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Startups That Failed Before They Took Off

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Silicon Valley is where startups go to become sweeping success stories. However, there is a flip side to the magic of Silicon Valley. Startups not only rise, they also fail. As the weekend comes on us, here is looking at startups that failed before they could take off the right way!

1. Blackberry 

Before the iPhone became what it is today, the Blackberry was the phone everyone wanted to own. Not only was it a device, it was a cult. However, before the “crackheads” (as they were unoficially called) could change the world with this device, something went wrong. Research in Motion (RIM) as Blackberry was formally called, failed to keep up with the changing pace of the world. RIM refused to change its technology and stuck to the traditional forms, without moving up the ladder like the iPhone. What started off as a bang fizzled down to a sale of only 4 million devices annually by the year 2016. Now, out of production and out of business, Blackberry is but a mere shadow of its former self. However, despite the failure of the device, Blackberry did set in motion a smartphone revolution like never before!

2. AOL 

The failure of AOL (America Online) was a disastrous event that still surprises people. Not only did the service give detailed information in a quick manner, its instant messaging service was also arguably the best in the world at the point. However, the email service refused to grow with the world and accepted defeat with the quick growth of Gmail and Yahoo. Incidentally, Gmail’s “You’ve Got Mail” notification clinched the email platform’s presence in the world with complete surety.

3. My Space 

Back in the day, My Space was were stars were born and musicians were launched. In fact, it was given the title of being among the top 50 best websites in the year 2006. However, Facebook came, saw and conquered and My Space was left crawling in the dust like a helpless animal.

4. Kodak 

Kodak was the inventor of the traditional form of photography in the 20th century. Steve Sasson, the man who invented the first digital camera in the year 1975, was actually asked by his supervisors to not do anything. They did not see the value of digital photography and this one reason inevitably resulted in Kodak’s halt to world domination in the form of pictures!

5. Nokia 

If the Blackberry refused to grow with touch technology, Nokia refused to look at data as the next big thing. While other smartphone companies circled towards this change, Nokia shrunk away and refused to accept this form of growth. This caused Nokia to develop a mess of an operating system with a bad user experience that just was not a fit for an always expanding market and thus, failure was but very obvious.

Every company has to start some where. Every company has to grow and fall and failures comes as a part of the parcel. If you think we missed any startups, please comment and let us know!

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Sanskriitii – A Saviour For Indian Artisans?

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Founded by Mr. Anil Tripati and Ms. Latha Pathak in 2017, Sanskriitii is a startup that deals with arts and crafts and hence works with a vision to empower Indian handicrafts which do not generally get the appreciation they deserve. A team of engineers, management professionals and philosophers have joined hands at Sanskriitii to make handicrafts and home decor more interesting by incorporating contemporary design into artefacts.

What Sanskriitii does

Sanskriitii brings a whole variety of Indian handicrafts under one roof. These varieties include Dhokra art, Meenakari art, Kundan art, Zari art, Bidri art, Stone Jali and many more. Their products are mostly offered to large chains of restaurants for the interiors of their rooms and lobbies.

The main challenges faced by craftsmen these days are creating new designs suitable to the present day lifestyle, market demand

and financial limitations to pull off bulk orders. Due to these reasons,

most of the craftsmen give up on handicrafts and move out of their village to other nearby towns to find some other random jobs to earn a living for themselves and their families. Sanskriitii plays a vital role in helping craftsmen overcome these challenges. It not only provides craftsmen with capital and raw material, but also builds an environment which enables them to deliver the finished products to their customers.

Due to the changing lifestyles of the consumers and their lack of appreciation for traditional goods, a startup like Sanskriitii is still struggling to find a large number of consumers.

Challenges faced by Sanskriitii

With readymade, easily available and branded products ruling the market, handcrafted products can easily be left behind because their gestation time is comparatively larger and clients generally do not prefer waiting for such long periods to get their products delivered. In addition, the industry as a whole is yet to accept and understand handmade products. Lack of awareness among people about handicrafts is yet another challenge Sanskriitii is trying to overcome.  

Overview

At Sanskriitii, a wide range of handcrafted products are made,which suit the present day lifestyle and yet have a traditional touch. The added advantage with handmade products is, no two products are exactly the same. These products are also environment friendly. By shopping at Sanskriitii, one can also contribute to their vision of empowering Indian handicrafts and small scale entrepreneurs. Although the delivery time is much longer than that of regular products, these handicrafts are worth the wait.

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Entrepreneur Stories

Social Media Automation Tools Every Business Should Have

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Since its inception, social media has come a long way. The rage started with Facebook and Twitter and then moved forward to platforms like Snapchat, Instagram, MySpace and GooglePlus. With so many platforms, promoting your brand on these platforms can be quite a time consuming process. If you are looking at simplifying your workload and in making the most of the time at hand, then these are the tools you should look at:

Picture Credits: https://www.agorapulse.com/

1. Agora Plus

In recent times, Agora Plus is the most comprehensive automotive tool present. The main reason this tool works is that not only does it let you plan, organise and schedule your content across six platforms, it gives you a detailed report to track your performance. With no limitations on the kind of content you promote, this tool is quite the life saver.

2. Hootsuite

One of the most widely used social media tools, Hootsuite works for even the most basic needs. From scheduling content and monitoring performance, this tool helps collect data by reviews generated from users. What makes this website stand out from Agora Plus is that you can check brand mentions and reply to comments and messages through the website itself. With its in depth reports and analytics, this website is what you need if you aren’t too deep into social media.

Picture Credits: https://buffer.com/

3. Buffer

With an extremely user friendly interface, Buffer works because it lets you post in a queue across different platforms. Apart from this, Buffer is also known for the way it gives you a comprehensive report with all your data in one place. In fact, even if you post the same content on different platforms, the tool generates individual links and analyses data based on those links. A mixture of Agora and Hootsuite, this tool is what you need to simplify your tasks.

Picture Credits: https://coschedule.com/

4. CoSchedule

Another social media automation tool, CoSchedule works because of how easy it is to schedule your content across various platforms. By using the interactive interface, this website lets you schedule over 60 posts at the same time. What makes this tool stand out that it lets you analyze which content worked well in the past and publish your previously posted content again. If you are looking for a comprehensive plan for marketing and understanding analytics, then get on to CoSchedule now!


Picture Credits: https://www.socialjukebox.com/

5. Social Jukebox

While all these websites are great for queuing and posting your content, they don’t really tell you what happens next. Social Jukebox takes care of this very problem. All you have to do is to place your content in different jukeboxes and when all the content is done, start making use of them again. The advantage here? Instead of making use of your content the same way as earlier, this website jumbles up the order so it looks like brand new. Because it comes with a Chrome extension, using it is extremely easy. Every time you find new content, all you have to do is drag and drop it into the different juke boxes.

Curating content and posting content is quite a cumbersome task. However, if you find the right platforms which simplify the process, then your life becomes extremely easy. If you think we missed out on any tools like these, comment and let us know!

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Entrepreneur Stories

How To Use Psychology to Maximize Marketing Reach

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With people realising the relevance of psychology in marketing, more and more brands are working toward attracting the emotional side of buyers. If you are looking at increasing your brand’s presence and to attract customers with a personal touch, here is how you can use the perfect combination of marketing and psychology!

1. Use Emotional Ideas

Emotions or sentiments always work when it comes to selling your product. When writing copy to go with your advertisements, words with an emotional connection always have a stronger impact on the audience. For instance, if you are selling a computer, write about its benefits in a way that instills a connection in a new way. An emotional connection while making a sales pitch always works, giving people a reason to buy the product.

2. Highlight your flaws

Understanding human psychology has always shown that it is important to highlight your flaws. When you do this, you let your customers know that you aren’t afraid of the things which are wrong with your product. Cater to your customers ego and make them feel listened to when you fix the flaws they say your product has. Not only does this make sure you earn your customers trust, it helps in increasing your brand’s value. For instance, Apple has always been extremely vocal about its multiple flaws but because they provide such value for its brand, people don’t shy away from the Company.

3. Use reward schedules

Rewards always work really well. By using the process of operant conditioning, the reward scheme works really well because it helps to understand what the customer really wants from the product. Behaviours are usually learnt over a period of time and if you tell people they are going to get random rewards at uncertain times, the attraction is stronger! When you go to a restaurant and get surprise freebies at the end of the meal, you want to keep going back, irrespective of the food. In this case, the reward is your enticer since you are attracted to the offering rather than the actual product.

4. Throw your customers an anchor

In most cases, when you leave customers with an open ended question, you realise people are more prone to coming to you for answers because of the half information. Called throwing an anchor or priming, this process works ethically and is used to attract a larger revenue through more customers. Find the gap and hook your customers on to that gap so as to instantly attract them. While a sure fire way of making more money, this process can be tricky because of the subtlety required to see it through.

5. Put your customers to work

If you want people to remember your product, then you need to make sure you not only attract them the right way, you also put them to work. From asking rhetorical questions and to making your audience think about why they want your product, you can make sure this technique works to your advantage. By making your customers  to actively participate in the decision making process , your in depth understanding of the situation can help! For instance, flash mobs help in getting people together and making them work not only in the interest of the brand, but to spread the required message as well!

Marketing, when done the right way and with the right tools, can attract a lot of customers. If you think we missed out on any other ways that marketing and psychology go together, comment and let us know! With psychology playing a key role in marketing, it certainly has become easier over the years to give people what they want, based on what they need!

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