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2014's Surprising Anniversaries and Milestones Looking back at the year's broken records, big birthdays and groundbreaking achievements.

By Nina Zipkin

With the holidays here again, now's a great time to take stock of the year that was. With that in mind, check out 2014's biggest records and milestones.

The biggest IPO in history

Chinese eCommerce company Alibaba, has been compared to companies like Amazon, eBay and PayPal in terms of its scope, filed the world's biggest initial public offering (IPO) this year, raising $25 billion. The company has 200,000 employees that work in 70 offices around the world.
Read more: Alibaba Could Be The Biggest IPO Ever – But What the Heck Is it?

A record breaking funding round

This summer, the embattled car-sharing service Uber broke a record when it raised $1.2 billion dollars' worth of new funding, the largest amount to come from a direct funding round. The company has been valued by some as high as $18 billion.
Read more: Uber Breaks a Record With Its Latest Funding Round

Facebook's 10th birthday

10 years since its humble dorm room origins, the social giant now boasts more than 1 billion users, and is used by 57 percent of all adults, according to the Pew Research Center. Aside from the big birthday, Facebook was constantly in the news this year, especially for buys with major price tags, snapping up virtual reality firm Oculus for $2 billion and global messaging platform WhatsApp for a whopping $19 billion. Most recently, its standalone Messenger app, had connected with half a billion users.
Read more: On Facebook's 10th Birthday, Mark Zuckerberg Reflects

The World Wide Web turns 25

The internet as we known it was born 25 years ago this year. The concept of the free and interconnected World Wide Web came from the mind of British computer scientist Sir Timothy Berners-Lee while he was working for the European Organization for Nuclear Research or CERN. Since Lee drafted his proposal, the World Wide Web now has more than 4 billion pages and 37.7 percent of the world's population is online.
Read more: 10 Fascinating Facts About the World Wide Web on Its 25th Birthday

The ESA's out of this world endeavor

The European Space Agency made history this fall when it landed a 220 pound probe called Philae on the surface of comet called 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (say that five times fast), with the hope that the data will help it better understand how our 4.6-billion-year-old solar system came to be. Philae traveled on the spacecraft Rosetta, which caught up with the comet, following a trip that took a little over 10 years and 6.4 billion kilometers.
Read more: Europe Makes Space History as Probe Lands on Comet

Groundbreaking Kickstarter campaigns

The year saw a number of high profile campaigns, especially the revival of the beloved Reading Rainbow which broke the record for the most-backed campaign. However, the platform saw its biggest campaign to date with Ryan Grepper's Coolest Cooler, a portable cooler complete with a blender, speaker, charger, bottle opener and tons of storage. Grepper and company had a goal of 50,000 and it was seriously surpassed with a total of $13,285,226 from 62,642 backers.
Read more: Secrets From the Man Who Turned a Kickstarter Flop into the Most Successful Campaign Ever

Nintendo is 125 years old

This storied gaming giant's history reaches back more than a century and shows the value of a well-planned pivot. The company we now love for its hand-held games and characters like the Super Mario Brothers began making playing cards for 19th century Japanese denizens and even experimented with love hotels before it ever released its first gaming console in the "80s.
Read more: What You Can Learn From Nintendo's Weird and Wonderful 125 Years

7 Habits of Highly Effective People's 25th anniversary

Stephen R. Covey's enduring leadership tome is also now old enough to rent a car in the United States. Since its release in 1989, The book has been translated into 52 languages, sold more than 25 million copies worldwide and was a fixture on the New York Times bestseller list for the a little over four years. Covey parlayed the success of the book and the others in his stable into a management training empire
Read more: 7 Reasons '7 Habits of Highly Effective People' Lives on 25 Years Later

The year's largest merger

The largest merger of the year was the ultimately $69.8 billion deal between Comcast (known to 30 Rock fans as Kabletown), which also owns NBC Universal, and Time Warner Cable. With the all stock merger, Comcast acquired Time Warner's 284.9 million shares.
Read more: Comcast CEO Says Time Warner Cable Buy is "Pro-Competitive' and "Pro-Consumer'

Fighting to be heard

If it seemed like talk of Net Neutrality was a constant this year, it's probably because in addition to the tech companies who protested the implementation of internet fast lanes through organized action like the Internet Slowdown event, a record breaking 4 million people publicly commented on the FCC's proposal.
Read more: Obama Throws Support Behind Net Neutrality

Nina Zipkin

Entrepreneur Staff

Staff Writer. Covers leadership, media, technology and culture.

Nina Zipkin is a staff writer at Entrepreneur.com. She frequently covers leadership, media, tech, startups, culture and workplace trends.

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