Mar 30 2016
6 Great Business Ideas to Inspire You
Posted under For Entrepeneurs
6 Great Business Ideas to Inspire You
We’re constantly being over-inspired. Confused? That’s okay. Let’s define inspiration: “the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something…” In the tech age, we’re constantly being mentally stimulated by information targeted to make us purchase. So here are six great ideas to further inspire you!
WHY: Passion = Startup Success
For city dwelling twenty-somethings, being dogless is tough. How can you commit the time needed to take on the full responsibility of caring for a dog right when you’re starting your high-powered career? Of course, there are a select few who buy into the idea that dogs are man’s best friend and think “who really needs a social life?” But, for the rest of us there is Wag!
Joshua Viner, co-founder of Wag!, lives in LA and constantly misses his childhood Shetland Sheepdog. His passion for dog ownership alongside his realization that he couldn’t commit to a dog with his busy LA schedule, led him to create Wag! Basically an app to let you walk your neighborhood dogs. Win Win Win.
WHY: A Product Video I’ve Chosen to Watch 5+ Times With 4.5M Total Hits
If you’re looking for a great product video, DEFINITELY check out the one on coin’s homepage. You can also find it on YouTube.
As most great startup stories begin, co-founders Kanishk Parashar and Karthik Balakrishnan first started working out of their car trunk. Now they have a team 33 strong and completed a successful 15,000 person beta test using Coin in 330 cities. Truly the first movers in this market, they had to create all the components and even the machines to manufacture them from scratch!
Problem: Multiple credit cards, debit cards, membership cards are difficult to keep track of and make your wallet huge.
Solution: Coin– a universal payment solution. Looks like a smart, credit card sized device and can access multiple credit and debit card accounts all in one place.
Coin will lighten your wallet and keep you secure.
WHY: Who in their right mind would chose to compete with Uber?
Fasten is basically an Uber for….well, Uber. Any company that’s looking to take on the titan of their industry is worth looking at. Fasten is a new ride sharing service that launched September 2015 in Boston with the tagline that riders pay less and drivers make more.
You may have heard of them, but did you know they are run by Russian techies and raised $9.2M in funding in 2015? When you look at Uber’s billions in funding it might as well be pennies, but still, that’s no small chunk of change.
Right now Fasten appears to be competing mostly on cost, so it will be interesting to see if they can gain traction and how sustainable their business model proves to be in the coming year.
WHY: Learn From the Best: Glassdoor’s #1 Place to Work
A new-ish way of hospitality, AirBNB prides themselves as a community that connects people for the most unique travel experiences and accommodations in 190 countries. Where else will you find a tree house for $350/night?
No, we’re not recommending you build a treehouse and list it on AirBNB, although that’s not a bad business plan…
If you really want to follow AirBNB’s model find an old industry and bring it into the 21st century.
AirBNB re-vamped the hospitality industry and was made possible through: the internet, the shift towards a “sharing economy”, and their well focused target market. AirBNB focuses specifically on the market segment of leisure travelers and offer accommodations in underserved areas. 70 – 80% of listings are outside a city’s central hotel and tourist district.
WHY: Great teams make great companies
Companies are all about the people.
If all that’s stopping you from developing the next big app is a missing technical background– don’t let that keep you out of the game!
Problem: Hiring is difficult and time consuming. Especially if it’s a startup that’s doing the hiring or if you’re hiring for a technical position, like a mobile developer.
Solution: TopTal boasts that they will give you access to the top 3% of freelance software developers and designers after a thorough vetting process. They work with AirBNB, Zendesk, and J.P. Morgan to name a few.
TopTal is competing with Upwork and Freelancer.com, but their most interesting competitor is Gigster. Gigster is a Y Combinator-backed freelance engineer marketplace founded by Roger Dickey, who was an early angel investor in TopTal. The main difference is that Gigster is focused on working with startups, but I don’t think that makes CEO founder Taso Du Val sleep better at night…
I Do Now I Don’t
WHY: What’s in a Name?
Every founder has a story, and Josh Opperman, CEO of I Do Now I Don’t (IDNID), has a particularly sad one: three months into an engagement his fiancee left him. When trying to sell back the ring, Opperman realised retailers markup jewelry 3X cost and he was going to take a substantial hit if he sold the ring back to the original retailer.
So, he decided to start IDNID to sell his then useless ring. IDNID’s main competitive advantage is that they ensure that both the buyer and seller are credible sources. All items sold are checked by a gemologist and once verified it is released to the buyer, and the money is released to the seller.
In the past, there had been a stigma surrounding rings that are a product of failed marriages. Luckily for IDNID, they’ve found that users coming to the site are happy to give those rings a second chance. This changing consumer mindset aligns with trends of more environmentally conscious consumers and controversial diamond mining practices.
We’re happy to report this story ends with Opperman now happily married, with three children and a cleverly named business.
If you’re looking to start your own business, it’s a give in to say that all successful startups solve a problem. Typically the founders have experienced this problem first hand, which is why passion is one of the most important characteristics a founder can contribute.
Market changes and trends should also be considered. A changing law, environmental trend, or introduction of a new product can all facilitate the successful development of a host of new products and services.
Keep in mind: “There’s no short cuts. No magic formula that will make a successful business. No promise that VC funding will make your “earth-shattering” idea successful. There’s just the truth. And that’s hard work.” –Gary Vaynerchuk