Innovation has always been the crux of the business world. Today, start ups have pushed “innovation” up a notch. The pace, the creativity and the thrust to move forward are like nothing the world has ever seen. Start ups are the jackpot casino of the future. They provide society with innovations in lifestyle, shopping, social justice, the environment, medicine, technology and much more.
The term “start up” became widespread during the dot.com bubble of the late 1990s. At that time, large numbers of Internet-based companies were founded but ultimately went under because they were economically unsustainable.
The dot.com nosedive didn’t deter other innovators, it just forced them to consider alternatives of how to survive economically during the first shaky years of the company’s existence. Innovators began to call their companies “start-ups” – a term that described the company in the first stage of its operations.
Start up founders bankrolled their new companies through the investments of entrepreneurs who were interested in capitalizing on the development of a service of a product for which they believed a demand could be built. The model established a strategy by which those investors would recoup their investment, along with interest.
Start-ups differ from small businesses in that, while a small business runs according to a fixed business model, the start-up aims to provide a vision of a product or service with the characteristics of that vision. It creates an expectation of the company’s customers, distributions, finds financing for that vision and then works to develop the vision.
Successful Start Ups
Many of today’s biggest and most widely- used companies launched as start-ups. They include Uber, Alibaba Cloud, Airbnb and Amazon.
Another successful round of new startups is coming into its own in 2019. Some of the best of the first half of 2019 include
Riskified was founded in 2012. It started out as an anti-fraud company but in recent years it has expanded to a position as a global leader in e-commerce. The company uses user behavioral analytics and machine-learning algorithms to offer services such as payments monitoring and account takeover prevention.
The company has put a lot of its efforts into researching the direction in which e-commerce is evolving, specifically the omnichannel experience which involves the ability to connect shopping offline — in land-based shops — and in online shops. The goal of Riskified is to create a smoother shopping experience.
Riskified is built on the rise of e-commerce stores that combine the digital shopping experience with traditional brick-and-mortar store shopping. For instance, a menswear brand called Bonobos operates both an online store, which was opened first, and a brick-and-mortar store. Bonobos stores don’t stock the items that they sell – instead, they serve as a local where customers can see, feel and try on the clothes before they order their home delivery. Thus, the customer can integrate multiple platforms into one seamless shopping experience.
Gong’s goal is to provide sales representatives with effective technology that gives them real-time insights into their interactions with their customers. By analyzing recorded phone calls that track topics and keywords within a conversation, the Gong technology delivers a report that provides guidance for better sales rep-client interactions.
Guesty is an online service that lets hotel and guesthouse owners manage vacation rental listings on multiple platforms. Many sites list their accommodations on multiple sites such as Airbnb, Booking.com, Expedia, HomeAway, Agoda, etc.
Guesty offers a calendar that collates all of the bookings into one central space. This makes it easier for booking managers to identify times when they have units open, to see which units are open and determine when their units are booked. Guesty gives users a unified inbox, website creation tools and payment processing options which make it easier for the hotel or guesthouse to manage their bookings.
AppsFlyer technology allows app developers to track how their customers find them. This gives the company the data that they need to make good marketing choices. The tracker notes if a click or a conversion was initiated in Google searches, Twitter, Facebook, commercial text messages, an email campaign or through a television ad. Once the company determines the source of the contacts they can decide how they want to spend their marketing budgets in the future to maximize monetization.
The AppsFlyer technology can track user acquisition, remarketing campaigns and TV attribution through a single deep link that sends all users, across all platforms to the optimal destination.
Some of the best start-ups are educational start-ups that focus on making education more accessible, more engaging and more fun. Blackboard is one such educational startup. Blackboard seeks to bridge the gap between educators, learners and the evolving work environment.
Blackboard’s goal is to provide educators with engaging online tools that can make their job as instructors more satisfying, fulfilling and effective. Blackboard gives teachers insightful analytics that they can use to help their students while connecting on a more personalized level.
The data that is provided shows educators how they can enhance their students’ individual strengths and weaknesses. The teachers can then maximize those strengths and guide the students through the weaknesses.
Kahoot is another educational start up that aims to make learning fun, inclusive and engaging for learners of all ages and all subjects. The teacher can make games for the students to play, based on material that has been learned, for review, or games that motivate the students as they encounter new material.
Alternately, the teacher can give students parameters for creating their own games – again, based on material that needs to be learned or reviews — for their peers to play. The objective is to promote collaborative and social learning.
Students use their own devices to answer questions and the game is displayed, simultaneously, on a shared screen to unite the lesson.
In addition to the Kahoot that a class plays, they can play Kahoots that have been created by other users and are stored in the Kahoot archive.
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