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Tech Startups Near the Tipping Point

5 Startups with the Potential to Become Huge

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Startup companies are the ultimate gamble. Of the countless startups that form, only a handful manage to establish an escape velocity and grow fast enough to keep themselves afloat. Of the rare startups that manage this non trivial feat, far fewer still manage to reach a tipping point, and become a household name like Google or Facebook. What's intriguing about those companies that manage it, is learning about moments in their history where the change happened, and what brought about that change.

The following tech startups are worth watching; they've met with initial success, and might be poised for more. They are at various stages in development, but all are positioned to grow, and perhaps one may become a household name. Here are some interesting startups from across the full spectrum of technology.

1. Square

Square is a startup company with an audacious goal, to change the way we pay for things. A brainchild of Jack Dorsey, a founder who already struck gold as the creator of Twitter, Square is poised to make a big impact. Square allows individuals to accept credit card payments over a tablet or smartphone, effectively lowering the barrier of entry to individuals looking to start a business. It has already developed a strong user base and is processing millions in credit card dollars. Does Square give us a glimpse at the future of transactions?

2. TaskRabbit

TaskRabbit is part of a new wave of companies that are looking to empower peer to peer commerce. This "social commerce" mission has expanded into everything from spare bedrooms to education. Social commerce allows individuals to transact directly with one another, earning additional income which is all-important in a down economy. TaskRabbit hopes to become the standard service for allowing individuals to connect to find help with everyday tasks and errands. However, the company must find a process for growing not just its technology, but its capacity to manage thousands and thousands of people. Will TaskRabbit become the way we enlist help for our day-to-day errands?

3. Heroku

One of the biggest costs facing a web entrepreneur is getting an application online. Server machines, database infrastructure and bandwidth all cost significant capital. Heroku aims to solve this issue by offering a Platform as a Service (PaaS). Instead of buying servers, you simply buy instances, or as Heroku terms them, "Web Dynos". Your platform costs can scale with your application. Heroku, and other PaaS services may prove to be the catalyst powering the next wave of internet startups.

4. Codecademy

Codecademy is one of the better known of a group of startups looking to disrupt the world of technology education. The company aims to make programming accessible to everyone, allowing motivated laypeople to learn programming for free online. Using an interactive web interface, users program directly through the browser, learning about popular web technologies like JavaScript, JQuery and Ruby. The company has been on a roll, securing two rounds of venture funding, and gaining over a million users in 5 months. Do companies like Codecademy point to a future of self empowered, free technology education?

5. Twilio

While more businesses move online, legacy systems still remain, and interfacing with them becomes a thorn in the side of many a developer. Telephony and SMS remain powerful communication mediums, and Twilio has created a number of powerful, well-documented APIs to allow your website to interface with telephones and text. Strong marketing and evangelism has brought Twilio to the forefront of the telephony APIs, and the company has already developed a strong portfolio of clients. Find out more about this startup here.

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