The climate for Internet startups is heating up. Startups are closing rounds faster, getting popular more quickly, scoring higher valuations and getting acquired with increasing greediness. As local luminary and angel investor Chris Dixon notes, the preponderance of hockey stick growth among the top tier of startups is creating a heavy set of expectations that weighs upon the littler startups. These A-list startups are like the impossibly pretty cheerleaders or the improbably studly jocks who discourage the rest of the high school with their sheer existence. They’re the “it” startups, and they can do no wrong. In other words: they’re hot.
10. Foursquare—hot like a new club in the Meatpacking District.
9. Facebook—like global warming, hot and inevitable.
8. Path—hot as ice.
7. Branch—hot like a hot-button issue.
6. Tumblr—hot like the tattooed boys and girls on the L train.
5. Dwolla—hot like $5 million burning a hole in your pocket.
4. Codecademy—hot like the fire of your desire to learn code.
3. OMGPOP—hot like the fever of heroin withdrawal.
2. Pinterest—hot like Stacy’s mom.
1. Instagram—hot like a steamy black and white shot of Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez.
Who’d we miss?