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Quibi : Startup With A Billion Dollar Launch To Shutting Down All In Six Months

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Quibi : Startup With A Billion Dollar Launch To Shutting Down All In Six Months


While we see many startups doing exciting things, one should not forget the world of entrepreneurship is riddled with more failures than successes.  Hundreds of startups go bust without even making a mark every month while some go on to make a mark and go into oblivion once the consumer no longer needs their business model or products.  However, Quibi, short for quick bites, definitely takes the cake for going big with a billion dollar launch and shutting down, all of which took place in a span of six months.  So how did a billion dollar startup founded by some big names and partners with some of the biggest names in the world end up going bust?  Read ahead to find out the interesting story of Quibi.

Beginnings:

Quibi was founded by Dreamworks Animation co founder Jeffery Katzenberg and former Hewlett Packard Chief Executive Officer Meg Whitman, both of whom have deep roots in the technology and Hollywood industries as well as having a wealth of experience running billion dollar corporations.  Quibi was launched on April 6th 2020, as a content provider which is delivered in ten minute episodes called Quick Bites on mobile phones.  Quibi’s target group was mainly a younger demographic.  It is important to remember the fact that the founders decided to launch Quibi in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and when the American public were locked in their homes.  The founders did not anticipate this act of god to severely derail their entire plans.

Problems:

While the founders decided to go ahead with Quibi, one of the major problems was the content could only be streamed on mobile devices as the resolution was curated for a mobile viewing experience.  The subscribers began complaining about not  being able to watch the content on the big screen in their homes.  It also launched without simple, easy ways to share or meme its shows on social media thereby decreasing the chances of talk being spread by word of mouth.  Quibi had a subscription model which began after a 90 day free trial and it cost  $4.99 a month with ads and $7.99 a month without ads.  The number of subscribers for Quibi did not go according to plan as the numbers fell way below their forecasting and also due to the presence of streaming giants like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney Plus and HBO Max.  Since the pandemic had already begun to cripple employment, subscribers were forced to choose wisely on where to spend their money.  There is also YouTube which is free and also has free ‘quick bite’ content meant Quibi’s chances of succeeding were becoming slim.

Jeffery Katzenberg initially hoped Quibi would be immune to the pandemic’s effect as people would want to consume more content.  However, he later went on to blame the COVID-19 pandemic for everything which went wrong with Quibi.  In an open letter both Whitman and Katzenberg wrote “Quibi is not succeeding.  Likely for one of two reasons: because the idea itself wasn’t strong enough to justify a standalone streaming service or because of our timing.  Unfortunately, we will never know but we suspect it’s been a combination of the two (sic.)”

Since the launch of Quibi, the application quickly fell out of the top 50 most downloaded apps within the first week.  

Star Studded Signings

Quibi has recruited a who’s who of stars to work on its programming, including Chrissy Teigen, Lebron James, Dwayne Johnson, Reese Witherspoon, Chance the Rapper, Kevin Hart, Jennifer Lopez, Idris Elba, Zac Efron, Tina Fey, Liam Hemsworth, Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner.  Some of the biggest names in Hollywood were roped in to make the series and they include Steven Spielberg, Guillermo del Toro, Antoine Fuqua, Catherine Hardwicke and Ridley Scott.

ALSO READ: Most Followed Influencer Accounts On Instagram

Shutdown:

Both Katzenberg and Whitman raised $1.75 billion to tackle the growing digital video market with Quibi.  However, due to the mounting pile of problems and the lack of diversity in viewing choices forced Quibi into shutting down and began the process of selling assets.  Quibi, which employed 265 people, plans to use its remaining cash of about $350 million to pay back investors.  On October 21, 2020, just six months after Quibi’s launch, The Wall Street Journal reported that the streaming service was shutting down.  This news was confirmed by the Quibi founders Jeffery Katezenberg and Meg Whitman.

The story of Quibi tells us that no one is immune in the cutthroat world of startups and entrepreneurship.  While Quibi set out to take on the content streaming giants, it probably fell to its own Hubris by asking consumers to subscribe for unknown new content over already established content giants like Netfllix, Disney Plus and Amazon Prime Video.  

 

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Indian Actresses Who Have Made Recent Investments In Startups

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Indian Actresses Who Have Made Recent Investments In Startups

Any startup which begins with an idea will look to nurture it and develop it into a viable product.  This is followed by lots of testing with focus groups, until a final version of the product is ready.  However, most startups are more often than not bootstrapped and therefore run on a very stringent budget.  Therefore, startups often look to attract an investor for a fresh influx of money and also to scale up.  While there are many venture capital firms which are always on the lookout for exciting startups, Indian movie celebrities are also known to invest in promising startups.  

In this article, we give you a list of leading Indian actresses who have invested in startups recently.

1) Deepika Padukone

Deepika Padukone is one of the most alluring actresses of this generation.  Deepika invested in the popular yoghurt company Epigamia last year.  Her latest investment is into the learning and communication platform Frontrow.  The actress was joined by marquee investors like Lightspeed and Elevation Capital to invest $3.2 million in the startup.  Frontrow’s learning platform focuses on creative arts and sports and that is what attracted Padukone’s investment in this startup.

2) Kajal Aggarwal

Kajal Aggarwal picked up a stake recently in the gaming platform called Okie Gaming.  Kajal will be helping the startup in its promotions, marketing and PR and to attract new users to the platform.  Aggarwal picked up a 15% equity stake for an undisclosed amount of money.

3) Alia Bhatt and Katrina Kaif

Alia Bhatt invested an undisclosed amount in the beauty and cosmetic startup Nykaa.  Earlier in May 2020, Nykaa raised Rs. 100 crore ($13 million) from Steadview Capital, one of its existing investors.  Katrina Kaif also invested in Nykaa and also has her own line of products called Kay Beauty.  

ALSO READ: 5 Cricketers Who Are Entrepreneurs

4) Aishwarya Rai Bacchan

Aishwarya has been ruling the Indian movie industry since a long time, but has taken a step back from the limelight after her marriage to Abhishek Bachchan.  However, the actress has not been idle and has instead redirected her efforts to invest in promising ventures.  Aishwarya Rai Bachchan along with her mother Vrinda became angel investors in 2019.  They invested in Ambee, an environmental intelligence startup, which monitors air quality by gathering data– and have already installed over 100 sensors in Bengaluru.

5) Priyanka Chopra Jonas

Priyanka Chopra invested in the social networking and dating application Bumble in 2018 which was before Bumble had a presence in India.  While Bumble’s parent company MagicLabs was acquired by American based Blackstone, it is not confirmed whether Priyanka Chopra’s stake was bought out.  Priyanka Chopra continues to be involved with Bumble for their branding assignments.

6) Shilpa Shetty

Shilpa Shetty invested Rs. 1.6 crores in the fast moving consumer goods company Mamaearth which produces and sells skincare, haircare and babycare products. 

While this is just the list of actresses who have made recent investments in startups, there are a lot of movie celebrities who have invested in startups across the globe.  The startup ecosystem in India can take heart from the fact that movie stars are willing to align their brand with startups.  The future most definitely holds exciting prospects to see into what startups celebrities will be investing.

 

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Six Things Tesla Sells Other Than Cars

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Six Things Tesla Sells Other Than Cars

Tesla is the leading car manufacturing firm which mainly focuses on automobiles which run on electricity powered by batteries.  The company name Tesla, is a tribute to Nikola Tesla who was an inventor and an electrical engineer, born in the Nineteenth Century.  Tesla, the company, is known for making cars which run on artificial intelligence and can navigate by itself and that is what sets it apart from other leading automobile brands.  Tesla cars are known for high customer satisfaction and also for cutting edge technology and design.  But it may come as a surprise to know that cars are not the only thing Tesla sells.  We have compiled a list of items Tesla sells or sold and some of them may come as a surprise.

1) Tesla Toy Model S

Tesla manufactures toy models of its famous Model S, for children to drive around and are made by Radioflyer.  The toy car is fully electric and even comes with a MP3 player.  The toy car comes in two modes one of which has a top speed of 6 mph or it can be a parent limited speed of 3 mph, which can be done with the flip of a switch.  The toy model retails at $ 600 a piece.

2) Tesla surfboards

Tesla sold surfboards which were limited to only 200 and made by a man named Matt “Mayhem” Biolos and produced by Lost Surfboards.  The surfboards sport the red and black finish of Tesla cars and were also reinforced with carbon fiber.  The surfboards were sold out quickly but ended up on ebay for more than twice the price they were purchased.  

3) Desktop Superchargers

Tesla is the leading designer of high speed superchargers and has nearly 13000 supercharging stations spread across the United States of America for charging Tesla cars.  Tesla made exact replica scale models which can be put on desks and can be used to charge cell phones.

ALSO READ: Six Innovations By Elon Musk

4) Power Banks

Powered by the same battery technology which made Tesla cars famous, the power banks can be used to carry wherever you go for your charging needs and cost $ 45 a piece.

5) Branded Apparel

Tesla also sells branded apparel for both men and women and they include jackets, sweatshirts, hats, beanies, sweaters, pullovers and shirts.  T shirts cost $ 35, long sleeve shirts are $ 40, hoodies, sweatshirts, sweaters, and pullovers range from $ 50-$ 95, and jackets go for between $ 120-$ 180.

6) Tesla Tequila

Tesla Tequila is the latest product to be listed on the Tesla website and retailed for $ 250 apiece.  The product which is sold in a sleek lightning shaped bottle has an interesting backstory.  Elon Musk tweeted the idea of “Teslaquila” on April Fool’s Day in 2018, which many of his followers considered a joke.  The name ran into trouble with Mexican Tequila producers because ‘Tequila’ is a protected word according to Mexico’s Tequila Regulatory Council.  

Bonus product:

Tesla Short Shorts

Tesla launched a limited edition shorts called as Tesla Short Shorts in June 2020 which retailed at $ 69.420.  The price has 420 which is a reference to marijuana and also referred to $ 420 a share price which Elon Musk suggested in 2018 to make Tesla a private equity firm once again.  The shorts were also a jab at the investors and short sellers.

Elon Musk is always known to come up with ideas like these on the spot when he feels the Tesla car sales are running low and there is a need for shoring up revenues.  It will be interesting to see what kind of products which Elon Musk will come up with in the future and they are guaranteed to grab eyeballs in true Elon Musk fashion.

 

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How to Promote Internationalization Through Remote Team Management

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How to Promote Internationalization Through Remote Team Management

Guest Post by Rio Fontanilla 

The COVID-19 pandemic has completely expedited the adoption of remote work strategies in an effort to maintain continuous business operations and profitability around the world.  Remote team management and the ability to enhance team communications in a work from home environment has become increasingly common.

Aside from this, the work from home setup has also made an indirect effect on the growing internationalization of the workforce.  As businesses move much of their operations online, the physical limitations of the traditional office setting have largely been blurred, allowing employers to source better suited talents from all over the world.  As more and more businesses adopt remote work as their primary mode of operations, particularly as the world plunges into the second wave of the pandemic, it is highly likely that remote collaboration will remain the new reality for years to come.

Internationalization of the workforce – Lost in Translation

With this opportunity comes a slew of challenges when it comes to managing a multilingual team remotely.

First, are the obvious physical hurdles that companies have to address such as being able to provide the right tools to employees or even something as basic as access to Internet infrastructure.  Even experienced team builders, HR heads, and operations managers would find sourcing the right hardware and software to support international collaboration different from furnishing one or two office spaces.  For this, the United States Chamber of Commerce has created an in depth report on how to create remote work policies that promote employee productivity and well being

But the greater challenge is being able to coordinate a team from different countries, not only overcoming geographical barriers and time differences, but more importantly overcoming language and cultural barriers.

This is why companies must put policies and initiatives in place to promote digital workplace internationalization. By working with experts, employers can make sure business processes across all verticals maintain productivity through multilingual support.

Employers must make sure that everyone in the company regardless of where they are in the world, what language they speak, or how big or small their teams are, must have the necessary tools and resources to carry on their tasks.  This means that everything including operations manuals; procedural guidelines; employee onboarding materials; handbooks; contracts; and even business related software and hardware must be standardized and be available in multiple languages.

It is then crucial for executives and teams leads to work with language, HR, and accessibility experts to formulate a standardized internal communications strategy that is clear, concise and culturally sensitive.  Companies should then make sure that this strategy would be implemented faithfully in all languages spoken within the organization.

Internationalization for Remote Multilingual Team Management

According to the University of California at Berkeley, human resources network, promoting productivity and teamwork requires clear goals and constant input from everyone in the team. Employers need to foster an open, digital workplace environment that is conducive to close collaboration and knowledge-sharing while promoting trust and cooperation among employees.

Understanding the implications of the internationalization of the organization is crucial in properly managing a multilingual team.  These concepts help foster a culturally sensitive approach towards not only customer facing communications but also internal communications as well.

The principles of internationalization and globalization are likely more familiar to marketing teams, but these principles are also relevant when dealing with international or multilingual remote teams as well.  A little bit of cultural sensitivity can go a long way towards cementing team member relations, even for remote and multilingual teams.  By promoting open communication among members of the organization, team leads will be able to clearly understand the hindrances to productivity and team cohesion.

To ensure better cultural and linguistic sensitivity, it is advisable for businesses to incorporate them into employee training and create initiatives that would celebrate the cultural diversity of the digital workplace.

Internationalization and multilingual communication

There may be occasions when the necessary team personnel has no capacity to communicate effectively with one another.  Tools and resources may be able to support multiple languages but human collaboration would often be a lot more limited.  Unless there is the off chance that everyone in the team is multilingual, there would definitely be misunderstandings and miscues along the way.

Perhaps the best way to avoid getting lost in translation during multilingual meetings and real time collaboration is by taking a page off of the United Nation’s book.  Many international organizations like the United Nations, the World Health Organization, and others have similarly resorted to software and hardware solutions for remote meetings like any other business, but utilize remote video interpreters in order to effectively communicate with one another.

While hiring professional interpreters or utilizing interpretation service providers may seem like a needless use of company resources, but by enabling clear and efficient communication among multilingual teams, businesses can eliminate miscommunication and essentially avoid potentially costly mistakes.

Communications consultant and author David Grossman, highlights the importance of a clear understanding of creating an effective and productive multilingual organization.  He notes that face to face conversations and feedback techniques are important in allowing one’s audience, in this case, the employees, to build a foundation of understanding.  This can only be done if the translation is done effectively.

Employees are generally more perceptive and open to providing well thought out input when they are allowed to speak freely in their native language.  In order to bolster the organization’s efforts to create an atmosphere for diverse ideas, leaders must incorporate translation or interpretation not only in core resources but also in everyday communication so that teams across different countries would not become segmented in silos.

While not all organizations find that the remote work setup works for their business model, many companies who have made the jump from brick and mortar, to mostly digital out of necessity would find that this new normal would better suit their goals for growth.  Digital transformation and internationalization provide agility and scalability of business expansion, allowing businesses to source the best human talents and resources as well as reach new consumers.  However, companies need to understand the operational and personal nuances of their internationalized workforce to be able to scale as efficiently as possible. To do so requires a heavy investment in providing employees with all the resources needed for them to perform their duties without language being an obstacle.

 

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