Today, these startups are so popular that most of them are household names. When they were first introduced, though, they sounded just about as crazy as civilian space travel.
1 of 10 10. Craigslist
It doesn’t cost a dime for most people to use Craigslist, and somehow it’s still wildly successful. You can find a job, find a friend, buy a goat, get laid (sometimes for free, sometimes not), or hope the cute coffee girl you winked at doesn’t read the “missed connections” section just to laugh--you can even start a multi-million dollar business. Whatever your hobbies, it’s a safe bet that you’ve looked at your local Craigslist at least once.
Craigslist was founded by a man named Craig Newmark in 1995. Originally, it was just an email distribution list that highlighted events in the San Francisco Bay Area, but by 1996, it grew into a multi-category, web-based service. Craiglist’s growth, although slower than some of the companies on this list, was lightning fast for a website in the late 90s. In 1999, Newmark quit his day job as a software developer and turned his efforts to Craigslist full-time. Since then, Newmark has slowly started rolling out paid ads, despite his professed lack of interest in maximizing profits. Last year, Craigslist’s revenue doubled for a total of $335 million and they’re only expected to climb from there.