Since the year 2000, some of the best inventions have come into existence that people never would have imagined possible. Back before the birth of social media, folks thought it was amazing enough to order things from Amazon and visit a friend’s personal website.

It stands to reason that they likely never imagined cars that could drive themselves, or getting the chance to stream movies on demand. But all that and more now is possible today.

Check out these five top inventions that have changed the 21st century.

1. YouTube and Social Media

Imagine getting the chance to watch clips of old movies view the latest music videos, and even vlog (video blog) to millions of viewers. YouTube allows folks the opportunity to do this, making it possible to upload just about anything (within reason, such as no nudity).

Other forms of social media that have made a major impact include Facebook and Instagram, which allow folks to connect with people from their past and all over the world.

2. A Mini Computer in the Form of Smartphones

Back in the early 2000s, you needed to print off whatever information you found online if you planned on going someplace, such as directions to a town. Today, all that information is at your fingertips, thanks to smartphones.

The most popular smartphones come in the form of Android or iPhones and they give you a mini-computer at your fingertips. In fact these days it’s possible for folks to avoid owning a laptop or other computer, as long as they have their smartphone to help them out. 

3. Touchscreens Have Become One of the Best Inventions

Touchscreens are found just about everywhere these days. Back in the 2000s, you needed to type well and quickly in order to be proficient in your computer skills. 

These days, everything from laptops and smartphones to tablets is easy to operate thanks to touchscreen technology. Gone are the days of needing a mouse in order to click on something.

Touchscreens are found everywhere, from schools and the doctor’s office to software that is used for analyzing patents

4. Streaming Movies Through Netflix

Back in the day, cable and renting movies from Blockbuster was the way to go for entertainment. These days, many people are forgoing the trip out and a high cable bill in favor of streaming services, such as Netflix. 

This allows folks to find TV shows and movies customized to meet their viewing needs. Today, watching seasons of favorite shows is such a beloved past time that binge-watching is now officially a thing. 

5. Self-Driving Cars 

Many people dreamed of the day when cars would drive themselves and getting to work would be a breeze. While we’re not fully there yet, Google’s self-driving cars are becoming more popular. 

These cars are getting tested in major US cities as they help Google take pictures to make Google Maps complete. Soon we’ll get to the point where driving manually becomes a thing of the past.

Learn More 

Some of the best inventions are still to come, although we’ve journeyed a long way since the 2000s. From watching whatever you want on demand to having a mini computer at your fingertips, there’s no shortage of new inventions that continue to amaze.

If you’re interested in learning more, check out our blog post on technologies changing farming and bringing it into the 21st century. 

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3 IPOs to Watch in 2016

Whether you are curious about stock or any other form of financial trading or simply enjoy seeing a success of the startups – IPOs are a great to watch. Not only you get to learn how undervalued or overpriced a certain company was, but you also get to see a rapid development a company can achieve with the funds it raised.

We are entering the middle of 2016 and so far there has not been too many interesting IPOs. When looking at the financial industry, it is possible to highlight the listing of the largest Dutch bank – ABN Amro. Next to this, a few ECN currency brokers flipped an IPO this year.

X-Trade Brokers, just got listed roughly a month ago, which signified the largest initial public offering in Poland during the last 365 days. Also, a leading UK brokerage, CMC Markets, started listing its stocks in February this year. Nevertheless, this IPOs weren’t too exciting. There is much more to expect in the coming month from the tech sector.

The most promising

Airbnb, a company that lets everyone lend their house, flat or a room is expected to start issuing stocks this year and this is certainly the most interesting IPO to keep your eyes on. The reason for this is very simple – apart from nearly $25Bn valuation, Airbnb actually generates some significant revenues.

What also tells us that this IPO will be a successful one is the lack of legal issues behind the business processes. Even though some laws in Germany were prohibiting the usage of such peer-to-peer services, the whole legal framework behind Airbnb is rather favourable. In addition to this, there is quite a strong support for the shared economy nowadays and, hence, this company might be seen as the safe-haven investment.

The most interesting

Do you remember last time you used a landline for calling? Well, thanks to this company, quite soon you might not remember last time you ordered a taxi. Yes, you got it right, we are talking about Uber. Even though there is no certainty whether Uber will flip an IPO this year, it is quite probable.

What makes this IPO the most interesting one? The whole legal situation behind Uber. Clients love it for its pricing and simplicity. Taxi companies hate it. Without a doubt Uber is a successful company, yet its operations strongly depend on the legal decisions of the local authorities.

While strikes against Uber happen frequently, those are the local regulators that will have a final word in determining Uber’s success in terms of market coverage and, hence, revenues.

The most amusing

Without a doubt previous two companies are here to stay. Both of them offer quite an advanced technology that simplifies people’s lives and provide cost benefits. However, there is another company that looks for an IPO this year, and many investors are laughing about it.

We are talking about Snapchat, the company that allows millennials communicating with each other, sticking funny noses on their selfies, the company that struggles to produce hardly any revenues.

While some investors laugh about this IPO, others see it as a great opportunity. Snapchat may not look like a goldmine, but it certainly has some potential. The main question is whether investors will be patient enough to see Snapchat implementing powerful advertising solutions while sustaining the growth of its user base.

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