2014 CNBC Disruptor 50

CNBC Disruptor 50: Tech companies that dominate

50 ways to change the world

From revolutionary websites and apps to cloud-based services, tech-related firms, many with consumer-focused goals in mind, dominate the second annual CNBC Disruptor 50 list.

After disrupting the street taxi-hailing norm, Uber appeared on taxi riders' radars. The ride-sharing site and app recently saw a 850 percent increase in sign-ups, earlier this month, following a London taxi union strike.

Charles Adler, Perry Chen and Yancey Strickler (left to right), founders of Kickstarter
Source: Kickstarter

Etsy as well as Kickstarter—sites that connect artisans, inventors and budding companies with shoppers and supporters—have also disrupted the more traditional concepts of shopping and crowdfunding by helping to give start-ups a boost, and in some cases piqued the interest of major investors.

These sites aren't just for consumers belonging to the millennial generation. In fact, millennials would actually rather shop at a mall instead of online, according to a recent study, which suggests that an older set of shoppers might prefer online retailers.

Read More3 promising tech darlings that fell flat

A smattering of companies reshaping the realm of cloud storage have made CNBC's top 50 disruptors list as well.

Pure Storage uses high-capacity flash memory, which it calls FlashArray, to speed up database systems and cloud computing.

And one of the most well-known companies focused on cloud storage, DropBox, refuses to languish as a family photo gateway in desktop icon form. DropBox has been on a buying spree, recently acquiring data analysis software company Parastructure in a possible move toward more enterprise-focused offerings.

Another cloud-related disruptor, particularly feared by the television industry is Aereo, a service that allows users to view live television online without paying fees to a cable or satellite company. Not surprisingly, this particular industry disruptor is set to face major media companies in the Supreme Court .

By CNBC's Althea Chang

The List

1. SpaceX The company that wants to send you to space and colonize Mars.

2. Warby Parker Taking on the Luxottica eyewear machine.

3. Etsy A big voice for small artisans.

4. Motif Investing Building theme-based portfolios online.

5. Palantir Technologies Silicon Valley's CIA operative.

6. GitHub Cracking the code on collaboration.

7. Aereo The company TV hopes will die.

8. Moderna Therapeutics Reprogramming cells to fight disease.

9. Spotify The most controversial act in music.

10. Uber The 21st-century taxi service.

11. Zuora A renewal in the subscription business model.

12. ChargePoint Putting the gas station out of business.

13. Dataminr The search for intelligence on Twitter.

14. Skybox Imaging The spy who came into the Google fold.

15. Stripe The start-up challenging PayPal.

16. TransferWise Getting bankers out of the forex biz.

17. Personal Capital A 360-degree view of your finances.

18. Quirky Crowdsourcing an idea for basement tinkerers.

19. Pure Storage Predicting a flash flood of data.

20. Wealthfront Silicon Valley's plan to oust wealth managers.

21. Fullscreen YouTube's hot multichannel talent network.

22. EcoMotors Turning the engine inside out, in Detroit's backyard.

23. Shape Security Putting organized cybercrime out of biz.

24. Dropbox The 800-pound gorilla in the cloud IPO room.

25. Cool Planet Energy Systems From farm to fuel, and back to farm.

26. AngelList Getting disruptors the money they need to disrupt.

27. BrightRoll Betting detergent ads on TV won't wash.

28. Yext Resurrecting the Yellow Pages.

29. DocuSign Sign on the dotted e-line.

30. Apptio A cloud-based Peter Drucker.

31. Nebula A cloud storage device the size of a pizza box.

32. Pinterest The world's bulletin board.

33. Lending Club Borrowing without banks.

34. Redfin The only real estate broker who hates commissions.

35. Coinbase The closest thing bitcoin has to a central bank.

36. Hampton Creek Foods The egg comes first; no chicken necessary.

37. Bill.com Making sure the check's never in the mail again.

38. Rent The Runway Nice dress. Can I borrow it?

39. Nexmo How billion-dollar start-ups text.

40. Fon The Airbnb meets Uber and Aereo of Wi-Fi.

41. Airbnb The newest idea in room service: renting one.

42. MongoDB Solving humongous data problems.

43. Oscar Health insurance for the Obamacare era.

44. Kumu Networks A much-needed boost for wireless networks.

45. Betterment Robo-advising for the masses.

46. Kymeta Bill Gates' next potential blockbuster.

47. Twilio Riding the mobile-app wave.

48. Snapchat The app for selfie photo lovers.

49. Kickstarter Cashing in from the crowd.

50. Birchbox Free samples, for a price.