If you are a smartphone user, chances are you have seen or played the hit game Angry Birds at least once. The game became a phenomenon due to its fun gameplay featuring ‘angry’ birds with powers and pigs which try to steal the eggs of the birds. However, the creators of the game, Rovio Entertainment, almost went bankrupt before coming up with the idea of Angry Birds. While Rovio Entertainment may look like an overnight success story, in reality, it really was not.
Rovio Entertainment was founded by three Finnish students, Niklas Hed, Jarno Väkeväinen and Kim Dikert, belonging to the Helsinki University of Technology, after they won a mobile game development competition sponsored by Nokia and Hewlett-Packard in 2003. Rovio was initially named Relude. Later, the name was changed to Rovio in 2005 before finally becoming Rovio Entertainment in 2011.
Rovio Entertainment was focussed on making games which targeted niche audiences and concepts like science fiction and horror. They released 51 games to not a lot of success and realised they would go bankrupt if they continued on the same path.
Development of Angry Birds
When the first iPhone was announced in 2007, the entire smartphone industry was disrupted, leading to the development of new ecosystems. Mikael Hed, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Rovio Entertainment, saw an opportunity to create a game which echoed with the millennial mindset and attention spans. He wanted to come up with a game which was easy to load, simple to play without any tutorial and could be played at any time.
While the team of Rovio Entertainment was experimenting with different concepts, one designer pitched a concept art showing a group of birds which were cross for no reason and the design stuck. The game was developed around these ‘angry birds’ by creating a storyline and antagonists. For the antagonists, the developers settled on pigs because of the swine flu epidemic which was in the news at the time. Angry Birds was the fifty second game to be developed by Rovio Entertainment and was developed at a cost exceeding 100,000 euros.
Capturing the market
The developers realised they could not compete on the Apple App Store in the United States of America and the United Kingdom, which hold the largest market share with other games, as the response to Angry Birds was lukewarm. Therefore, the developers released the game in smaller markets like Finland, Sweden and Denmark before capturing Greece and the Czech Republic. The larger markets began to take note and the App Store in the United Kingdom finally put it on its featured games list, thereby catapulting the game into limelight and making it the number 1 game on the U.K. and the U.S.A. App Stores. Angry Birds reached its one billionth download in 2012 and two billionth download in 2014.
Rovio Entertainment showed what it means not to give up and stick to an idea if it is endearing. The success of Angry Birds is a testimony to the perseverance of the studio behind it. Angry Birds successfully spawned a franchise, with multiple games on offer, merchandise and Hollywood movies to its name.
Read about the story of Electronic Arts here : The Story of Video Gaming Company Electronic Arts (EA)
All You Need To Know About Patents In India
India is home to the third largest startup ecosystem in the world trailing behind America and China which rank first and second, respectively. The startup ecosystem is a rapidly evolving mechanism with more and more new ideas coming to life year after year. Imagine having a unique idea which solves a problem and can be converted into a business model. If the individual who comes up with the idea fears the idea might be stolen by another person to be replicated into a business model, the individual could apply for a patent to safeguard the idea. A patent is a form of intellectual property that gives its owner the legal right to exclude others from making, using, selling and importing an invention for a limited period of years, in exchange for publishing and enabling public disclosure of the invention.
The Indian Patents Act was established in 1970 and came into effect from 1972. The Patent Act establishes what kind of inventions can be patentable and non patentable.
For an invention to be established as a patented invention, it needs to satisfy the criteria listed below
- The invention should be a one of its kind. This means the invention shall be completely new and there should be nothing similar of its kind.
- The invention should be unique in itself which means if the invention is making an existing technology or design better, it cannot be classified as a patentable invention.
- It should be useful by developing and improving the life of the common man without the use and support of illegal things.
An additional thing to remember would be discovery of laws of nature could not be quantified as patentable inventions. Examples of this would be Newton’s discovery of Gravity or Einstein’s Theory of Relativity.
Non Patentable Inventions:
According to the Indian Patents Act 1970, Section 3 and 5, there are certain types of inventions that cannot be patented as inventions and are listed below
- A frivolous invention or any claim which contradicts known laws of nature.
- Anything which is used for commercial purposes but contradicts public order and morality or which is prejudiced and causes harm to humans, animals and plant life.
- Discovery of a new or unknown form of substance which does not enhance the known efficacy of the substance.
- A method of agriculture or horticulture.
- Any process or discovery relating to medicine, surgery, curative, prophylactic diagnostic, therapeutic or other treatment of human beings or similar treatment in animals.
- Discoveries pertaining to atomic energy.
Patent Application Process In India
In order to apply and obtain a patent in India,there are certain steps to be followed. The steps for the patent application process are given below.
- Collect and Journal all the important and relevant information pertaining to the invention with as much detail as possible. Information related to how and why the patent works, the advantages and description of the invention should be present.
- Include drawings or designs related to the invention which explain the working of the idea/invention.
- Check if the idea qualifies as an invention for the patent application.
- Check if the invention meets all criteria and requirements according to Indian Patent Act 1970.
- Draft a patent application. A provisional application can be filed if the invention is in the early stages of research and development. Filing for a provisional application grants a person twelve months to come up with complete specifications.
- Upon filing the complete specification along with the application for patent, the application is published after 18 months of first filing.
- The application is examined only after the submission of a request for examination (RFE.) Upon receiving this request the controller gives the patent application to a patent examiner who examines the patent application for various criteria and submits a first examination report which is shared with the patent applier.
- Majority of patent applications would be subject to objections and the patent applicant should ensure all objections are resolved.
- After resolving all the objections the application would be placed in order for grant once it is found to be meeting all patentability requirements.
Owning a patent will help in prevention of theft of intellectual property, gives the right to exclusivity, right to commercialize the idea and increase the marketability and monetary value.
Although the patent application process in India is a very long process and is susceptible to slow bureaucracy, it is important to remember that in the end, owning a patent will be a worthwhile investment. There is also the possibility of the application process being made digital as well due to the technological advancements in digital security.
Coronavirus Pandemic Testing Startups By Disrupting Supply-Demand
When the news about Coronavirus slowly broke on to the world, countries were totally unaware about what was about to happen. The virus which originated in the Wuhan province of China, spread so rapidly that China had to lockdown the entire province in order to combat the virus. However,the virus,which was later classified as a pandemic, quickly spread across the world at an exponential rate bringing countries to a standstill. Many countries had to declare national emergencies in order to cope up with the rising number of positive cases and in some places, high fatality rates. The impact of the virus was not restricted to just the quality of life, rather the economies all over the world were affected. Stock exchanges plummeted so low that it is being compared to the great American economic depression.
Needless to say, once the economy was impacted by the virus, investors started pulling out of the stock markets and startups along with small businesses were the worst hit. India is home to the third largest number of startups in the world ranking behind America and China. When the stock market was taking a tumble and news of the lockdown reached the public, startups in aviation, hospitality, events and transportation took a big hit. The lockdown completely disrupted the supply and demand with people staying at home on government orders. Companies like Uber, Ola, Rapido and Bounce in transportation, airlines along with hospitality startups like Oyo and Treebo, did not see any business during the last month. Sales teams which rely on travelling on ground are now grounded and many startups are being forced to let go of employees or withhold salaries.
However, this time of crisis has been a boon to startups in the healthcare, food, logistics and digital marketing/news sectors that are seeing heavy growth. Startups like Swiggy, Zomato, BigBasket, 1mg, Practo and Dunzo are able to operate even during the lockdown as the government orders allow them to do so.
Most often startups work on a lean organizational structure which means, employees have to often take up cross functional roles. At stressful times like these, work productivity will take a hit. Logistics supply chains across the world are unable to keep up with the demands of the population. This is leading to large delays in deliverables and with vendors unable to operate there is an obvious reduction in revenues.Venture capital firm Sequoia warned of an impending recession following on the backdrop of the pandemic and has asked startups in its portfolio to dig in. Because they see this impending recession may only be contained after several quarters and it may take even longer for economies to recover and become stable. Sequoia even urged companies to rethink their business models and consider cutting jobs.
However the startup ecosystem is coming together to help their stakeholders in this time of need. Zomato raised more than 10 crore rupees in a crowd sourcing funding round to support its driver partners. Ola group and its employees will contribute 20 crore rupees to support its driver partners. This entire phase would be a litmus test for startups to see how they can adapt and boost their immunity to the economic aftereffects of the Coronavirus. Many startups will struggle but if they make it to the end of the tunnel, there is no doubt there would be a wealth of learning and opportunities gained.
8 Best Business Ideas To Start In 2020
GUEST POST BY LILY BROOKS
Since I was a kid, I always wanted to become rich. Not in the sense that I live a fulfilled and contented life, but in the financially independent kind of way. I didn’t grow up poor by any means but I do know people who are rich and to my young impressionable mind, I associated being rich with being able to do whatever you want.
Ten years after completing my degree and entering the workforce, I’ve started several side businesses; some have closed while others continue to be profitable. Here are a few of them.
- eCommerce store
Because I work in tech, it’s pretty obvious that I would dabble with online entrepreneurship, which I did. I started a company selling Japanese made watches. I didn’t have to raise a big capital since I mainly sold my products on shopping platforms like Shopify, 3dcart and Volusion. I also offered my products on social media. It was a success for a while until the competition started saturating the market and I had to cease operations three years ago.
- Real Estate Agent
As soon as I completed my degree and got hired at a company, I set about becoming a real estate agent. Depending on the country you reside in, the requirement may vary. In my case, I had to take a short program and then pass an examination to become licensed. The industry is very competitive but if networking and sales talk is your forte, you’re bound to succeed.
- Content Writer
I also did my fair share of writing content. I mainly did this in college during my free periods to earn extra cash. What is great about content writing is you can work virtually anywhere– you set your hours and learn about varied topics, like how to start a spy shop. The downside, the pay isn’t that great, you will be forced to write on topics you do not really care about, and you will need to do a lot of research and write fast.
- Catering Business
Now, this is one business I haven’t really started but soon will. I did my research already and many caterers experience huge profits when done right. Catering is a great side business for people who love to cook. I’m not a great cook myself but my husband is. Therefore we both agreed l we will try running a catering business, first starting small and slowly growing it.
- Affiliate Marketing
This is another side business that I ventured into, a couple of years ago when I was a new hire in my company and had a lot of free time. After work, I would work on being an affiliate marketer concentrating on blogging since I had a background in writing back when I used to be a content writer. The job is not too demanding and there is no need for you to be tech savvy. It is also a very low risk and you can work from home or anywhere else.
- Web Development
I saved my longest side business for last. I work in tech and have therefore extensive knowledge about computers and their processes. What I like about this field is its growth opportunities which are still high. For my side business, I freelance as a web developer and designer for small businesses who want to transition online. Most of my customers are friends and family and although I could make a lot more money out of it, I maintain a lower price since I enjoy the process so much and I get to help the people I know.
Other side businesses you can start includes:
- Phone Case Business
Everyone needs a phone case to protect their very expensive smartphones from damage. This is one reason why phone cases are the top selling phone accessories in the market. Go for catchy designs or the ones with interesting artworks and funny quotes.
- Virtual Assistant
If you have strong organizational skills, you can succeed as a virtual assistant. They are in high demand for big corporations and freelancers. It is also a great way to meet influential people from various fields. You can work anywhere in the world while building your professional career.
So those are the top 6 side business ideas I’ve done in my life which you should also consider starting. Most, if not all of those listed above are relatively low risk and don’t require a huge capital which makes them perfect as another income stream for you.
Guest Post Author Bio:
Lily Brooks is an ardent blogger and frequent traveler who writes about home improvement, travel, and the latest trends in emerging technologies. She is currently working with EyeSpySupply, the leading spy shop, which offers a wide range of surveillance equipment and vehicle tracking devices.
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