There are lots of technology companies out there building useful products -- but not all of them are building products that are creating the future. If investors can get their hands on the stocks that are building something much bigger, there's usually an outsized opportunity to benefit. 

And that's where Amazon (AMZN 0.58%), Shopify (SHOP 1.25%), and Lemonade (LMND 1.52%) come in. These companies are leading in their respective markets and building a new future in cloud computing, e-commerce, and artificial intelligence-based insurance.

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Image source: Getty Images.

1. Amazon: The cloud leader with a growing ad business

There are plenty of reasons why Amazon might deserve a spot on your current buy list, but I think one of the most compelling is the company's Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud computing business. For the uninitiated, AWS is Amazon's cloud infrastructure service that allows everyone from individual developers to large companies to host their website and online services using a variety of tools. 

The cloud infrastructure market is competitive to be sure, with Microsoft and Alphabet taking aim at Amazon's lead, and yet AWS continues to outpace its rivals with 34% market share, while Microsoft trails behind with 21% and Alphabet's Google Cloud has just 10%.  

AWS has been highly profitable for Amazon, generating $12.3 billion in operating income in the first six months of 2022, up 46% from the same period in 2021. 

And there's more room for growth. Estimates for the global cloud computing market put the market size at $1.5 trillion by 2030, up from $484 billion this year. 

And while Amazon's cloud business is leading the future of the cloud, investors may also want to consider the company's advertising business as well. While large ad players are dealing with an ad market that's shifting away from third-party cookies, you might say Amazon is future-proofed from any changes. 

That's because the company already has a massive e-commerce platform that advertisers want to spend money on -- no tracking required -- and that's why the company's ad business grew by 18% in the most recent quarter while some companies, including Meta Platforms' Facebook, saw its ad sales decline. 

2. Shopify: An e-commerce platform for everyone

Being able to buy something online doesn't exactly feel like a futuristic opportunity, but Shopify's platform easily allows companies of all sizes to build out an e-commerce platform, and it's helping to usher in a broader e-commerce market. 

While slowing a bit from its pandemic highs, Shopify's sales still grew 16% in the second quarter to $1.3 billion, and gross merchandise volume (the dollar amount sold on its platform) rose 11% year over year to $46.9 billion. 

And the company is making investments in its own future. Shopify is expanding its fulfillment operations with the recent purchase of Deliverr. The acquisition closed in early July and should help the company's merchants improve their deliveries, and thus help Shopify compare even better against its e-commerce rivals. 

There's plenty of room for more growth for Shopify as well. The U.S. retail e-commerce market will be worth an estimated $1.3 trillion by 2025, up from $875 billion this year.  

And the most recent data shows that e-commerce sales accounted for only 14% of total retail sales in the U.S. That means that there's plenty of room for this market to continue growing, and Shopify is already tapping into it. 

I think Shopify will continue to grow along with the e-commerce market, but investors should know that current inflation pressures will require long-term Shopify investors to be patient. 

3. Lemonade: A different way to issue insurance

It hardly gets more futuristic than artificial intelligence, which is one of the reasons why Lemonade -- an AI-based insurance company -- is on this list. The company uses AI to help customers find the best plans for everything from pet to car insurance and even uses chatbots to process claims.

Integrating AI into an online insurance business could seem like a bit of a gimmick, but Lemonade's automated app helps customers sign up for insurance in as little as 90 seconds and file claims in just a few minutes. 

More importantly for investors, the company is growing customers and revenue hand over fist. In the second quarter, the company's sales increased by 77% to $50 million. Additionally, the dollar amount of in-force premiums (IFP) -- a term that refers to policies that are active and being paid) -- increased by 54% year over year to $458 million. 

The company is also building a strong customer base that now includes nearly 1.6 million customers, up 31% from the year-ago quarter. 

If all that growth isn't enough to convince you that Lemonade might be a nice addition to your portfolio, then consider also that the insurance industry doesn't experience the same headwinds from an economic slowdown or supply chain issues that some other companies are currently suffering from. 

Keep this in mind 

While the companies listed here all look like good buys right now, buying and holding them for at least five years is where investors have the biggest opportunity for gains. 

The market is still volatile right now, so don't expect these stocks to put up impressive gains in the short term. Rather, take a buy-and-hold approach with them to ride out the market's volatility and to let these companies continue to succeed in their respective markets.