Special Report

Biggest Product Launches of the Decade

Source: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

6. TikTok
> Company: ByteDance
> Launched in: 2018

TikTok is the hottest app in social media. The short-form video making and sharing service exploded in popularity in 2018, after its parent company acquired the similar app Musical.ly and forced its users to switch to TikTok. That year, TikTok became the most popular app in Apple’s App Store and reportedly racked up close to 800 million total downloads. It is especially popular with younger users.

TikTok has recently come under scrutiny, changing its terms of use to prevent users under 13 from creating accounts and posting videos, as required by law. It has also drawn the attention of U.S. lawmakers because, being Chinese-owned it may pose national security concerns. Legislators also say they are concerned about TikTok’s collection of user data and possible censorship issues.

Source: Square Capital, LLC

7. Square payment reader
> Company: Square, Inc.
> Launched in: 2010

Seemingly overnight, Square disrupted the way that smaller companies and independent vendors were able to do business. In 2010, the company shipped out millions of card swipers that enabled small businesses to accept credit card transactions.

Before Square’s payment reader and processing service, most companies could only accept cards after a third party set them up to accept the cards in exchange for expensive fees, the cost of a card reader, and a percentage of each transaction. Square collects 2.75% and an additional 15 cent charge on every swipe, and many vendors leapt at the opportunity to use Square. Business Insider hailed the product’s “simplicity, elegance, and design” in an early review. Square has been reporting consistent annual revenue growth, going from $200 million in net revenue in 2012 to $3.3 billion in 2018.

Source: Dollar Shave Club

8. Dollar Shave Club
> Company: Dollar Shave Club
> Launched in: 2011

Dollar Shave Club was able to leverage its viral marketing success into becoming a billion dollar business. The company sends customers razors and other grooming products via the mail on a monthly basis for far less than customers would pay for similar products at brick and mortar stores.

In 2012, Dollar Shave Club rolled out an ad on YouTube outlining the service and mocking its competitors. That advertisement soon went viral, and within two days, the company received 12,000 orders. By 2016, Dollar Shave Club had 3.2 million users and was purchased by Unilever for $1 billion.

Source: Rachel Murray / Getty Images

9. Casper Mattresses
> Company: Sleep
> Launched in: 2014

Casper Mattress excelled at finding its target market and advertised directly to potential customers to great effect. The mattress company that ships bedding directly to customers made an impression with an outdoor advertising campaign — and later digital — that used a quirky, uniquely irreverent tone that appealed to younger consumers. This marketing technique clearly worked, as Casper sold $1 million worth of mattresses in less than a month after officially opening for business in 2014. Earlier this year, the company was valued at $1.1 billion.

10. Impossible Whopper
> Company: Burger King / Impossible Foods
> Launched in: 2019

In the late 2010s, the promise of plant-based meat substitutes became an exciting reality. Companies like Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat began rolling out faux meat products in partnership with national food chains. The biggest smash hit was the Impossible Whopper — a meatless spin on Burger King’s signature burger. In August 2019, the Impossible Whopper was made available at over 7,000 U.S. Burger King locations. Stores reportedly sold close to 50 of the sandwiches a day, making it a smash success and boosting Burger King’s same-store sales by about 6%.

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