Iconic American companies started the year you were born
Iconic American companies started the year you were born
America has long been the home of innovative and entrepreneurial companies that push the vanguard for success. Many American companies are known as symbols of America themselves. Each year, cultural shifts, consumer demand, and various trends across tech, style, food, and consumerism spawn companies seeking to change the way we do things.
To find out more about some of the most popular and iconic American companies created in the last 90 years, we've inspected iconic companies created each year since 1930. In that, we've explored how they've changed since their inception, and what has contributed to their lasting power and their success.
The first major category of companies we looked at were food, beverage, and grocery-related companies. From grocery stores like Publix to fast-casual restaurants such as Panera Bread. Food is a very innovative sector because there are so many options. American food businesses have been innovative in creating new ways to buy groceries, cook food, and eat healthily. Many of these popular companies we celebrate now got their start within the past 90 years.
The next major category of companies we looked at were technological companies. Companies such as Microsoft and Google are businesses that are extremely well known and iconic across America. Tech companies have innovated not only the way the general public lives their daily lives but also how businesses can communicate with each other.
The last major category of companies we looked at were entertainment companies. From Marvel Comics to Netflix, The way content is created and the way we watch entertainment has changed rapidly in large part to new companies who have pushed for advancements in the last 90 years.
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Publix was founded in 1930 by George W. Jenkins. The first store existed in Winter Haven, Fla., Publix has had a long-lasting impact as one of the most well-known and well-regarded grocery chains—particularly in southeastern Maryland. Publix has over 1,200 store locations and its 2018 retail sales reached $36.1 billion. Publix has been voted “The South's Best Grocery Store” and as Fortune's “Best Big Company to Work for.”
1931: Allstate Insurance
Allstate insurance was founded in 1931 by Carl Odell in Illinois as a part of Sears. Allstate has since grown to become one of the largest insurance providers in the country. Allstate is also popular for its commercials featuring its tagline “Are You in Good Hands?”
1932: Advance Auto Parts
Advance Auto Parts was founded in 1932 by George Taubman with two locations in Roanoke and Lynchburg, Va. Advance Auto Parts is one of the most successful automotive aftermarket parts providers in the country. There are 5,200 Advance Auto Parts retailers across the country and in 2018 this company had $9.6 billion in sales. Advance Auto Parts is one of the most ubiquitous car-part retailers across the country.
1933: Warner Brothers Cartoons
Warner Brothers Cartoons was founded originally as Leon Schlesinger Productions in 1933 by Leon Schlesinger. This animation company is most notable to Americans for creating the ultra-popular Looney Tunes cartoons that have been cherished for decades.
1934: DC Comics
DC Comics was founded by Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson at National Allied Publications in 1934 in California. DC Comics is a very successful American entertainment company that has created beloved comic book and superhero characters such as Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman.
1935: 20th Century Fox
20th Century Fox was founded by William Fox, Joseph M. Schenck, and Darryl F. Zanuck in 1935 in Los Angeles. 20th Century Fox is one of the largest American movie companies, notable for producing beloved films such as “Avatar,” “Titanic,” and “Star Wars.”
GEICO was founded in 1936 by Leo and Lillian Goodwin in Washington D.C. GEICO is one of the largest auto insurers in America. GEICO is also notable for its creative commercials featuring its various mascots and taglines that are well known to Americans.
1937: Continental Airlines
Continental Airlines began flying in 1937 after being founded by Robert Six. Before its merger with United Airlines, Continental Airlines was one of the largest and most profitable airlines in America that also inspired the groundwork for subsequent airlines to follow.
1938: Kaplan, Inc.
Kaplan, Inc. was founded by Stanley Kaplan in 1938 in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Kaplan is well known for being one of the nation's largest and most popular test-prep companies. Many Americans preparing for entrance from college up to post-graduate training use their services to prepare them for standardized testing and entrance exams. In 2018, its revenue was $1.5 billion.
We often think of most computer and technology companies as being late 20th century innovations, but companies such as Hewlett-Packard have been innovating since much earlier. HP was founded in 1939 by Bill Hewlett and David Packard in Palo Alto, Calif. in a rented garage. HP is one of the most foremost American computer manufacturers. It also has had a lasting impact on American culture for other reasons such as its female CEO Meg Whitman.
McDonald's is the quintessential American fast-food chain. McDonald's was founded in 1940 by Richard and Maurice McDonald in San Bernardino, Calif. Although Ray Kroc later bought the company in 1955 and transformed it into the mass franchise chain we know it as today. McDonald's is the largest restaurant chain in the world earning $22 billion in revenue in 2018. McDonald's impact on American culture can be seen from its promotions with movies and the Olympics to charities it hosts such as the Ronald McDonald House Charities.
Coach New York was founded in 1942 by Lillian and Miles Cahn in New York City. The luxury brand is known for its telltale logo, high-end design, and goods—particularly handbags—that have been popular to American consumers for decades. In 2017 the business changed its name to Tapestry and now encompasses Coach New York, Kate Spade New York, and Stuart Weitzman.
1942: American Signal Corporation
Following the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 and subsequent U.S. involvement in World War II, American Signal Corporation (ASC) was born to create a nationwide emergency alert system to notify the American public of air attacks during the war. From air raid sirens to giant voice systems, the company has grown to cover all forms of emergency alerts for the public today. The company has applications worldwide, including coastal nations for tsunami warnings and Afghanistan for civil defense.
1943: Jo-Ann Stores
Jo-Ann Stores were founded in 1943 by Hilda and Berthold Reich and Sigmund and Mathilda Rohrbach in Cleveland. The store originally sold cheese along with crafts, but soon only included crafts. Jo-Ann is an important American store in the craft and fabric sector and has aided Americans with getting the supplies needed for craft and sewing projects which makes it so important. Jo-Ann is a popular chain with 800 stores across the country.
1944: EBSCO Industries
EBSCO Industries was originally founded as Military Service Co. by Elton B. Stephenson in 1944. EBSCO is a well-known and iconic American brand because it offers library resources for consumers in various educational settings. From elementary school students to corporate executives, many Americans have used EBSCOs resources for educational purposes.
Mattel was founded in 1945 by Harold Matson and Elliot Handler in Hawthorne, Calif. Mattel is such a pivotal toy company in American culture because it created many of the toys Americans have cherished for years—particularly its creation of Barbie dolls. Mattel is the #1 toy company in America and had $4.5 billion of sales in 2018.
1946: Estée Lauder
Estée Lauder was founded in 1946 by Estée Lauder and her husband Joseph Lauder. Estée Lauder began producing cosmetics and skin care for women at a time when women were rarely involved in businesses. Estée Lauder helped to bring stores worldwide metics to mainstream America. This company helped jumpstart the creation of multiple other makeup brands which has helped give rise to the wide variety of makeup brands we see in markets today. Currently, Estée Lauder is one of the largest makeup companies around the world and in 2018, Estée Lauder had revenue of $11.8 billion.
1947: Atlantic Records
Atlantic Records was founded in 1947 by Ahmet Ertegun and Herb Abramson in Los Angeles. Atlantic Records is one of the largest record companies in America. Atlantic helped innovate American music in the '40s, '50s, and '60s, by being home to notable artists like Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, and The Rolling Stones. In modern music, Atlantic still holds a notable foothold by being the home to popular artists like rapper Cardi B and singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran.
1948: Dick's Sporting Goods
Dick's Sporting Goods was founded in 1948 by Richard Stack in Binghamton, N.Y. The company started out as a fishing tackle store and has now become the largest sporting goods retailer in America. Dick's Sporting Goods had $8.5 billion in revenue in 2018.
1949: Pottery Barn
Pottery Barn was founded in 1949 by Paul and Morris Secon in Manhattan. Pottery Barn is an upscale furniture company with 198 locations across America. A big way Pottery Barn has made a lasting impression on American culture is through its features on hit TV shows like “Friends,” “Seinfeld,” and “The Big Bang Theory.”
Dunkin', originally named Dunkin' Donuts, was founded in 1950 by William Robertson in Quincy, Mass. Dunkin' is one of the largest and most well-known coffee and donut shops in America. For many years its popular tagline was “America Runs on Dunkin” with nearly 8,000 Dunkin' locations across America. The company brought in $1.32 billion in revenue in 2018.
1951: Texas Instruments
Texas Instruments was founded in 1951 by Cecil H. Green, J. Erik Jonsson, Eugene McDermott, and Patrick Haggerty in Dallas. Texas Instruments has played a fundamental role in American technological advances for different people in different sectors. From defense electronics for the military to basic and graphing calculators for high school and college students, it is hard to find an American who has not used a Texas Instruments product at one point in time. In 2018, Texas Instruments made $15.8 billion in revenue.
1952: Holiday Inn
Holiday Inn was founded in 1952 by Kemmons Wilson in Memphis, Tenn. Holiday Inn was originally started as a motel company, but has now expanded and is one of the largest hotel chains with over 1,000 locations worldwide.
1953: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures was originally founded as Buena Vista Film Distribution Company, Inc. in 1953 as a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company. The motion pictures arm was responsible for all North American distribution of Disney films. Today, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures covers not just distribution but promotion and marketing for all films produced under the Walt Disney Studios umbrella. Since buying up other movie houses like Pixar in 2006 and Fox in 2019, that Disney umbrella now includes 20th Century Fox, Blue Sky Studios, Fox 2000 Pictures, Fox Searchlight Pictures, Lucasfilm, Marvel Studios, Pixar, Walt Disney Animation Studios, and Walt Disney Pictures.
1954: GALE Cengage
GALE Cengage was originally founded as Gale Group in 1954 by Frederick Ruffner in Farmington Hills, Mich. Gale has had a huge presence in the American educational sphere through its textbooks, research articles and online learning tools for students ranging from elementary school to college age. Gale earned nearly $300 million in revenue in 2018.
1955: Ledo Pizza
Ledo Pizza is a chain founded in 1955 by Robert Beall and Thomas Marcos in Annapolis, Md. Ledo Pizza is unique in that it services rectangular pizzas with square-shaped slices. With over 100 locations across the Mid-Atlantic region, Ledo was named one of the best pizza places by Oprah.
TJX was founded as Zayre Corporation in 1956 by Stanley Feldberg in Hyannis, Mass. TJX is well-known as being the parent to multiple American off-price department stores such as TJ Maxx, HomeGoods, and Marshalls. TJX has helped other American companies find outlets for their excess products and has helped American consumers find the brands they seek out at affordable or off-market prices. The TJX Companies as a whole had over 4,300 stores worldwide and earned $38.9 billion in revenue in 2018.
1957: Enterprise Rent-a-Car
Enterprise Rent-a-Car was founded as Executive Leasing Company in 1957 by Jack C. Taylor in St. Louis, Mo. Enterprise is America's biggest car rental company with over 9,000 locations across the country.
1958: Pizza Hut
Pizza Hut was founded by Dan Carney and Frank Carney in 1958 in Wichita, Kan. Pizza Hut is the most popular pizza chain in America and has over 18,000 locations worldwide. An American staple with reach across the country, Pizza Hut is well known by American consumers.
Conair was founded in 1959 by Julian Rizzuto in Queens, N.Y. Conair is an iconic American company known for creating hair-care appliances such as hair dryers and straightening irons. Conair is one of the largest hair-care appliance companies in America.
1960: Famous Footwear
Famous Footwear was founded in 1960 as Neil’s Factory Shoe Outlet by Neil Moldenhauer in St. Louis. Famous Footwear is iconic because it specializes in being a shoe outlet where Americans can procure desired footwear at cheaper prices than other stores. Famous Footwear has 1,125 locations across the country.
1961: Claire’s Accessories
Claire’s was founded as Fashion Tres Industries in 1961 by Claire Schaefer. Claire’s is a well-known store with locations in 96% of all American malls. Best known for affordable jewelry for young women, over 100 million ear piercings have occurred at their stores. Claire’s revenue in 2017 was $720 million.
In 1962, Sam Walton opened up the first Walmart store in Bentonville Ark. Walmart is the largest retailer in the world with over 5,000 locations across the country. Walmart has impacted American people by becoming the first widespread, mainstream chain focused on extremely low-priced products and goods. Walmart is an American staple and known to many people across the country. In 2018 Walmart had $514 billion in revenue.
Comcast was founded as American Cable Systems in 1963 by Ralph J. Roberts in Philadelphia. Comcast is one of the largest telecommunications providers in the world. Comcast has made a lasting impact on Americans through its stronghold on the TV, internet, and phone services market. Comcast made $94 billion in revenue in 2018.
Bose Corporation was founded by Amar Bose in Massachusetts. Bose is a company popular for selling high- quality audio equipment like speakers and headphones. Bose is an iconic American company because it was one of the original companies to cater to audiophiles and lead Americans to higher quality sound systems. Bose is very popular today and had $3.8 billion in revenue in 2017.
1965: Gold's Gym
Gold's Gym was founded in 1965 by Joe Gold in Venice Beach, Calif. Gold's Gym is one of the most popular gym chains in America and is notable for featuring famous American personalities like Arnold Schwarzengger and Dave Draper. Gold's Gym still holds a top spot in American fitness centers and has over 700 locations across the country.
1966: Best Buy
Best Buy was founded as Sound of Music in 1966 by Richard M Schulze in St, Paul, Minn. Best Buy is one of the largest electronic and appliance retailers in America. Best Buy has been so iconic because for decades it has been the go-to spot for Americans to learn more about and purchase their appliance needs from televisions to washing machines. In 2018, Best Buy had revenue of $42 billion.
1967: Quest Diagnostics
Quest Diagnostics was founded as Metropolitan Pathology Laboratory in 1967 by Dr. Paul A. Brown, M.D. in New Jersey. Quest Diagnostics is one of the premier diagnostic testing services in America. Many Americas have used Quest Diagnostics' services for anything from drug testing to cancer testing, which is what makes the company so iconic. The company had $7 billion in revenue in 2017.
Intel was founded in 1968 by Gordon Moore and Robert Noyce in Mountain View, Calif. Intel is notable for supplying hardware—particularly processors—for different computing and laptop systems. Intel impacts Americans because it created a vital part of computers that have become necessities for the daily lives of Americans. Almost all Americans with computers are using an intel product. Intel is a very successful company with revenue of $70 billion in 2018.
DHL was founded in 1969 by Adrian Dalsey, Robert Lynn, and Larry Hillblom in San Francisco. DHL is a courier and mail delivery business that helped Americans to shuttle and send products across the country and further along. It's iconic for helping to make long-distance shipping more accessible and helped lay the groundwork for shipping that would allow the subsequent e-commerce and online business to build upon.
1970: Urban Outfitters
Urban Outfitters was originally founded as Free People in 1970 by Richard Haynes, Judy Wicks, and Scott Belair when they were students at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Urban Outfitters is one of the most popular retailers for adults in America with over 245 stores across the country.
Starbucks was founded in 1971 in Seattle by Jerry Baldwin, Zev Siegl, and Gordon Bowker. Starbucks is one of the largest coffee companies and coffeehouse chains across America. It had an enduring presence across America with 30,000 locations worldwide. Starbucks is iconic because it helped change the way Americans drank and ordered their coffees. Starbucks had $24.7 billion in revenue in 2018.
Popeyes was founded in 1972 by Al Copeland in Arabi, La. Popeyes is a famous American fast-food chain that specializes in southern soul food. The restaurant has locations in over 40 states across the country and is a favorite fast-food chain for Americans who love chicken. In 2018, Popeyes brought in $725 million in revenue.
Patagonia was founded in 1973 by Yvon Chouinard in Ventura, Calif. Patagonia is well known for its high-quality outdoor and active clothing. It is also well-known for being an activist company that commits money to environmental-based charities each year which helped pave the way for other American companies with strong charity interests.
1974: Foot Locker
Foot Locker was founded by F.W. Woolworth and Santiago Lopez in 1974 in Industry, Calif. Foot Locker is a popular sportswear and footwear retailer in America. Foot Locker is important in American culture because it's in over 800 locations and is notable for its unique referee-esque uniform for its employees. In 2018, Foot Locker had a revenue of $17.8 billion.
Microsoft was founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen in 1975 in Albuquerque, N.M. Microsoft is one of the biggest computer hardware and software companies in the world. Microsoft is iconic for American consumers because its software helped make personal computing more accessible to a wider demographic of people than before. Almost every computer user has come across a Microsoft product at some point in time. Microsoft is one of the most successful companies in existence and brought in $110 billion in revenue in 2018.
1976: The Little Gym
The Little Gym was founded in 1976 by Robin Wes in Scottsdale, Ariz. The Little Gym is iconic because it was one of the first places to focus on offering physical activity and fitness in a kid-centric environment. There are over 400 Little Gym locations across America.
1977: Nickelodeon (originally Pinwheel)
In 1977 Nickelodeon was founded as Pinwheel Network. Two years later, under the care of Nyhl Henson, it became Nickelodeon — the first cable news channel dedicated to kids. Nickelodeon became iconic for featuring shows that have resonated with American youth such as “Spongebob Squarepants,” “Rugrats,” and “All That.”
1978: The Home Depot
The Home Depot was founded in 1978 by Bernard Marcus, Arthur Blank, Ron Brill, and Pat Farrah. Home Depot is unique in that it is one of the largest home-improvement superstores in America. Home Depot is an iconic American company because the vast majority of buildings and homes in America have been built and managed using products from the store. It is one of the highest grossing American retailers with a 2018 revenue of $100 billion.
Activision was founded in 1979 by former Atari developers David Crane, Larry Kaplan, Alan Miller, and Bob Whitehead in Santa Monica, Calif. Activision was the first independent third-party video game publisher and is a top publisher in America. Activision is iconic for its notable games such as “Call of Duty” and “Guitar Hero.” Activision paved the way for other independent video companies to arise and changed the way video games were made and created by other businesses in America.
The WWE was founded in 1980 by Vincent and Linda McMahon. WWE is a media and entertainment company that specializes in showcasing professional wrestling. WWE has been iconic to American society for bringing wrestling to mainstream viewers and bringing to light notable wrestlers such as The Rock. Their revenue for 2018 was $930 million.
1981: The Princeton Review
The Princeton Review was founded in 1981 by John Katzman and Adam Robinson in New York City. The Princeton Review is a company that provides test preps to students. It also offers ranking and admission guides. The Princeton Review is a success because the amount of students that have needed to use it to prepare for standardized testing and entrance examinations.
Adobe is a computer software company founded in 1982 by John Warnock and Charles Geschke in Mountain View, Calif. Adobe is notable for creating software that is widely used in everyday life such as Adobe PDF and Adobe Photoshop. So many American consumers and businesses rely on Adobe products to meet their needs. In 2018, Adobe brought in $9 billion in revenue.
Verizon was originally founded as Bell Atlantic Communications in 1983. Verizon is one of the largest telecommunications providers in America providing home phone, cell phone, TV service, internet service, and more. It's an iconic American company because it has a large reach across the country and many Americans utilize their services to communicate with the world.
GameStop was initially founded as Babbage's, by James McCurry and Gary Kusin in 1984 in Dallas. GameStop is one of the country's largest video game retailers, with over 7,000 retail stores across the country. The store was one of the first to focus solely on supplying video games and gaming systems which made it unique to its customer base. In 2018, GameStop had global sales of $8.3 billion.
Blockbuster was founded in 1985 by David Cook in Dallas. Blockbuster was a movie and video game rental service that at its peak had over 4,500 stores in America and was worth $5 billion. Blockbuster officially became defunct in 2013 due to competition with newer technologies. Despite its demise, Blockbuster played a huge part in changing how Americans viewed movies in their homes and helped pave the way for modern rentals and subscription services thriving today.
QVC was founded in 1986 by Joseph Segel in West Chester, Pa. QVC is an American television network that helped to usher in the home shopping era. QVC made a huge impact on American consumers because it allowed people to see detailed explanation and demonstrations of products of interest from the comfort of their homes. This is a common method seen on the internet with companies sharing their branding on social media sites like Instagram and YouTube. In 2018, QVC had $11 billion of revenue.
1987: Panera Bread
Panera Bread was originally founded as The St. Louis Bread Company in 1987 in Kirkwood, Miss., by Ken and Linda Rosenthal. Panera is one of the most successful fast-casual restaurants in America. Panera was one of the first American restaurants to offer free Wi-Fi to customers—at one point it offered more free Wi-Fi than any other company in the country, which has now become ubiquitous in restaurants around the globe. In 2017, Panera was acquired for $7.5 billion.
1988: Auntie Anne's/Outback Steakhouse
Auntie Anne's was founded in 1988 by Anne and Jonas Beiler in Lancaster, Pa. Auntie Anne's is a popular chain for Americans and is often found in malls, amusement parks, train stations and more across the country. Today, there are over 1,100 Auntie Anne's in the U.S. and 600 more restaurants internationally.
DKNY was created by American designer Donna Karan in 1989. DKNY was notable for being one of the first major diffusion lines from a high-end designer, which inspired other American designers to make diffusion lines and make affordable luxury a widespread market for consumers.
1990: ULTA Beauty
Ulta Beauty was founded as Ulta Salon, Cosmetics and Fragrance in 1990 by Richard George in Bolingbrook, Ill. Ulta is the largest beauty retailer in America. Ulta gained popularity for having cosmetics from both lower end and higher end brands all in one place, which was unique at a time when drugstore and department store cosmetics were often separated. Ulta has nearly 1,200 locations across America and $6.7 billion of revenue.
1991: EPIC Games
Epic Games was founded as Potomac Computer Systems in 1991 by Tim Sweeney in Potomac, Md. Epic Games is a video game development company that is renowned for creating some of the most popular American video games of all time. Epic is the company that created “Fortnite” which is arguably the most popular video game of all time with 250 million players in 2019. Epic has had a huge impact on the development and use of video games in the American public.
Skechers was founded in 1992 by Robert Greenberg in Manhattan Beach, Calif. The lifestyle and activewear company caters to creating affordable quality clothing. Skechers has been widely popular with American consumers, especially with its endorsements from popular American athletes and celebrities such as Demi Lovato and Tony Romo.
1993: Marvel Studios (Marvel Films)
Marvel Studios was founded as Marvel Films in 1993 by Avi Arad. Marvel Studios is the film studio that produces the Marvel Cinematic Universe films. Marvel Studios produced some of the most-popular, most-loved, and highest-grossing films each year with titles such as “The Avengers,” “Black Panther,” and “Spider-Man.” Marvel Studios bought in nearly $4 billion at the box office in 2018.
1994: Amazon (T-Mobile and Dreamworks)
Amazon was founded in 1994 by Jeff Bezos in Bellevue, Wash. Amazon is one of the big four tech companies in the world and one of the biggest suppliers as well. Amazon has left an indelible mark on how consumers navigate e-commerce and online shopping. It has also affected the way many other businesses conduct sales online. In 2018, Amazon brought in $239.2 billion of revenue.
1995: Match.com/Lockheed Martin
Match.com was founded by Gary Kremen and Peng On in 1993. Match.com was the first internet matchmaking service. Match.com was pivotal in changing how Americans viewed dating and seeking companionship and was the precursor to the many dating apps and matchmaking services seen today. In 2018, the Match group had a revenue of $1.7 billion.
1996: Under Armour
Under Armour was founded in 1996 by Kevin Plank in Baltimore, Md. Under Armour is a wildly successful sports clothing and goods manufacturer due to its trademark unique compression and sweat-wicking materials. Under Armour has left a huge print on American culture through its innovative clothing and endorsement deals with notable athletes like Steph Curry and features in classic movies like “Any Given Sunday” and “The Replacements.”
Netflix was founded in 1997 by Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph in Scotts Valley, Calif. Netflix was originally founded as an online DVD rental space, but in its modern configuration is well-known as a premium subscription service media provider. Netflix has made a lasting impact on American culture by helping to change the way people watch TV. The advent of popular Netflix shows like “Orange is the New Black” and “Black Mirror” have helped usher in streaming as a mainstream way people watch TV and movie content. Netflix's revenue for 2018 was $15.9 billion.
BroadSoft was founded in 1998 Michael Tessler and Scott D. Hoffpauir in Maryland. The company is a communication software and service provider. BroadSoft is iconic because it created innovative telecommunication technologies that have helped American businesses to communicate with clients and other businesses in a more effective and streamlined manner.
1999: Edible Arrangements
Edible Arrangements was founded in 1999 by Tariq and Kamran Farid in East Haven, Conn. Edible Arrangements is innovative because it allows customers to purchase fruit baskets arranged to look like a bouquet. Edible Arrangements is an important American company because it offered Americans a new way to give people gifts and innovated the way something like fruit can be turned into a gift good enough to display.
Spanx was founded in 2000 by Sara Blakely in Atlanta. Spanx is a company that specializes in creating undergarments and shapewear for men and women. Spanx has been wildly popular since its inception—Oprah named them one of her favorite things in 2000. The company brings in about $400 million in revenue per year and helped launch its founder Sara Blakely to become one of the youngest, self-made female billionaires ever.
2001: Focus Brands
Focus Brands was founded in 2001 by Kat Cole and Steve DeSutter in Sandy Springs Ga. Focus Brands is the parent company to well-known food and beverage franchises such as Carvel, Cinnabon, Jamba Juice, and more. Although Focus may not be well known by name—its impact on Americans is clear through its well-loved food and beverage companies ubiquitous through American malls, food courts, sporting arenas, and more.
2002: Anytime Fitness
Anytime Fitness was founded in 2002 by Chuck Runyon, Dave Mortensen, and Jeff Klinger. Anytime Fitness is a very popular fitness center franchise across America with over 4,000 locations.
Myspace was founded in 2003 by Tom Anderson, Chris DeWolfe, and Brad Greenspan. Myspace was one of the original social media networks as we know it and was rapidly popular with its consumers. It helped Americans share their lives online and make connections via the internet. It also helped pave the way for subsequent friend-based social media sites such as Facebook to appear.
Yelp was founded in 2004 by Jeremy Stoppelman and Russell Simmons in San Francisco. Yelp is a business directory and review forum that helps people find new businesses by reading through previous customers' experiences with them. Yelp has helped transform the ways Americans can find new businesses but also give feedback to business owners. In 2018, Yelp averaged 178 million site visits a month and $943 million in revenue.
YouTube was founded in 2005 by Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim in San Mateo Calif. It was later acquired by Google in 2006. YouTube is an explosively popular website that has changed the way Americans share videos, create content, and more. YouTube is not only used to share videos but also for individuals to create content on anything from study lessons to makeup tutorials. The website has also helped give rise to the fame of individuals like Justin Bieber. It is the second most-visited site on the planet and has a billion hours of content watched on the site each day.
2006: Beats by Dre
Beats by Dre was founded in 2006 by the rapper Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine in Culver City, Calif. Beats by Dr. Dre began as a headphone manufacturing company that later on expanded to include a music-streaming service. Beats by Dr. Dre were some of the first high-end headphones to appeal to young Americans, particularly because of their endorsements with popular figures such as Justin Bieber and LeBron James. This company helped launch high-quality music listening gear to mainstream Americans when regular white earbuds were the norm. Beats was acquired by Apple for $3 billion in 2014.
2007: Kona Ice
Kona Ice was founded in 2007 by Tony Lamb. Kona Ice is a tropical shaved ice manufacturer. Kona Ice was named one of America's best franchises, with 600 locations across 43 states. In 2017, Kona Ice brought in $125 million in revenue.
Ticketfly was founded in 2008 by Andrew Dreskin in San Francisco. Ticketfly is a ticket distribution company that helps people find and sell tickets to events online. Ticketfly is important because it helps Americans have greater access to buying and selling tickets to the entertainment and sports events that matter most to them.
Uber was founded in 2009 by Travis Kalanick and Garrett Stump in San Francisco. Uber is a ride-sharing application that has fundamentally changed the manner in which Americans access transportation. Uber was one of the first “sharing” companies to break into the American lexicon, to the point where many new start-ups are called the Uber of X, Y, Z. There are approximately 14 million Uber trips taken daily and Uber made $11.3 billion in revenue in 2009.
WeWork was founded in 2010 by Adam Neumann and Miguel McKelvey in New York City. Originating as a shared office space, WeWork has created a new concept for how entrepreneurs and companies can host their businesses. It has also inspired the rise of other companies to create coworking spaces catered to different demographics and affinities. WeWork has a valuation of $47 billion with locations in over 37 of the biggest cities across America.
2011: Zoom Video Communications
Zoom was founded in 2011 by Eric Yuan in San Jose, Calif. Zoom offers its users video-conferencing services. It is an iconic American company because it allows businesses to conduct video conferencing with others in an easy and professional manner.
2012: Blue Apron
Blue Apron was founded by Matt Salzberg, Ilia Papas, and Matt Wadiak in 2012 in Long Island City, N.Y. Blue Apron is a meal kit service to make it easier for customers to cook meals. Blue Apron is an iconic American company because it offers an alternative way for Americans who want to cook and helps make recipe prep more accessible to individuals.
Patreon was founded by Jack Conte and Sam Yam in San Francisco as a site that allows users to have alternative ways to charge for services. The company has helped artists and content creators find innovative sources of income and allowed patrons to find new ways of directly supporting content they enjoy.
2014: Thrive Market
Thrive Market was founded in 2014 by Nick Green, Gunnar Lovelace, Kate Mulling, and Sasha Siddhartha in California. Thrive Market offers its members access to high-quality organic and natural foods at a lower cost. This company is iconic because Americans have gotten more health conscious and it's helping Americans to find affordable options for healthy and organic foods.
2015: Kylie Cosmetics
Kylie Cosmetics was formed as Kylie Lip Kits in 2015 by Kylie Jenner in California. Kylie Cosmetics has been a big success in large part due to the large social media following of its owner Kylie Jenner—a very popular American personality. It has shown how powerful social media marketing can be for a company. And in its aftermath, a host of many other American celebrity-led cosmetic lines have followed. The line's success has also propelled its founder to become the youngest self-made billionaire in America.
2016: Simple Habit
Simple Habit was founded by Yunha Kim in 2016 in San Francisco. Simple Habit is a company focused on making mental-health content more available and accessible to a wider range of people.
2017: Lime/Lime Bike
Lime Bike was founded in January 2017 by Toby Sun and Brad Bao in San Francisco. Lime Bike is an electric scooter and bike rental company with locations in 28 states and territories across the United States. Lime is innovative in America because it brought mobility in forms beyond just car riding and bike sharing for people in metropolitan areas.
Arlo is a home automation company founded in 2018 that specializes in wireless home security cameras. Arlo is America's #1 internet connected camera brand and is helping to make home security more accessible and digitally savvy for more Americans.
2019: Tru Kids
Tru Kids was founded in 2019 in New Jersey and is the company that now owns the defunct Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us brands. Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us were popular suppliers for kids and babies and Tru Kids plans to revamp the model for a modern market.