YouTube is a treasure trove for all sorts of obscure footage. And that includes early footage of all your favourite entrepreneurial titans before they went next-level massive. Who wouldn’t want some of that?
There’s something humanising about seeing these giants of the business world trying to get their soon-to-be-ubiquitous ideas and inventions out into the wider world. Whether it’s a fresh-faced, pre-beard Richard Branson or a beer supping Mark Zuckerberg, these videos remind us that even the biggest entrepreneurs had to start somewhere. They also tell us how much a business and its ideals can change over time, especially when faced with the conflicts that come with globe-conquering growth.
So, pour yourself a beer and enjoy our tour through the archives.
A fresh out of college Mark Zuckerberg
With Scarface and Pulp Fiction posters adorned on the ‘office’ wall and beer-chugging aplenty, this 2005 interview with Mark Zuckerberg absolutely fits all the typical college startup clichés. We see an embryonic Facebook back when it was The Facebook and MySpace reigned supreme. Fast forward 13 years and, well, you know the rest.
Sir James Dyson on This Morning in the 90s
By no means a spring chicken in this TV appearance, the British serial-inventor had enjoyed a number of business ventures before he honed in on the vacuum cleaner market, launching Dyson Appliances Ltd in 1991. This film features Dyson on This Morning showing off his first bagless vacuum cleaner, a product that would prove to be the breakthrough for the company.
Jeff Bezos before world-domination
Once upon a time Amazon.com was just a humble online bookstore and Jeff Bezos, its founder, looked and sounded like a guy just out to do a bit of good in the world. Fast forward 21 years and his company has recently been valued at 1 trillion dollars. Bezos, himself, now looks every bit your multi-billionaire all-powerful CEO. In this 1997 interview, he certainly sounds like someone who just might be ahead of the game.
A young Steve Jobs in Apple Cork
By 1980 Apple was already a major player in the emerging home computer market, but was far from being the household name it is today. It was around this time that Apple opened what would become its European headquarters in the somewhat surprising location of Cork, Ireland. This television news footage shows Steve Jobs talking to reporters about the origins of Apple and how they came to set up their manufacturing plant in Cork.
JK Rowling talks to Blue Peter in 1997
As the author of the most successful book series of all time, JK Rowling’s business empire is worth an estimated £700 million and extends to theme parks and West End stage shows. But it wasn’t always that way. Hers is very much the classic rags to riches story. In this video, she explains to Blue Peter’s Connie Huq how as a broke single mother she wrote the first Harry Potter novel in an Edinburgh cafe.