Most Influential Internet Companies of All Time

Posted by on August 28, 2008 in Business Management, Internet Marketing, Uncategorized [ 8 Comments ]

The Internet is still a work in progress, but most would agree that the handful of companies below made it what it is today. Review and discuss amongst yourselves!

  1. America Online – Three little words started it all…You’ve got mail. AOL was the first true web-based email provider used on a grand scale, and also home to more content than any other web destination for the last few years of the 20th century. Time has not been kind to AOL (and neither has Time Warner for that matter!) but it will always remain one of the hallmark companies of the web’s infancy.
  2. Yahoo! – Still chugging along over ten years after its birth, Yahoo! changed the way people found information online. The Yahoo! search engine was capable of bringing people to their destination quicker and more efficiently than anything else preceding it.
  3. Google – The biggest, baddest web-based company on the block. Google is the 800 pound gorilla for a reason – their search technology reigns supreme and their targeted pay-per-click advertising mechanism has been a veritable license to print money for the past five years. Always looking for the next big thing, Google would appear to be riding high for the foreseeable future.
  4. MySpace– The social pioneers showed the world the power of music, friendship and Tila Tequila. Purchased by Rupert Murdoch and Fox several years ago, MySpace continues to bring millions of young people and adults into its “circle of friends” every day, but the jury is still out as to how to monetize all the loyal users in any significant way.
  5. Amazon – Changing the face of the web is one thing, but when you change the way people shop, that is truly something to behold. People thought Jeff Bezos was crazy when he said he wanted to sell every book on the planet (and more) but now Amazon has become a part of every reader’s (and shopper’s) life.
  6. eBay – Everybody loves a garage sale or flea market, but until eBay came along, nobody had ever believed that the concept would fly online. Hundreds of millions of auctions later, eBay is the only game in town when it comes to bidding for new and used products in a completely user-defined environment. Together with Amazon, eBay created a community that held people accountable for the way they behaved online – another refreshing concept.
  7. Facebook – A more mature version of MySpace, Facebook has hooked up millions of friends, relatives and co-workers using its sublime combination of updates, photos and groups. Like MySpace, Facebook is looking to capitalize on the loyalty of its users (and their data) but there is no denying their position as one of the biggest players on the web’s stage.
  8. Mozilla – It takes a lot of guts to take on Microsoft, but Mozilla has managed to do it and build a tremendously loyal following in the process. The company’s Firefox browser is currently on its third version, and with each edition, gains more fans and followers who want something more out of their browser. Other companies have gone head to head with Microsoft, but few have done so as successfully as Mozilla.
  9. Apple – While not a true Internet company, this list would be incomplete without mention of the folks who took the entire music industry and moved it online – saving the record label’s collective tails 99 cents at a time. Apple made the web a destination for music that people are actually willing to pay to own.
  10. Napster – They let the peer-to-peer genie out of the bottle and created a whole heap of trouble in the process. Wherever you stand on the issue of file sharing and piracy, there is no denying that Sean Fanning and Napster were true web revolutionaries.

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