Today we’re featuring a special guest post from Carolyn Knight with Ordoro. We’re more than halfway through 2012 and it’s time to see which startups are poised to emerge as the year’s hottest companies and if they’re poised to take on 2013 as they grow in popularity. Check out the list to see if your favorites made the cut!

Every year people in the business and technology sectors play a little guessing game where they try to figure out what companies are going to make it big. Sometimes it’s pretty clear when a startup is set to take off, but at other times companies seem to come out of nowhere and revolutionize our lives. We’re halfway through the year now and here’s a look at the five startups we believe have taken and will continue to take 2012 by storm.

1. Pinterest

If you haven’t heard of Pinterest yet then you haven’t been paying much attention online. The social networking site where users can pin and share their favorite content has grown in leaps and bounds in the past year. Traffic went from less than a million to more than 18 million unique visitors in the span of one month. Already successful based on that statistic alone, continued growth has co-founder Ben Silbermann working on monetizing the site. With the hire or Tim Kendall who previously worked with Facebook and the fact that businesses are growing more successful in getting their products repinned by consumers, Pinterest shouldn’t have a hard time growing in terms of profit and popularity this year.

2. TaskRabbit

Have you ever been in a situation where you need something done on short notice but can’t seem to find anyone to do it? Meet TaskRabbit. It’s a house maintenance and errand service where you can get “Task & Errand Service By Awesome, Trustworthy People.” The service started out in San Francisco and has since expanded to eight additional cities in the U.S. (Boston, San Antonio, Austin, Chicago, Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles, and New York City). The company has received quite a bit of funding so far, and if it continues to expand then it could be in a position for explosive growth. As long as we keep living on the go, we’re going to need people to help us out with our everyday lives.

3. Gumroad

The idea behind Gumroad is making it easier to sell goods through social networks. The startup recently landed $7 million in funding with the founder behind the company coming from the aforementioned Pinterest. We’re betting that success breeds more success and with that thought and funding in mind, Gumroad could very well be on its way to being the next big buzzworthy name in startups.

4. Lytro

Moving into the hardware space, Lytro is definitely a company to watch. You may have heard of the camera that allows you to take a picture and focus after the fact in processing. Lytro is the company behind this new technology. Before Lytro, no camera was able to focus pictures in this way. If you took a blurry picture, you were stuck with it. This revolutionary hardware is currently on sale (albeit on backorder) and the startup is poised for success if the initial sales and response is good.

5. Codecademy

For the super geeks, Codecademy might be the most exciting startup out there. If you want to learn how to code then this is the ultimate place to do it in. It provides interactive, step-by-step online tutorials that teach you everything you need to know to be a professional coder. The service signed up hundreds of thousands of users last year, and it looks to be on track to keep expanding this year. The monetization strategy isn’t quite clear, but this startup is showing big initial user numbers that could translate into great revenue and profit numbers.

Carolyn Knight is a guest blogger who writes about business and technology. She is also an expert in order management software that syncs with Shopify, 3dcart, and BigCommerce.