It is abundantly clear that we live in a world that not only wants technology to address everyday issues, but expects it to solve problems many folks didn’t even know they had until the clever solution came into existence. For example, most people rely on text messaging as their primary means of communicating with family, friends, and even colleagues or clients. And they often take photos with their camera phones to send to these people. Of course, many people don’t really think about the things they say in a quick text message to a colleague or confidant, the nature of the photos they send, where those messages and photos could end up, or the fact that something that was intended to be private could become oh so public. Thanks to some embarrassing (and in some instances catastrophic) hacks and leaks of private exchanges, a lot of people started to realize that they needed to be more careful about what they sent out into the cyberworld and how they sent it. Fortunately, a tech startup came to the rescue, delivering an app that allowed individuals to send pictures that the intended recipient could briefly view before it disappeared forever.
These days the term “startup” frequently brings to mind many other words, such as “revolutionary,” “innovator,” and “billionaire.” Although not all startup founders become billionaires, there are quite a few billionaires who founded startups. Many of these billion dollar startups encountered wild success due to their visionary, inspiring leaders, and because most of the companies provided rather unique services that happened to meet a high (unfulfilled and in some cases even unknown) demand (see above). Here is a roundup of some of the most impressive and successful startups that soared to multi-billion dollar valuation in less than a decade.