If you search for anything home decor or renovation-related, you’re more than likely to stumble across a listing on Houzz. The marketplace/ community/ directory services more than 40 million monthly users and employees over 1,000 people. But its beginnings were more than humble. Frustrated with the lack of online resources available while they were renovating their home, the founders — husband and wife Adi Tatarko and Alon Cohen — built their own with twenty parents from Adi and Alon’s kid’s school, and a few architects and designers from the Bay Area as its first users. Today? They’re worth $4 billion.
…ly $50. Founder Noah Kagan shared with me the story of how he was doing marketing for Mint.com when he recognized the need for a discount site for online companies. He invested his own cold-hard cash (plus a $20 cash injection from his mom) to build a landing page and collect emails. They hit $1 million in sales in their first year.
…em away for free. One viral HackerNews post later and the photos had been downloaded 50,000+ times. Today, Unsplash hosts tens of thousands of gorgeous photos, still free to download, and has become the go-to place for free imagery.