If there’s one constant in life, it’s change. Things are changing daily, some for the better, like your day after reading this article, hopefully, and others change for the worse, like gas prices. Regardless, some changes are more significant and are felt on a grander scale and magnitude. Companies sometimes act as catalysts for some of these changes. They are the game changers that exert their influence on the world, and just like any change, it’s either really good or really bad.
As we delve into this list, we realize that most companies that have changed the world were initially meant to tackle different problems. However, they metamorphosized and adapted to the changes that the world dictated, and because of that, they have become the companies they are today.
You have heard of Netflix but probably didn’t know that Netflix started as a platform where you could rent DVDs by mail. The entertainment industry has always been lucrative (people are always looking for the next big thing), but even Netflix probably didn’t know what its future held. Thanks to Netflix, now we can comfortably binge-watch to our heart’s content or Netflix and chill, as it’s commonly called. The words alone have changed the world; if you know, you know!
Netflix did what other companies hoped to do and did it well. Many other companies have tried to start their own streaming empires, but when that red “N” starts to form and the musical embed, the “ta-dum” sound plays, we all know who reigns supreme!
Today, Netflix is synonymous with entertainment and has transformed the movie arena. The company continues to grow and even makes its own original movies and series, much to everyone’s delight.
Facebook profoundly changed how people communicate around the world. From a dorm room project to ease campus communication to a worldwide phenomenon with over 900 million users, Facebook has become bigger than anyone could have imagined. The initial idea was to help communities interact, specifically Harvard, where founder Mark Zuckerberg attended. Soon after, they realized that the idea was worth much more and that the world needed it.
Today, Facebook is a marketplace, a dating site, a networking platform, an advertising agent, a news source, and a whole ecosystem. To think that Facebook is on its last legs is a big misconception. The company has gone through hell because of lawsuits centered around data privacy but still keeps going strong. The future of Facebook holds a lot, from having a currency of its own to being a money transfer agent.
The most anticipated and mind-blowing venture, however, is undoubtedly the creation of the metaverse that even saw the company change its name to Meta. The company has inspired many social media platforms that have come up since, and many consider Facebook to be the start of modern social media. Whether small or large, Facebook continues to change the world in ways we did not even imagine were possible.
It’s mind-blowing to imagine that Google receives more than 99,000 searches per second daily. Google changed the world by making it easy to access information online. The company indexed sites and made them accessible by searching on a single google tab. It’s hard to imagine using the internet in a world before Google.
Today, Google is more than a search engine. Today Google has expanded into things like Google Drive and Google Meet. Not to mention Google Maps, which has become a must-have if you’re going pretty much anywhere. Can you imagine pulling out a paper map in the middle of New York to figure out where you want to go?
Where would we be without Google? Google is a company that helps us find pretty much everything. Google has other globally impactful services like Google Images, Google Weather, Google Earth, and Google Lens, to mention a few. It has also supported many industries, including the transportation industry, by easing navigation for companies such as Uber and Lyft.
Despite positively impacting the world, Google has also been detrimental to some businesses, mostly those we used before we had Google, such as newspapers and maps.
Since its inception, YouTube has been a phenomenal company. It utterly refashioned how people expressed themselves, from music and entertainment to education and politics. Many artists have been discovered because of YouTube, including the young Justin Bieber in the late 2000s. It’s hard to think of any video website that can even rival YouTube. With its algorithm, it’s always fine-tuning its recommendations to its users. Talk about high tech.
Today, YouTube has become a source of livelihood for many artists and content creators, an avenue for expression for many people worldwide. This has increased so much that being a YouTuber is considered a career these days, albeit a risky one.
Apple came up with the iPhone, the Mac, the iPad, the iPod, and many other products we use today. Apple is the one company that held its ground despite being different, made a name for itself, and changed the world. It is hard to mention Apple without mentioning its founders, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne. We often attribute Steve Jobs to getting Apple to where it is today.
When computers were invented, Apple was there, and instead of using Windows operating system as most people did, they opted to build their system from the ground up. When phones took center stage, the company came up with a new brand, one running on its operating system, and kicked companies like BlackBerry out of the market to produce the most coveted phones of all time. The iPhone is easily one of the most influential products of all time. It’s practically everything a person needs, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
Apple made a product that was a game changer. They combined a phone, an iPod for music, a messaging device, a video player, a camera, and a gaming console into one device. Undoubtedly, other companies build phones and computers, but Apple has its edge. Their devices are sleek and secure; to date, people still stand in long queues to get the latest apple products when they are released.
Initially, Amazon was established to be nothing more than a bookstore. Later on, Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, decided to take a calculated chance and move to selling things online. He expanded the business to compact discs, computer software, hardware, and videos.
On realizing the online demand, the company adapted fast and kept adding the number of things available on its online platform. They even offered free shipping on orders above certain thresholds to sweeten the deal. The world was too ready for Amazon, and the company grew exponentially, making its founder one of the wealthiest men in the world.
Amazon changed the way consumers shop by making shopping incredibly convenient. At the press of a button, the company can deliver goods from across the world to your doorstep. Today most people wouldn’t want it any other way, leaving other companies no choice but to follow suit.
4 Ford Motors
Ford Motors changed car manufacturing and made it into what it is today. Today, car companies build entire cars in record time since they have mastered the art of the assembly line. Before Ford Motors, cars were all custom-made with different parts made in different shops by different builders. The parts were then collected and assembled to make an automobile for the wealthy who could afford them at the time (or should we say a-Ford? Get it?).
Henry Ford, the founder of Ford motors, realized that the process took too long. There were too many moving pieces that drew out the process. The consistency in the parts was also different, and something needed to change.
Ford decided to develop a manufacturing and assembly plant to ensure vehicles could be manufactured in record time with identical parts and colors to hasten the process. The company manufactured a record 1.2 million units of the Ford Model Ts in a year. Because of Mr. Ford’s contributions, a more affordable car became available to the general public, and the world of car manufacturing was changed forever.
Microsoft changed how computers were used and the way we think about computers. Microsoft is the company with the most significant market share of computer software and operating systems today. Like the other companies that transformed the world, Microsoft made its founder, Bill Gates, the wealthiest person in the world, and he held that title for a record time until Jeff Bezos dethroned him in 2017.
Microsoft has continued to dominate the personal computers industry by making the operating systems that many electronic devices run on, especially laptops. Apart from operating systems, Microsoft also has office products such as Microsoft Word and Excel that are used worldwide to input data. They also offer cloud storage and even social media platforms such as LinkedIn. Xbox, one of the largest video game companies in the world, also belongs to Microsoft. In the tech world, Microsoft is a giant!
2 The Tata Group
When naming companies that have changed the world, it would be offensive to leave the Tata Group out of the list. While the mega-conglomerate isn’t especially well known in the States, the India-based company has employed more people than Toyota, Coca-cola, Facebook, and Google combined. If that’s not changing the world, what is?
Tata has contributed to much of the growth in India and donates up to 60% of the company’s profits to charity and philanthropic ventures. Apart from the vehicles the company is famous for, the company has ventured into numerous other businesses. They make radios, satellite communication devices, steel, and other things that make our modern world a reality.
The Tata Group has significantly invested in telecommunications and owns the world’s largest subsea fiber cable network. That means a substantial portion of the world’s internet travels through Tata’s infrastructure. By employing the vast numbers it does, diversifying its portfolios and charitable endeavors, the company is a shining example of what business and humanity should look like in a world obsessed with profit and riches.
Tesla is often termed the biggest disruptor in the automotive industry. Tesla cars not only use electricity but can also drive themselves. The Tesla company also has systems that allow customers to buy cars directly from the manufacturer or the original company instead of going through brokers, dealership companies, and showrooms.
On the Tesla website, customers can choose the preferred model from the choices available and customize the vehicle to the way they want. Most car companies to date do not give nearly as many luxuries to their clients as Tesla does.
Did it sink in that their cars can self-drive? Self-driving cars are a concept we’ve gotten used to by now, but if you traveled back in time only 20 years ago and told people that cars could drive themselves, most people would assume you’re talking about something from a sci-fi movie. But Tesla did it, and even though it’s not a concept that has been globally accepted yet, the trials have shown that the car is safe in its autopilot mode despite attempts to prevent these cars from becoming common.
Tesla has helped solve the global issue of pollution caused by fumes produced by cars using fuel to propel them by switching their cars to electric. It has also attempted to preserve life by limiting accidents with its self-drive capabilities and other safety features making the world a more convenient place for drivers everywhere.