9 Tech Startups To Be Inspired By
Startups can inspire us to create our own companies or invest in others. Here are some startups that have already made their mark in 2015.
1. Lyft and Uber: Free Ride Apps
These rideshare apps somehow manage to create clients, employees, and profit without ever paying anyone or costing a cent. They skirt legal issues involving paying their drivers by letting clients pay the drivers directly; the app then takes a small percentage of the driver’s profit. These apps are an inspiration when it comes to creatively giving everyone a chance to be a part of your company.
2. Square: Merchant Service for Big and Small Companies
Square started off looking for clients the same way that any other startup would. The difference is, they weren’t afraid to go after the big guy. As a result, they ended up landing Starbucks as a client. Square still serves small businesses who can’t afford more expensive credit-card processing, but the notoriety they’ve gained through the Starbucks connection has spurred their popularity. Let this be a lesson: Don’t be afraid to tackle the biggest client possible. The hard work pays off.
3. Wish: A Tailored Retail App
This app takes after the custom advertising you see on the Internet, powered by your Google search and web history. The founder, Peter Szulczewski, thought, why not take it a step further and have a single online store that sells everything you’ve been looking for? The great thing about technology is that there is always room for advancement, so a simple riff on an existing idea can be the beginning of a successful company.
4. Slack: Mobile Communication for the Workplace
Many aspects of the Slack app are familiar: instant messaging, group chat, file sharing, etc. But this app puts them all together in an effective way and gears it toward a workplace market. With a good product and the right niche, your startup can succeed without being groundbreaking.
5. Dots: An Innovative Gaming Studio
The Dots game studio might be the perfect example of the KISS principle (Keep It Simple, Stupid). Their one artistic and minimalist game has been enough to spawn a sequel and earn them sufficient funding to separate from the parent company. Games have taken the app world by storm and are an increasingly popular way to spend down time. The new and affordable iPhone 6, for example, is especially gamer friendly since it has a large 4.7-inch Retina HD display and a long lasting battery.
6. Mic: A Media Company for Millennials
This company is all about gathering news for young adults. They’ve reached 19 million readers a month in 3 years by providing top-quality journalism written by professionals. Your startup is only as good as its employees, so make sure you hire only the best.
7. Yik Yak, Secret, and Whisper: Anonymous Gossip Apps
These anonymous gossip apps have seen their share of adversity. They face legal troubles because people have used them to make anonymous terrorist threats against schools. The app is beefing up its security features and continues to bring in a lot of funding. Let it be an inspiration when your startup is facing adversity.
8. Atlas Wearables: The Too-Smart Wearable Tech
This incredibly smart product uses the highest quality sensors to take wearable tech to the next level. Devices made by Atlas Wearables track exactly what exercise you’re doing and can even tell you whether you’re doing it properly. It’s all due to the creative repurposing of sensors. Let other tech inspire you in your own startup.
9. Imgur: An Image-Sharing Community
Imgur is an online image-hosting site, but the reason it’s become so popular is because of the community that has grown around it. Imgur has its own inside jokes, famous users, and about 2 billion page views a day. Fostering a sense of community around your startup can bring you new clients, too.
As far as burgeoning tech companies go, this is only the beginning of a very long list. The number of tech startups in Chicago alone is in the hundreds. When you’re choosing a new startup to invest in or planning on starting your own, you can manage everything with a new smartphone. It has plenty of tools to help entrepreneurs on their way to success.