The movie “Barbie” has made more than $1 billion in the global box office, becoming the highest-grossing movie of 2023. While Barbie is considered a surprise success to many, the producer and star of the film, Margot Robbie, told Warner Bros. they’d make a billion dollars before the project even got underway. There are many similar stories in business about surprise successes that seemed to come out of nowhere to become globally recognized when it took years of smart planning and development.

Uber, for example, now operates in 70 countries and in 10,500 cities and has been in business since 2009. The company became beloved locally in Boston after providing free rides to area hospitals after the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013. By 2015, Uber became “the most valuable start-up in the world” after its $51 billion funding rounds. 

Twitter, now known as X, was created in 2006 by board members of Odeo, a podcasting company. The first tweet was sent in March 2006 but, a year later, daily tweets increased from 20,000 per day to 60,000 per day after the company’s founders attended the South by Southwest Conference, or SXSW. Today, 500 million tweets are posted daily. 

Yelp was originally created to be an email-based referral service in 2004 before it became what it is today, an unconventional search engine that focuses on reviews about businesses. In 2022, revenue generated by Yelpreached $1.2 billion. Click HERE for more surprise success stories that were anything but.