30 Years of No. 1 Companies

Timothy Rice
10 of 29

1991: Gateway 2000
N. Sioux City, S.D.

1990 Revenue: $275.5 million
Three-Year Growth: 26,469%

Gateway founder Ted Waitt took a $10,000 loan from his grandmother and began work on his computer company in his father’s farmhouse in Iowa in 1985. In 1991, the company introduced the distinctive “cow-spotted boxes,” a nod to the company’s rural founding. Gateway (it officially took off the “2000” in the early 90’s) was sold to Acer in October of 2007. Waitt, now a billionaire, resigned from the company about six years ago to focus on philanthropy.