Businesses that started in garages — included Google, Apple, Amazon, Mattel, Hewlett-Packard, and Lender's Bagels — were the topic of my column this week. Courtesy of Newsbusters.org, I just learned of another — Westgate Resorts and its parent company, Central Florida Investments. From the company's Web site: "From a tiny orange grove and the dream of a man working out of his garage, Westgate Resorts and its parent company, Central Florida Investments (CFI), have grown into the largest privately-owned timeshare company in the world employing over 10,000 around the United States."
Westgate is in the news because of an email that its founder and CEO, David Siegel, reportedly sent to his employees that said, in part, "The question I have is this: Who is really stimulating the economy? Is it the Government that wants to take money from those who have earned it and give it to those who have not, or is it people like me who built a company out of his garage and directly employs over 7000 people and hosts over 3 million people per year with a great vacation? Obviously, our present government believes that taking my money is the right economic stimulus for this country. The fact is, if I deducted 50% of your paycheck you'd quit and you wouldn't work here. I mean, why should you? Who wants to get rewarded only 50% of their hard work? Well, that's what happens to me."