Pioneer Brands: Western-Based Businesses Shaking Up Their Industries

The American West has always been a breeding ground for fiercely-independent thinkers and entrepreneurs, from the early trappers and settlers in the Rockies to the California Gold Rush. In the age of free-market capitalism, that independent spirit is alive and well. Here are just a few entrepreneurial ventures that originated in the West and went on to make waves in their respective industries:



Originally a Stanford dissertation concept turned Silicone Valley garage startup, Google has profoundly transformed the way we interact with the internet and all of the information hosted thereon. Unlike the many competitors of its day, Google had one overarching mission: deliver users the most relevant search results, fast. This was a short-term financial sacrifice, because other engines gave heavier weight to websites in return for lucrative kickbacks. But by foregoing the short-term financial gain, Google took the market by storm, achieving roughly a 75% share of the search market. This goliath brings in a staggering $90b in annual revenue, and requires only about $35b to operate. With these margins, it’s probable that there is a division of Google whose whole job is to find cool ways to spend the stupid amount of money they have.


In contrast to the tech Colossus, Kyani is an up-and-comer. A dark horse out of Southern Idaho, this company is making waves in the health and wellness industry by leveraging the same network sales structure that has led to the success of many similar firms in its industry. Kyani has flexible arrangements with business partners and it encourages more people to support the brand's rapid rise to the top. With natural and healthy products, they are focusing on improving the overall lifestyle of their customers and partners.



Another tech company begun in a garage, Adobe has come to define the creative space by engineering or acquiring the benchmarks in graphic design, web design, video production software, and enterprise analytics. Adobe created the PDF and a host of other unique file formats that have become integral to the operations methodology of firms in almost every industry.


This company specializes in going door to door to reach consumers with their opportunities. The company installs solar panels on houses to help them save money on electricity and eventually even get checks for the power they are generating to the grid. They aren’t the only company in this space, but in 2012 Fortune magazine listed them in the top 100 fastest-growing companies! They succeeded by identifying the up and coming trend of solar power.

The Honest Company

Founded by the famous actress Jessica Alba, this company leverages more than just its founders fame to fuel its growth. The Honest Company manufactures family and home products, utilizing ecologically-friendly processes to create non-toxic materials. Recently the company was evaluated for over $1 billion.

In today's day and age, the internet has brought digital technology to the forefront of how we do business. To compete, brands have to leverage all of their resources to the fullest. If you are looking to learn from those who do this best, review the list above. Then put the one or two key insights you learned into action and enjoy more revenue and success going forward.