Technology giants have absolutely skyrocketed in value over the last decade, offering consumers an endless stream of continuously innovative new products – one rolling out after the next. Ten years ago, we saw these massive, growing corporations as heroes that would take human technology into the next era. Nowadays, however, these companies have managed to be embedded into our day-to-day lives like we could never have anticipated – on top of making a lot of investors rich in the process
Interesting Fact: The founder of the company – Steve Jobs – was actually fired in 1985, when he was 30 years
*Founded by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne on April 1, 1976.
*CEO: Tim Cook
*Headquarters: Cupertino, CA
*Market Cap: $875.3 billion AND GROWING
*Growth in last ten years: 770%
*This company needs no explaining – just watch the Golden Globe-winning 2015 film “Steve Jobs” to get an inside look at the beginnings of this legendary tech giant. This company got its start back in the 70s when its three founders developed the first commercially successful line of personal computers – and eventually launched one of the most successful mobile phones of all time, the iPhone.AMAZON (AMZN)
Interesting Fact: Amazon.com was almost named Cadabra.com, but it was changed when a lawyer misheard it as “cadaver.”
*Founded by Jeff Bezos on July 5, 1994
* Has Employees: 566,000
*Headquarters: Seattle, WA
* Market Cap: $719.1 billion AND GROWING
* Growth in last ten years: 2020%
Amazon.com is the largest online retailer worldwide today, and it got its start in a garage back in the mid-90s. Jeff Bezos had been the VP of a Wall Street firm before moving to Seattle to start an internet company after feeling like he missed the boat with the online boom. Since then, the company has exploded into groceries, artificial intelligence, and many more innovative services that almost all of us use.
FACEBOOK ( FB)
Interesting Fact: Within just a month of forming, over half of the Harvard student population had already signed up
*Founded by Mark Zuckerberg, Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, *Dustin Moskovitzand Chris Hughes on February 4, 2004.
*CEO: Mark Zuckerberg
*Product: Social Network
*Employees: 25,105 AND GROWING
*Headquarters: Menlo Park, CA
*Market Cap: $520 billion AND GROWING
*Growth in last ten years: 483%
If you want to understand the beginnings of Facebook, which is one of the most widely-used social media platforms in human history, just watch the movie “The Social Network.” The film is all about the founding of this social network at Harvard University, which also includes depictions of the characters who eventually sued and won for the theft of their original social network idea.
Interesting Fact: While its two founders were grad students at Stanford, they already had a search project called BACKRUB that was hosted on the university’s servers for over a year
*Founded by: Larry Page and Sergey Brin on October 2, 2015
* CEO: Larry Page
* Product: Conglomerate (Google parent company)
*Headquarters: Mountain View, California
*Market Cap: $784.2 billion AND GROWING
*Growth in last ten years: 411%
The two co-founders of Google eventually ended up founding Alphabet, Inc, and chose to launch a higher-up umbrella conglomerate to take some of the pressure off of Google – which was in control of a number of subsidiaries until they were passed up to the new parent company. The massive restructuring will certainly go down in corporate history.
Interesting Fact: Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) has executed nine stock splits since going public.
*CEO: Satya Nadella
* Product: Software, consumer electronics, personal computers, and services
*Founded by: Bill Gates & Paul Allen on April 4, 1975
*Headquarters: Redmond, Washington
* Market Cap: $ 724.2 billion AND GROWING
* YoY growth: 47%
*Growth in last ten years: 231%
Microsoft was founded back in the mid-70s in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It took about ten years until it completed its Initial Public Offering (IPO), which raised $61 million at the time – famously making Bill Gates super rich. Since then, this has been one of the most reliable tech investments, as we use its software and video games technology all over the world.
Interesting Fact: This wildly popular social media network was almost called Friendstalker instead of Twitter
*CEO: Jack Dorsey
*Product: Social Media
*Founded by Jack Dorsey, Noah Glass, Biz Stone & Evan Williams on March 21, 2006
*Headquarters: San Francisco, California
*Market Cap: $24.15 billion
* YoY growth: 98%
* Growth in last ten years: -28%
It was long before Twitter became the preferred communication medium of President Donald Trump that it had changed social media (and the world) forever. This platform, where quick thought-bites are tweeted out to followers all over the world, has exploded in popularity and is seen in all sorts of media nowadays. Its growth has lulled in the past couple years, but it looks like it’s starting to make a comeback.
Interesting Fact: The founder, Jack Ma, taught English classes for 5 years at a University where he only earned $12.00 to $15.00 per month
*CEO: Daniel Zhang
*Product: E-commerce, Internet, AI and Technology
*Founded by Jack Ma & Peng Lei on April 4, 1999
*Headquarters: Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China
* Market Cap: $496 billion AND GROWING
*YoY growth: 82%
*Growth in last ten years: 108%
Alibaba is often thought of as the “Chinese Amazon” – but it is much more than that. This company actually delivered the highest-value initial public offering in US history with $21.8 billion raised. Its founder, Jack Ma, is one of the richest people in the world, and one of the most influential in China.
Interesting Fact: The starting pay for most entry-level jobs at Netflix, like positions in call centers, is $18.00 per hour.
*CEO: Reed Hastings
*Product: Streaming Entertainment/Production
* Founded by Reed Hastings & Marc Randolph on August 29, 1997
* Employees: 5,400
* Headquarters: Los Gatos, California
*Market Cap: $124.1 billion
*YoY growth: 104%
*Growth in last ten years: 6259%
Netflix is a company that started out as an innovative DVD-mail-service venture and slowly grew to nearly dominate film and TV on Earth – with its online streaming services, it truly transformed the way that human beings consume entertainment. Nowadays, some of the most popular films and television shows are produced and put directly onto the Netflix platform
Interesting Fact: This company was actually voted as one of the 10 worst business ideas of 1999.
*CEO: Daniel Schulman
*Product: Online Payments
* Founded by Ken Howery, Luke Nosek, Max Levchin, Peter Thiel & Elon *Musk in December 1998
* Employees: 18,100
*Headquarters: San Jose, California
*Market Cap: $95.6 billion
*YoY growth: 89%
*Growth in last ten years: 129%
PayPal went public in 2002, just four years after it was founded – and it got picked up by eBay in the same year of its initial public offering (IPO). It was originally called Coinfinity until it merged with Elon Musk’s X.com back in 2000. Since then, it has become one of the top online payments processors in the world – and we can see their label on tons of e-commerce sites globally.
Interesting Fact: The founder of Tesla, Elon Musk, put $70 million of his own cash into the venture.
*CEO: Elon Musk
* Product: Automobiles & Energy Storage
*Founded by Martin Eberhard, Marc Tarpenning, Ian Wright, Elon Musk & *JB Straubel on July 1, 2003
*Headquarters: Palo Alto, California
*Market Cap: $59.5 billion
*YoY growth: 40%
*Growth in last ten years: 1728%
Tesla has been one of the global images of innovative technology and renewable energy since its all-electric sports cars hit the road. Its Model S was the global top seller when it came to plug-in electric cars for both 2015 and 2016, and has since released a crossover as well as its latest model (the Model X). This company’s super-celebrity CEO and founder is probably what this stock is best known for, however.