What are the most crazy startup ideas which turned into successes? First asked on Quora and now turned into a global phenomenon, this question sparked a lot of interesting discussions on this topic. While a lot of ideas seem ridiculous in the beginning, they turned into massive successes later on because of the hard work the founders put into making their dreams come true. Here’s taking a look at ideas that seemed impossible to even be true and how they are one of the biggest success stories of today.
Founded by Alex D’ Angelo and Charlie Cheever, former Facebook employees, Quora took off from where Yahoo answers stopped growing. When something like this already existed, not many thought Quora would become a success. Founded in 2009, the website took off immediately and became so successful, it had 500,000 registered users by 2011. Now, 7 years later, Quora has a valuation of 900 million dollars and is one of the most successful startups in the world! Who would have thought piggy backing off an existing startup would quite literally squash the old one, right?
When Mark Zuckerberg created a social media platform in his bedroom during a dull day at Harvard, little did he know he was sitting on an idea that would become the first ever trillion dollar company. While there were other social media networks already present (MySpace) what made Facebook stand apart from its competition was that Zuckerberg and his friends gave the world a service they did not think they needed. Furthermore, another unique selling point for Facebook was it was through invite only and this created an exclusive factor for the excited users. Now, so many years later, Facebook became the first company to enter the trillion dollar valuation.
3. Vitality Air
Fresh clean air is a luxury not many can afford, right? Apparently, Vitality Air, a startup of Canadian origin, thought the same. The founders (Moses and Troy) of this very bizarre startup realised a lot of people did not have access to clean, fresh air and the best way to counter this need was by bottling up the air they had in excess. Launched in the year 2014, Vitality Air grew so quickly, it shipped over 4,000 bottles to China in a week!
4. Holy Ink
How many times have you looked at your printer and realised you couldn’t use it because you ran out of ink? Father Bernard McCoy had the same difficulty and when he found out he ran out of ink, he decided the only solution to the problem was to start his own ink refilling business. Taking this idea forward, the eight brothers of Cistercian Abbey in Monroe put aside their singing for a while and got down to good old labour. From earning only $ 2000 as revenue in 2002, the brothers of this enterprising business ended up earning a whopping $ 2.5 million by the year 2005.
5. “I Do, Now I Don’t”
Every time you watch a man in the West buying a diamond ring for his fiance, you think, oh, this is so cute. Ever thought of what happens to the ring when the engagement is broken? Josh Opperman, the founder of I Do, Now I Don’t, was in the same predicament. His fiance of three months broke up with him and left behind a very expensive wedding ring. Instead of fretting about the problem of not being able to sell the ring, Josh Opperman came up with the idea of a website meant just for this purpose. Essentially, Josh created website based on selling rings and other jewellery with the same formula Craigslist uses! You know where to go when the jewelers refuse to give you a good price for your ring.
The idea for AirBnB came about when one of its founders realised couchsurfing could turn into a very lucrative business. What initially started off as a model where the owners rented out their homes to people, now has a valuation standing at $ 1.3 billion. When the idea initially came to be, a lot of investors were extremely skeptical and refused to invest in this idea. However, the founders believed in it so much that they started selling their own brands of cereal and breakfast foods to raise money! Based on political figures (Obama O’s, Cap’n McCain and Breakfast of Change,) and branded as limited edition products, these breakfast foods sold like crazy and within two months, they sold 800 cereal boxes, valued at $ 40 each. Earning a grand total exceeding $ 30,000, AirBnB hit the ground running and is now a revolution!
Ideas make the world turn and when you believe in something, you have to make it happen. If you think we missed out on any other really cool ideas, comment and let us know!
5 Successful Indian Startups Founded By Women
The workplace has undergone massive changes in the last century. At the turn of the Industrial Revolution, any workplace was dominated by men while the women were delegated to run the homes. However, with the advent of the internet and new and exciting technologies, workplaces have undergone a tectonic shift. Women are no longer comfortable staying at home and are instead opting to lead teams and organisations. As every year passes, we get closer to true gender equality, women have proven time and again that they are equally capable to get the job done if not better in some instances. Names like Wolfe Herd (Bumble founder,) Kylie Jenner (Kylie Cosmetics founder,) Masaba Gupta (Masaba clothing label founder) are just some of the names who are known for leading world famous brands with their unique style of leadership.
As the world celebrates International Women’s Day, we bring to you five women founders who run world famous and successful startups.
1) Upasana Taku-MobiKwik
If you are an Indian and are used to doing online shopping, more often than not at the time of payment, you would be directed to a payment gateway. One of these gateways would normally be MobiKwik. The startup is a well known name in the digital payments and digital wallet space. MobiKwik was founded by Upasana Taku in 2009, who prior to founding MobiKwik used to work with PayPal. Today Upasana Taku is also in charge of bank partnerships, business operations, and talent acquisition at MobiKwik.
2) Richa Kar-Zivame
An enthusiastic MBA student, Richa Kar, developed an online lingerie shopping platform in the year 2011. Currently, Zivame is India’s leading online lingerie store with a valuation of more than $ 100 million. The brilliant idea for her own lingerie business came to light when Richa tracked Victoria’s Secret’s sales, who was one of her clients when she was working at SAP. She observed the lingerie sales figures reached peaks overseas but, Indian women were not provided with the similar innerwear. While Richa was studying the Indian lingerie market, she realized the social embarrassment in India surrounding lingerie shopping. Today Richa Kar could be credited with destigmatising the uneasiness surrounding lingerie shopping in India.
3) Falguna Nayar-Nykaa
After a long stint as an investment banker, Falguni Nayar founded Nykaa.com in the year 2013. An online one stop shop for beauty products from Indian and international brands, Nykaa changed the world of online shopping. Who would have ever thought buying makeup online would be so easy? Falguni Nayar proved many critics wrong and created a brand new place for people who love experimenting with styles, designs and colors.
ALSO READ: Zivame: Founding Story
4) Sabina Chopra-Yatra.com
Yatra.com is a popular Indian website for making flight and hotel bookings. Sabina Chopra was instrumental in identifying the potential for travel commerce in India and people moving towards cheaper or easier travel. By the time, people started looking to make bookings, Sabina made sure Yatra.com was already in place. Sabina was the former Head of India Operations of eBookers, which is also an online travel company based in Europe. Along with this, she was also working with Japan Airlines which further adds to her experience in the travel industry.
5) Rashmi Sinha-SlideShare
SlideShare allows people to upload and access their presentations online. While this feature is presently available everywhere, SlideShare was one of the first players in making this happen. Rashmi Sinha was one of the founders of the presentation sharing platform SlideShare. The company became so successful that in 2012, LinkedIn acquired the company for an amount of $100 million.
Let us know in the comments if you know any other wonderful women who have become leaders of their right or have started up and are doing extraordinary things. We at Startup Stories wish a wonderful Women’s Day to all the women in the world who are changemakers.
5 Reasons Why Telegram Founder Pavel Durov Thinks Whatsapp Is Dangerous
Pavel Durov, the founder of Telegram Messenger, is no fan of Whatsapp and he believes Whatsapp is dangerous and not safe. Elucidating more on the topic, Durov made his reasons known in a blogpost he published in late 2020. Here are the five reasons why Pavel Durov thinks Whatsapp is dangerous.
1) If Jeff Bezos’ phone can be hacked via Whatsapp then nobody is safe.
One of the richest men in the world and the founder of Amazon, Jeff Bezos’ phone was allegedly hacked by Mohammed Bin Salman, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia. Some of Bezos’s private communications and images were taken during the hack following which Whatsapp’s security was questioned.
2) The United Nations recommends its officials to remove Whatsapp from their devices
The United Nations recommends its officials to not use Whatsapp because it thinks Whatsapp is not a secure mode of communication. In June 2019, a U.N., spokesman Farhan Haq said, “The senior officials at the U.N. have been instructed not to use WhatsApp, it’s not supported as a secure mechanism (sic.)” This directive came when independent U.N. experts found a possible involvement of Mohammed Bin Salman, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, in the alleged cyber attack of Jeff Bexos’ phone in 2018.
3) End to end encryption does not guarantee security.
Durov says “in their marketing, WhatsApp uses the words “end-to-end encryption” as some magic incantation that alone is supposed to automatically make all communications secure. However, this technology is not a silver bullet that can guarantee you absolute privacy by itself (sic.)”
4) Chat backups on Android and Apple cloud are not encrypted.
Pavel Durov does not believe chat backups in the cloud are safe and says “Users don’t want to lose their chats when they change devices, so they back up the chats in services like iCloud – often without realizing their backups are not encrypted. The fact that Apple was forced by the FBI to abandon encryption plans for iCloud is telling (sic.)”
5) Backdoors continue to exist in Whatsapp
“There are backdoors. Enforcement agencies are not too happy with encryption, forcing app developers to secretly plant vulnerabilities in their apps. I know that because we’ve been approached by some of them – and refused to cooperate. As a result, Telegram is banned in some countries where WhatsApp has no issues with authorities, most suspiciously in Russia and Iran (sic,)” claims Durov in his blogpost.
As data privacy is becoming more and more important in the current day and age of the internet, we wonder what messaging application is totally safe.
Five Free design Tools For Startups And Students
Creative design is an integral part of any organisation as it is used for various purposes and by various functions within an organization. Be it for sales brochures, marketing collateral, presentations and product labels creative design is an integral part. Creative designs help tell a story or a narrative better with images or videos. For students, design can be used in their project thesis, dissertation defence, creative resumes and many more.
However, design tools are usually expensive and require an expensive hardware setup to render the final product. This means a lot of expenditure for students or startups looking to make creative designs. However, there are various alternatives which do the same job with almost the same quality which can be a blessing for startups and students.
In this article we give you a list of five free design tools for startups and students. Read below to find out the list of free design tools.
Canva is a graphic design platform which comes with preloaded templates and can be used to create posters, documents, presentations and other visual content for free. Paid subscriptions can be purchased for additional functionality but the free version does a good job.
Pixlr is an online photo editing tool which lets users edit pictures for free. Pixlr’s photo editing is intuitive and is complemented by artificial intelligence for quick and personalized editing.
PicMonkey is another free online editing tool which can be accessed via a web browser. Free users can access most of the features and tools while a membership is needed for accessing the entire design workflow. PicMonkey lets users access design templates for wedding invitations, announcements, thank you cards, business cards and many more.
ALSO READ: 8 Best Free CRM Solutions For Startups
Crello is a tool which offers both video and graphic editing for free. Crello can help you create visuals for social media in just a few minutes, design a business card or a flyer, create marketing collateral for print, social and blogs, as well as create long-form content like presentations.
5) Gravit Designer
Gravi Designer is a vector based design tool which works on both online and offline platforms. Gravit Designer is highly preferred for Linux users and the developers are known to listen to feedback from users and integrate good suggestions onto their tool. Gravit Designer can be used to design websites, or create interfaces, and also to make illustrations or design the artworks of entire games.
This concludes the list of top free design tools for startups and students. Let us know if you are already using any of these design tools or plan on using them in the future in the comments below.
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