We’ve seen a lot of advances in the last ten years, most notably how the web has influenced communication and how we connect with each other — from social networking to ride sharing. Some of the things we use today and couldn’t imagine living without didn’t even exist just a decade ago. So let’s take a look at ten of the best, or most impactful, technology startups of the last ten years.
Remember these are just ten examples. They may not be the biggest. They may not be your personal favorites. But they’re well-known, having an impact on real lives and businesses, and not having them would be unthinkable for many. There are countless other technology companies that are equally worth mentioning. If you can think of other great tech companies that launched between 2007 and 2017, please be sure to mention them in the comments and tell the rest of us what makes them stand out for you.
The following are ten of the best technology startups of the last decade, and they are listed in alphabetical order.
Background: Airbnb opened up the hospitality industry to everyday homeowners with space to share and an interest in making extra money. The online service connects those with rooms, apartments, houses, and more unique accomodations with those in need of a place to stay. Airbnb acts as an intermediary, handling payment processing, advertising of properties, and facilitating introductions between parties.
Background: Dropbox combines online file storage and collaboration tools to help you keep your most important files both organized and easily-accessible. You can use Dropbox to access files from any browser or mobile device, or to share files openly or privately (even making them accessible to people who don’t use Dropbox themselves).
Background: Kickstarter is one of the largest and best-known crowdfunding platforms. It caters to creative users such as musicians, authors, and filmmakers, letting fans fund upcoming creative works and bringing artists and their fans closer in the creative process.
Background: Pinterest was a leader in the move to more image-centric social media. It’s a great place to not only store and sort images into private boards (such as a wedding board), but also to share and find creative ideas from recipes to DIY projects.
Background: Snap Inc. is behind the popular Snapchat app, another major player in the more image-heavy move in social networking. They set themselves apart initially by integrating disappearing photos that wouldn’t be permanently archived on the web. Snapchat, like most social media tools, has evolved since its humbler beginnings, now incorporating video chat and other features.
Background: Spotify is a popular digital music subscription service that gives users access to stream millions of songs legally while artists earn royalties when they or their record labels license their work to the service. Free and premium services are available, and they provide easy cross-device access to music collections.
Background: Square offers businesses payment processing tools, from its point-of-sale software to the little white square credit card readers they’re best known for (which you can connect to a mobile device to process payments from anywhere).
Background: Stripe is another technology company whose business is rooted in online finance. They help internet businesses accept and process payments, whether that’s through their websites or mobile apps.
Background: Uber may have had its controversies over the years, but there’s no doubting the company’s influence on modern-day transportation. The ride-sharing service lets you request a ride from private drivers (as opposed to traditional taxis) using an app. It also allows everyday folks an opportunity to make money as a driver in their spare time.
Background: Udacity is a company in the growing online education space. They offer “nano degrees” where students can study technical topics and earn certifications from industry leaders. The idea is that you don’t always need a traditional four-year degree (which can require numerous courses irrelevant to your degree area). So Udacity takes you on a deep dive into what you really need to know to start building a career faster, and in a more affordable way.
Which of these tech companies interests you the most? Which play the biggest roles in your day to day life, if any? What other tech startups have influenced you in the last decade? Are there even newer companies whose future you’re excited about?
Leave a comment below to share your thoughts and suggestions for other technology companies worth taking a look at.