Sudhanva Shetty Shetty
Writer, coffee-addict, likes folk music & long walks in the rain. Firmly believes that there's nothing more important in a democracy than a well-informed electorate.
History is a long story of continuous innovation. Each new idea sets off a new one, and a chain reaction of creativity is created. Some ideas, however, revolutionize technology, accelerate progress and change everything about civilization.
Below is a list of 8 companies belonging to different fields or industries each which have changed the way we view the world and the way the world views us.
Founder: Jeff Bezos.
After leaving his job, Jeff Bezos began a small book-selling business named ‘Amazon’ – because, he said, the giant river reflected his ambitions. Today, Amazon has upended industries, revolutionized retail marketing and changed the way the world shops. Influencing other important organizations like Flipkart, Amazon has continuously set the bar higher in the world of retail marketing.
Computing: APPLE INC.
Founders: Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Ronald Wayne.
Steve Jobs will be remembered as one of history’s foremost trendsetters. Touchpads, portable music, legal downloading, fashionable icons, smartphone design, and innovative user interfaces – Apple’s products have set trends and perfected style for 4 decades now. Furthermore, Apple influenced advertising standards, marketing strategies, and the LGBT rights movement in the West. Steve Jobs will forever be the innovator who put music in our pockets and computers in our hands.
Founders: Andrew Ng, Daphne Koller.
In the age of the internet, knowledge is free and ignorance is a choice. The skyrocketing popularity of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) is a testimony to this. Coursera education is radically different from traditional schooling. Imagine a classroom of 20,000 students from almost every country, where the teachers are from the top educational institutes in the world, where you can choose any course you want to and complete it in 6-12 weeks, and all you need to have is a net connection. That’s the power of online education a powerful concept that will definitely be one of the 21st century’s biggest game-changers.
Founders: Mark Zuckerberg, Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz, Chris Hughes.
Social media has made the world a small place, and Facebook has led this transformation. Only a decade after its inception Facebook has connected every part of the world, been the subject of a major motion picture and countless documentaries, and permeated every aspect of the human experience. Be it linking pro-democracy rebels during the Arab Spring, bringing together like-minded thinkers from five different continents, acting as a debate forum during national elections or helping start-ups expand internationally, Facebook has modified human lives to a large extent in a short span of time.
Web Services: GOOGLE.
Founders: Larry Page, Sergey Brin.
When Larry Page and Sergey Brin registered Google.com on September 1997, they cemented the cornerstone of the internet. Google is inseparable from our lives today. As a search engine, email client, news provider, storage supplement, location tracker – Google has excelled in all levels. It has been at the forefront of innovation through Google Glass, Google Watch, self-driving cars, Google Person Finder, Project Loon etc. Furthermore, after buying YouTube, Google powered its meteoric rise from a modest video streaming website to a domain where today 100 hours’ of video content is uploaded every minute.
Transportation: OTIS ELEVATOR COMPANY.
Founders: Elisha Otis.
Devices used to transport people and goods vertically were experimented with since the time of the ancient Greeks. However, it wasn’t until 1852 that the modern elevator was perfected by Elisha Otis, who invented a safety device that secured elevators to their cables. The elevator radically changed the transport industry. They made buildings taller and larger, thus quickening urbanization and changing the skyline of the world. Superhuman feats of architecture like the Eiffel Tower, the Empire State Building, the World Trade Center and the Burj Khalifa were made reality by Otis elevators. It is estimated that over 1 billion people employ the use of Otis elevators and escalators every day.
Founder: Julian Assange.
Wikileaks is more popular as a website, but it has been the subject of more headlines than any other company. The continuous leaking of delicate diplomatic, business and war documents by the organization has caused shockwaves around the world. Its importance in the media landscape is seismic. It has also initiated a heated global debate over privacy, data security, and government surveillance.
Founders: Jimmy Wales, Larry Sanger.
Yes, there’s already a company above for education, but listing Wikipedia is crucial because education is the issue of our times, and also because Wikipedia is an intricate part of all our lives. A non-profit provider of detailed information on practically any topic in any major language, its importance can hardly be overestimated
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