Top 10 One Person Startups

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Hi. My name’s Tom. I’m just a normal guy who learned some programming skills and then began brainstorming ideas for creating interesting websites. I got lucky, coming up with the idea for the world’s first Online Alarm Clock. You can do something similar! To motivate and inspire, I’ve created the following list of some of the world’s Top 10 One Person Startups!

Online Clock's Top 10 One Person Startups

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One person with a vision and the tech skills to make it happen is the winning formula used to make some of the world’s best Internet Startups. The following tech-savvy minds began by working alone to solve a problem, fill a need, or simply ran with what they believed was a bright idea. All are achieving what their founders wanted:  making an impact!

10. Techmeme

Founder: Gabe Rivera
Founded: 2005
Location: San Francisco, CA
Software engineer, Gabe Rivera, created his automated news curation service tech.memeorandum to focus on technology. He renamed it Techmeme and now employs a team of editors.
Reach: 10,000 recurring readers. Articles shared socially with up to 10 million people.


9. NewsBlur

Founder Samuel Clay
Founded 2009
Location: New York City
Computer programmer, Samuel Clay, programmed NewsBlur while riding on the A train in New York City. It’s personal news reader that enables subscribers to better read the news on their mobiles.
Reach: Subscribers: 60,000


8. Todoist

Founder:  Amir Salihefendic
Founded: 2007
Location: Denmark
Student computer programmer, Amir Salihefendic, created one of the first easy to use personal task manager and to-do list applications. Since then he’s masterminded other popular to-do list apps including Doist and Wedoist.
Reach: 2 million users

Sources: http://

7. Instapaper

Founder: Marco Arment
Founded: 2008
Location: New York City
Software developer, coder, and Tumblr’s first employee, Marco Arment, created a mobile read-it-later tool that saves web pages. It was acquired by Betaworks in 2013.
Reach: Users: 2 million users

Sources: -users as of late 2011

6. Urban Dictionary

Founder: Aaron Peckham
Founded: 1999
Location: San Luis Obispo, CA
California Polytechnic State University computer science major, Aaron Peckham, created a Web-based dictionary that defined slang words not found in standard dictionaries. Now it’s used to define any word or phrase.
Reach: Users: 3,946,000 visitors a day; seven million definitions in 2013


5. DuckDuckGo

Founder: Gabriel Weinberg
Founded:  2008
Location: Pennsylvania
Web developer, Gabriel Weinberg, created an Internet search engine unlike the rest.  It aims to   protect searchers’ privacy and does not collect personal data for ad and security agencies.
Reach: One billion queries in 2013 and 45 million searches


4. Big Oven

Founder: Steve Murch
Founded: 2002
Location: Seattle, WA
Software engineer, Steve Murch, founded his mobile grocery, recipe, and food app he visualized out of his love to cook.
Reach: Downloaded 10 million times, 2 million registered members.


3. Plenty of Fish

Founder: Markus Frind
Founded: 2003
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Computer engineer, Markus Frind, ran his new dating site out of his Vancouver apartment, creating the first free dating site in the world. Currently, it creates one million relationships a year.
Reach: Users: 70 million
Revenue:  $10 million (2008)

(2008) *note on revenue, this is old, not sure if worth to include. I can enquire with POF for updated numbers.

2. Ebay

Founder: Pierre Omidyar
Founded: 1995
Location: San Jose, CA
Computer engineer, Pierre Omidyar, wrote the code for an online auction website called Auction Web.  The first item sold was a broken laser pointer. He later renamed the site to eBay.
Reach: Users: 19 million
Revenue: $4.5 Billion (2013)


1. Amazon

Founder:  Jeff Bezos
Founded: 1994
Location: Seattle, WA
Computer engineer, Jeff Bezos, left Wall Street to start his online bookstore from his garage. Since then it has expanded to be the largest online retailer in the world.
Reach: every major market across the world
Revenue: $74.45 Billion (2013)


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Brought to you by, the world’s original Online Alarm Clock…which just happens to be a one person startup itself. 😉

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