We use tools like Facebook, Uber, Spotify and Airbnb every day, but short of watching The Social Network, have you ever stopped to wonder where they came from? As the Internet of Things creeps into our lives more and more by the minute, it’s interesting to learn how today’s biggest tech brands got their start. And now, a website called Startup Timelines shows you with one quick glance exactly where each of those modern tools came from.

Startup Timeline Tiles

The simplistic, tile-based interface makes it easier than ever to visualize the timelines of these sites and apps by explaining who the original founders were, how quickly each brand grew, how much of an investment it took for them to break through into mainstream use and much more. With one click, you’re given a clean, horizontal timeline that takes you from a brand’s early days to its glory days, with stats on audience growth, product updates, key staff changes and more.

One one hand, it’s a nice transparency resource for those of us who want to know who’s who behind the scenes of the brands that run our lives to some degree. And on the other, it can serve as a major point of inspiration for tech startups looking to make their own mark on the world and wondering whose footsteps they should (or shouldn’t!) follow.

What’s the most surprising thing you learned from turning over a Startup Timeline tile? Tell us in the comments below.