If you're like most people in this world, you aspire for success and, to be blunt: bills, bills, bills. With a generation made up of creators, innovators and inventors, Gen-Yers everywhere are striving to become the entrepreneur of the next big thing. The number one question on their minds: how do we get there?
There is currently an endless list of tech companies with rising success after just a couple years of building business. The following tech companies are just a small number of companies that have achieved booming success over the past couple of decades.
Whether they chose to sell or continue running the business, each of these entrepreneurs is sitting happy on a pretty penny having established tech companies that are now worth billions.
We're all familiar with Instagram, as it's the most popular photo sharing app available for smartphones that provides a selection of filters to enhance your photos. You can share your photos on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr or via email, too. The biggest perk is that you can download the app for free! Instagram was introduced in October 2010 by creators Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger.
Relying solely on word of mouth to spread the word, the app reached more than 100 million users by April 2012. In that same month, Facebook purchased Instagram, along with its 13 employees, for $1 billion in cash and stocks.
Pinterest is the popular online scrapbooking and social networking site that provides users with free membership after a short wait for an invitation to join the site. Pinterest was founded by Ben Silbermann, Paul Sciarra and Evan Sharp, and it is currently managed by Cold Brew Labs, with funding by a small group of entrepreneurs and investors.
The site appeals to college-educated females between the ages of 25 and 44, but companies looking to increase sales or draw in traffic are also having great success through the site, which can be particularly accredited to the high quality appealing photos. With no revenue, Pinterest was worth $1.5 billion in fewer than three years and is now predicted to be worth roughly $7.7 billion.
Tumblr is a blogging platform and social networking site founded by David Karp and Marco Arment in February 2007 that allows members to post text, photos, quotes, links, music and videos onto their personal page to be shared publicly, or privately to a controlled audience. As of May 2013, Tumblr hosts more than 108 million blogs and was just recently sold to Yahoo! for $1.1 billion. Yahoo! also owns Flickr, an online photo management and sharing application, which they bought in 2005 for $35 million.
YouTube, the online video-sharing website, was founded in 2005 by Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Jawed Karim. Most of the content found on YouTube has been uploaded by individuals, but many companies make use of the site to share content or generate marketing materials. In November 2006, Google bought YouTube for $1.65 billion, and the site now operates as Google's subsidiary.
Twitter is the ever-popular social networking outlet that allows "tweeters" to express anything they wish to say in a maximum of 140 characters. The site was created in March 2006 by Jack Dorsey, hit over 500 million users in 2012 and is recently estimated to be valued around $10 billion.
Square, Inc. is a mobile payments company founded by Jack Dorsey, creator of Twitter, that is helping merchants on-the-go accept credit card payments. Users download the app to their smartphones and acquire the device for free, so the company generates revenue by charging a small fee on transactions. Investors like Starbucks and Citi Ventures are throwing millions into the growth of Square, Inc., valuing the company over $3 billion.
Amazon.com was founded by Jeffrey Bezos in July 1994, and in July 1995, the company began service as an online bookstore. In October 1995, Amazon.com went public and introduced its first IPO in 1997, after just three years. Today, Amazon is the world's largest electronic commerce retailer, employing more than 43,000 people in the United States, and its net worth stands at about $90 billion.
SurveyMonkey was founded in 1999 by Ryan Finley as free online survey software and questionnaire tool that allows users to sign up to create and publish online surveys in a matter of minutes, and then view the results graphically and in real time. In 2009, SurveyMonkey was sold to a private equity consortium, and the current CEO is David Goldberg. With 15 million customers and growing, SurveyMonkey is currently valued at $1.35 billion.
The music subscription market is flooded with what seems like endless options. Spotify is ahead of the competition with a large following and large music catalog reaching 20 million songs and climbing. Spotify gives users three download options: free, unlimited and premium. The free option offers you a quick and easy download followed by instant availability of millions of songs to play on your computer. If you opt for unlimited, there's a fee of $5/month without commitment, and you don't have to suffer through the ads.
For listening privileges on all of your devices, go for premium and spend the $10/month. You can download the music and listen offline anytime, anywhere. In 2011, Spotify raised $100 million from Russian investment firm DST Global and venture-capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. At that time, the company was valued at a cool $1 billion.
Groupon is the daily deals company that features discount deals usable at local and national companies. After plugging in your email, gender and where you're located, the site directs to you an array of coupons to choose from. Once you check out the details of any deal that appeals to you, click buy and Groupon will email you a confirmation as proof of purchase for the business you selected.
The site has some killer deals that truly can't be beat. In 2010, Groupon rejected a $6 billion acquisition offer from Google, and today, the company is valued at roughly $3 billion.