computer company called ‘Hypergrowth: The Rise and Fall of Osborne Computer Corporation’. He also formed a software company called Paperback Software that same year, competing with such names as Lotus and IBM for a share of the software market.

His idea was to produce inexpensive computer software for the average person. Fielding great success in this market until Lotus Corporation sued his company for copyright infringement in 1987, soon consumer and investor confidence slipped. Lotus won the suit in 1990 and Osborne stepped down from the company shortly thereafter.

Adam Osborne returned to his home in India in 1992 after suffering several massive strokes, on March 18, 2003, Adam succumbed to his illness and passed away in Kodaikanal, India at age 64. Adam Osborne has to his credit the introduction of a computer that would make it easy for anyone to own, not just major corporations, but people in general to use in their home. His concept brought many industry leaders like IBM, Tandy, and even Microsoft to mimic his early success in introducing the home computer.

Wayne Huizenga

Wayne Huizenga was born ‘Harry Wayne Huizenga’ on December 29, 1937 in Evergreen Park, Illinois. His family moved to Florida, while he was still in high school, where he attended Pine Crest School in Fort Lauderdale, graduating in 1955. The following year he moved back to Illinois and in 1956 he enrolled at Calvin College, a liberal arts college in Grand Rapids, Michigan. In September 1959, he enlisted in the Army reserve.

On September 10, 1960, he married Joyce VanderWagon, whom he met in his early school years in Evergreen Park, Illinois. Wayne and Joyce had two children, Wayne Jr. and Scott. They were divorced in 1966. In April 1972, Wayne married his second wife, Marti Goldsby.

After difficulty in finding work, he joined a family friend who owned a garbage collection company. Within two years, (1968) he bought his own truck and started his own garbage collection business. He would spend the early morning hours on his route picking up garbage from customers, and then spend the late afternoons canvassing neighborhoods, soliciting new business. His hard work and dedication eventually grew into his company, Waste Management Inc.

Starting from the one truck, he would buy up smaller competitors and eventually had a fleet of 40 trucks. Within four years of starting, he merged with a larger business in Chicago to form Waste Management Inc. In 1972 he took his company public and used the funding from the stock offering to acquire about 150 other garbage service companies, making it the largest waste disposal company in the United States.

Having successfully turned a one-truck business into a multimillion-dollar enterprise in less than a decade, Wayne partnered with two others in 1987 to do the same with an already established business known as Blockbuster Video. By 1989, Blockbuster had 19 stores and was doing about $7 million when Wayne and his partners took it public that year. Within five years, it had grown to more than 3,700 stores in 11 countries and more than $4 Billion in global sales. In 1994, Wayne and his partners sold Blockbuster to Viacom for $8.4 billion in stock.

Wayne continued this momentum with several other companies, developing AutoNation, a national car dealership chain with 370 dealerships across the USA, then Extended Stay America, a discount hotel chain, which grew to 62 properties in the first year and nearly 500 by the time he sold it in 2004. He even went back to his roots and started another waste management company called Republic Services, which eventually merged with Waste Management, Inc to create the largest waste management company in the USA.

Along the way, Wayne has earned the respect of the business community by receiving several awards. In 1992, he received the Horatio Alger Award, given to honor Americans who have overcome adversity to achieve great success. Additionally, he was named Financial World Magazine’s “CEO of the Year” 5 times, and was named Ernst & Young’s 2004 U.S. Entrepreneur of the Year and 2005 World Entrepreneur of the Year.

Warren Buffet

Warren Buffet was born in 1930.  Investing was in Buffets genes, as his father, Howard, was a successful stockbroker and also a congressman. Warren always had an eye for business.  He had 2 paper routes for the Washington Post, He also made money by collecting and selling lost golf balls. When Warren was eleven he purchased three shares of Cities Service Preferred at $38 per share for both himself and his older sister, Doris. Shortly after buying the stock, it fell to just over $27 per share. A frightened but resilient Warren held his shares until they rebounded to $40. He promptly sold them – a mistake he would soon come to regret. Cities Service shot up to $200. The experience taught him one of the basic lessons of investing: patience is a virtue.   He began betting on horses at 12, and started a pinball machine business while in high school, earning him $50 a week. By graduation, he also had bought himself forty acres of Nebraskan farm land with his profit.

Buffet spent time in a number of colleges including the Wharton Business School at the University of Pennsylvania., the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (where Buffet graduated in 3 years) and Columbia.  While attending college in Nebraska, Buffet invested in a Texaco station and some real estate, but neither were successful. After taking a course by Dale Carnegie, Buffet began teaching night classes at the University of Omaha. Buffet studied economics at Columbia Business School under Benjamin Graham, who team with David Dodd to pen the 1934 book Security Analysis, which explained their investment technique (also known as value investing.).

Buffet, who was married, moved to the suburbs of NY and went to work for Ben Graham.  Buffet’s primary duties were analyzing S&P reports to search for investment opportunities.  Buffet became interested in how a company worked, while Graham simply wanted numbers.   Warren was predominately interested in a company’s management as a major factor when deciding where to invest; Graham looked only at the balance sheet and income statement.  By 1956, Buffets working capital went from $10,000 to $140,000.  Buffet decided to move back to his native Omaha.

In May 1956, Buffet with 7 investors including his sister and aunt raised $105,000 ($5,000 of his own funds) to create the Buffet Associates, Ltd.  Before the end of the year, he was managing around $300,000 in capital.   While the Dow was up 74% over the next 5 years, Buffets investments returned 251.0%.   By 1962, the partnership had capital in excess of $7.2 million, and Buffet’s personal fortune was over $1million.  Buffet had an unusual fee structure.  Instead of a set fee, Buffet earned 1/4 of the profits above 4%).

Buffet acquired 49% of the common stock of Bershire Hathaway by May 1965, and named himself Director. Warren refused to award stock options on the basis that it was unfair to shareholders, so he cosigned a loan for $18,000 for his new President, Ken Chace to purchase 1,000 shares of the company’s stock.

Berkshire Hataway began to acquire companies and massive stock holding.  Scott & Fetzer, he maker of Kirby vacuum cleaners and World Book encyclopedia, was the target of a hostile takeover by Ivan Boesky.  Buffet, who owned 250,000, sent a message to the company asking if they were interested in merging and deal was wrapped up less than a week later.

Berkshire Hathaway. Built a diverse portfolio includes utilities (MidAmerican Energy Holdings), insurance (Geico, General Re), apparel (Fruit of the Loom), flight services (FlightSafety, NetJets). Buffet also took large positions in major companies such as American Express, Coca-Cola, Gillette, the Washington Post and Wells Fargo.  Berkshire would see its share price climb from $2,600 to as high as $80,000 in the 1990’s.  Berkshire, has delivered compound annual return of 22 for over the last 40 years.

Buffet is also a generous philanthropist, donating more than $12 million each year to the Susan Thompson Buffet foundation.  Buffet recently announced he will donate much of his fortune to the foundation of his bridge partner and friend Bill Gates.

Theo and Karl Albrecht Aldi

Aldi’s is a super marker founded in the year 1948 by Co-Chairman Karl and Theo Albrecht.  It is said that Aldi’s is the first real discount store.  Aldi’s is a German Multi-National mini market.  Since 2006, the chain of Aldi’s has over 5,000 supermarkets all with low prices on limited ranges of goods.  Aldi’s can be found in sixteen countries.

Theodor Paul Albrecht (Theo Albrecht) was born on March 28, 1922 and is a German entrepreneur.  He was the 22nd richest person in the world ($18 billion). Theo is the CEO of Aldi, he and his brother Karl own the discount supermarket chain of Aldi.

Karl Hans Albrecht was born in Essen, Germany in the year of 1920 and is a German entrepreneur also.  He founded the discount supermarket chain of Aldi with his brother Theo.  He is also among the richest men in the world.  An estimated net worth $17.0 billion with Forbes in 2006, the Karl is the wealthiest man in Germany.  Karl had also served in the German army during World War II.

The Albrecht brothers were raised in modest circumstances; their father had been employed as a minor and was later a baker’s assistant.  Their mother had run a small grocery store in Schonnebeck in the workers corner.  While Karl worked in a delicatessen, Theo completed an apprenticeship for his mother and her store.  The brothers had soon taken over their mothers store in the year of 1946.  The first Aldi store was opened in 1961 called Albrecht-Discount. The operations of Aldi’s were divided between the two brothers.

Little is known about Karl Albrecht because he had withdrawn himself from the public life.  Forbes magazine has said that he is married and has one or two children.  Karl Albrecht reportedly lives somewhere in Switzerland.  He is a big fan of golf and he plays in his own personal golf court we he had built in 1976 and also raises orchids.

In the year of 1944, Karl had removed himself from the daily operations of Aldi and took the chairman position of the board.  He had also relinquished his position of the chairman of the board at the beginning of the year 2002 thereby completely ceding control of the firm.  The business today is no longer run by the Albrecht family.

Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs was born in San Francisco, but raised in Mountain View, Santa Clara by his adoptive parents, Paul and Clara Jobs. He attended Reed College in Oregon but was to drop out after the first semester, returning home to attend the Homebrew Computer Club with friend , Steve Wozniak, who he met working summer employment at Hewlett-Packard, and working as a technician at Atari, a video game producer.

When Jobs was twenty-one he and Wozniak marketed a computer Wozniak had designed for his personal use. With the intent to only sell printed circuit boards, they ended their season with a lot of completed computers, selling them for just over $650.00. The Apple II sold the following year, then the Apple III was introduced in 1980, the same year Apple Computers became incorporated. The company later produced the Macintosh, the world’s first successful GUI (Graphical user interface) consumer computer. In three years, Jobs saw a 700% growth in his company. However, IBM was becoming a glaring advocate, having developed their own personal computer.

Jobs was able to hire John Scully from Pepsi-Cola to assist the company saying by coming to Apple he can change the world. Though Apple saw unprecedented success with the Macintosh, selling over 400,000 in the first year, Jobs left Apple having been demoted for his underdog business tactics by Wozniak and another corporate partner to open his own company: NeXR, that would produce educational programming. Jobs was to recieve the “1989 Software Publishers Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award” for his company’s final product, though it wasn’t successful in sales. His new company however was to harbor in the invention of the World Wide Web, having Tim Berners-Lee develop it on a NeXR server.

It was in the mid 1990’s that Apple’s focus of ancient software and some internal problems almost bankrupted the company. With an annual salary of $1.00 a year, Jobs was invited back to Apple and with his interests in Unix operation systems, Jobs was to rescue the handicapped company.
His influence in Apple remains rigorous and punctual. The term “getting Steved” refers to Job’s, rare but terrorizing, sacking of employees. To this day, Apple continues to grow, reaching to new venues owning the majority of today’s portable MP3 player market with the iPod, which was quick to become a cultural icon.

Jobs and Chris-Ann Brennan, with whom he never married, had a girl: Lisa Brennan-Jobs. Jobs married Laurene Powell in 1991 and had an additional two children.

Stelios Haji-Ioannou

Stelios Haji-Ioannou is an entrepreneur who created easyJet the low cost airline from scratch on the back of low cost air fares and a fun personal image.

Stelios in the mid-Eighties studied at the London School of Economics. In 1988, after getting a masters degree at the London Business School, he returned to Greece to join his dad’s shipping business.

When Stelios, was an executive of his dad’s business, their tanker Haven blew up, pouring out into the Mediterranean sea tonnes of crude oil and killing five crew.

After this Stelios left his dad’s business and set up Stelmar Tankers, his own shipping company. He then went on to persuade Loucas to lend him £5 million to start easyJet.

From Luton, in 1995, Stelios started easyJet a low cost budget airline. Using two rented 737s and £29 one-way fares to Glasgow.

Stelios burst into the airline market, appearing at airline conferences, stirring up rivals  and get himself in the news. The airline is valued at £1.6 billion the biggest European budget airline.

Sir Richard Branson

Sir Richard Branson, is his name. He’s worth over three billion and leads a company, the easily recognized Virgin, that is composite of a number of other smaller companies that include Virgin Mobile, Virgin Records, Virgin Blue and Virgin Cola. His business tactics stray far away from tradition but with them he had a very enjoyable time becoming a billionaire, unlike most others who have broken their backs.

Branson was born 18 July 1950 in Shamly Green Surrey to a traditional, conservative family. He attended Stowe school until he was 15. Suffering from dyslexia, he was not a good student but strove in other ventures. He started a small outfit growing Christmas trees and another to raise budgerigars. They demonstrated his strive for business- diverse business in that; but both were to fail.

Richard Branson Entrepreneur ProfileBranson’s formation of Virgin started soon after opening his own record shop in London. He had been selling cut-out records out of his car for some time before that; making enough money to open the store. The store itself was to make enough money to purchase an estate where Branson decided to open a studio. After acquiring the label Virgin, he became the owner of a small record company that helped a number of fledgling musicians that included famous Mike Oldfield. Branson’s success was in his acceptance of controversial artists that other record labels turned down. Mike Oldfield became a best seller and Virgin sponsored other controversial bands of the time like the Sex Pistols. Branson’s income rapidly grew. And grew. And grew some more.

Branson’s controversial business patters are better displayed in his public admitting of smoking cannabis; and selling it in Virgin stores if it was to become legal. He is quick to jump on any lucrative business venture. Virgin rail, and Virgin Atlantic were born from suffering rail and airway companies. With Paul Allen, Virgin Atlantic supports prospects for future paid travel in space. Branson, through his charm and charisma with the public, and his private affairs with women; he has gained rock-star status in the U.K, placing him at the #2 choice for prime minister amongst Britain’s youth.