What happened

Shares of iconoclastic database software developer MongoDB (MDB 0.42%) gained 182.1% in 2018, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence. From small businesses to huge enterprises, developers and companies around the world are embracing MongoDB's so-called NoSQL databases as a platform for cloud-based data management. That enthusiasm shows in the company's tremendous revenue growth.

So what

The company exited 2018 with a surprisingly small net loss and 57% year-over-year revenue increase in the third quarter. MongoDB has consistently crushed Wall Street's revenue estimates in every report as a publicly traded company and has matched that upsurge with earnings surprises in 4 out of 5 reports.

Young office worker with a necktie tied around his head, wiping his brow, working at his laptop, while two coworkers cheer his efforts in the background.

When the old ways don't work, it's time to innovate. Image source: Getty Images.

Now what

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and MongoDB's database design sure has inspired many reproductions. But the company is not resting on its laurels, and the namesake database platform keeps evolving at a blistering pace. In the words of MongoDB CEO Dev Ittycheria, the company's clients have "a pressing need to innovate more quickly to better serve their customers and to take advantage of new business opportunities." Traditional databases can't fill that need in the forward-looking ways that MongoDB's products can. As a result, this small company is winning market share at a blistering pace -- and the addressable market is expected to reach $84 billion of annual sales just three years from now.

So MongoDB is unprofitable but can support its skyrocketing valuation with an equally rampant revenue growth curve. This might not be every investor's cup of tea, but high-growth gurus see nothing but stellar promise in MongoDB's stock.

Check out the latest MongoDB earnings call transcript.