- 1+ 66- 3
Before it was the YouTube that everyone knows and uses regularly, it was a video dating site. YouTube has now grown into the largest video sharing site on the planet.
It was acquired by Google for $1.65 billion in stock.
- 2+ 36- 16
- 3+ 35- 26
Before it was Facebook or The Facebook, it was Facemash, where users (basically college-aged bros) could compare two faces side by side to vote on which was hotter. Needless to say, Facebook was the much more successful venture.
Facebook's IPO was one of the biggest in technology (and Internet history), with a peak imarket capitalization of over $104 billion.
- 4+ 15- 10
Nintendo began as a playing cards manufacturer in late 18th Century Kyoto, Japan, and attempted to diversify many times over the next century. They tried their hand as a taxi firm, a TV network, a food company selling instant rice, and a "love hotel." Moving into the toy market in 1966, Nintendo eventually found its niche producing electronic games.
Nintendo is now worth $18.4 billion.
- 5+ 27- 28
- 6+ 18- 21
Yelp founders, who previously worked for fellow pivoting company PayPal, originally created an email system that would allow people to contact others for recommendations on local businesses then made the leap to provide a one-stop shop for local business reviews.
The company's 2012 IPO valued Yelp at $900 million.
- 7+ 16- 20
At first, Pandora sought to develop a music recommendation service that could be sold to companies like AOL and Yahoo then passed along to the masses but when that didn't work, they went right to the people, added in a social aspect and became wildly successful.
Pandora's 2011 IPO raised nearly $235 million and ended up giving them a market value of $2.78 billion.
- 8+ 17- 22
Created almost by accident, Flickr became a photo sharing site only after the MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role playing game) it was once part of failed. One part of the game, called Game Neverending, allowed players to share photos and save them to a webpage while playing.
This ended up being the most popular part of the game and was purchased by Yahoo in 2005 as a photo sharing website.
- 9+ 16- 22
Before it was everyone's favorite place to post selfies, Instagram started as a location-based service called Burbn, which was similar to Foursquare. You could check into locations, earn points for hanging out with their friends, and share pictures inside of the app.
Instagram was acquired by Facebook in 2012 for $1 billion.
- 10+ 6- 10
Nokia’s first enterprise was a paper mill in Tampere, Finland, opened in 1865. Through the early 20th Century, Nokia created a huge variety of products, including rubber boots; cables; consumer electronics; personal computers; electricity generators; robotics; capacitors; military equipment; plastics; aluminum and chemicals.
It was only in the 1990s that the company began to focus on telecommunications equipment, eventually transforming it into a mobile phone giant.
- 11+ 11- 18
Groupon started as a side project of founder Andrew Mason, who predominately ran a site called The Point, which aimed to raise funds from donors to do social good. Donors would only pay if the funds reached the "tipping point" to get the job done.
Mason used the same "tipping point" concept to unlock discount on activities and services through Groupon. Probably not surprisingly, people swarmed to the daily deals site while Mason's "social good" concept did not do as well.
- 12+ 5- 22
Fab co-founders Jason Goldberg and Bradford Shellhammer made a risky decision back in 2011. They decided to kill off their social network for gay men, Fabulis, and relaunch it as an e-commerce design site called Fab. Soon after the pivot, the site grew to more than 12 million members generating more than $200k a day.
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