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  4. Nvidia's founders came up their trillion-dollar idea while spending hours drinking Denny's coffee and eating Grand Slam breakfasts: 'We were not good customers'

Nvidia's founders came up their trillion-dollar idea while spending hours drinking Denny's coffee and eating Grand Slam breakfasts: 'We were not good customers'

Grace Mayer   

Nvidia's founders came up their trillion-dollar idea while spending hours drinking Denny's coffee and eating Grand Slam breakfasts: 'We were not good customers'
  • Nvidia's cofounders told WSJ they came up with the idea for the company over breakfast at Denny's.
  • The company, worth $1 trillion, makes graphics cards for gaming and chips that power AI tech.

Great ideas are born from unlikely places — like Nvidia's origin: The idea for the global chip maker, which just hit a $1 trillion market value this week, was born in a booth at a Denny's.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Nvidia cofounders Jensen Huang, Chris Malachowsky, and Curtis Priem talked about how they came up with their idea for the company over Grand Slam breakfasts and too many cups of coffee in a Denny's in San Jose, California. An Nvidia spokesperson confirmed to Insider that the founders held the conversations at the 2484 Berryessa Road location.

"We were not good customers," Nvidia cofounder Chris Malachowsky told the Journal. "We were going to show up for four hours and drink 10 cups of coffee."

While many companies are now scrambling to catch up with the AI craze, Nvidia was tapping into this part of the industry long ago. Then, the AI and PC gaming markets were still in their early stages — or "$0 billion markets," as Huang, who is also Nvidia's CEO, told the Journal.

Now, 30 years later, Nvidia's chips are essential to powering many artificial intelligence technologies, including language models like ChatGPT and Bard. The company's AI tools are transforming the video game experience. Nvidia also recently announced plans to develop computer-generated advertisements with advertising giant WPP.

With a soaring stock price, and more growth anticipated, Nvidia is well-poised to continue to profit off of the AI boom, Insider's Matthew Fox previously reported.

The humble beginning of Nvidia's story also bears a resemblance to other tech origin stories. Facebook was developed in Mark Zuckerberg's Harvard dorm room. Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak created the first Apple computer out of the Jobs family's garage.

You can read more about Nvidia's founding over at The Wall Street Journal.


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