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For leading the evolution of the television.

Roku has been bringing digital media to television sets since 2002. Its devices now stream 700-plus channels and vie with Apple TV in sales. But last year, Roku unveiled a potential game changer: a thumb-drive-like dongle that plugs into smart TVs, eliminating the need for a box. It's partnered with several manufacturers to bundle the streaming stick with TVs and plans to eventually build them inside—finally becoming one with the screen. A history from founder and CEO Anthony Wood:

From image above (top to bottom):

1_Roku Streaming Stick 2012
"This is the first of our evolution into being the platform for smart TVs."

2_Roku 2 2011
"It's based on a chip set that was designed for mobile phones, and we added a gaming remote."

3_Soundbridge 2004
"It was for streaming your music library. Most people who wanted music would buy an iPod dock."

4_Roku Player 2008
"We focused on making it small. Most people don't want boxes. Netflix streaming was our big advance."

5_Photobridge 2003
"I was thinking about getting an HDTV and just thought, Well, it'd be cool to put art on my TV."

Illustration by Owen Gildersleeve, photo by Victoria Ling