Lessons from 10 Hot Startups
from INC Magazine 07 Jan 14 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4biz 2/14
The path to startup success is not always a predictable one, as only 30 % of “seeded” (preliminary invested) startups secure additional funding. To help us understand why some startups thrive while others stagnate or fail, it’s useful to examine startup success stories. These stories provide a unique “been-there / done-that” perspective and invaluable insight for early-stage startups. Here are 10 wildly successful startups and one valuable lesson we can take away from each:
Lesson 1: Target several Niches
Kaltura is an open-source video platform for managing, publishing & distributing video content. The platform successfully targets & caters to several niches: 1) enterprise, 2) education, 3) media and more. Kaltura has built specific features & functions tailored to the needs of each of these sectors and is being used by 300,000 enterprise, education & media organizations, including Groupon, Bank of America, Harvard & HBO. Having recently raised $25 million, this startup’s success illustrates the importance of “targeting several Niches”. Don’t target everyone, but select a few key niches and master them first, before you try others.
Lesson 2: Offer Personalization
Pandora is a personalized music-recommendation service which tailors stations to suit a listener’s music taste and relies on feedback about songs & artists. By providing a personalized listening experience, individuals enjoy music selected just for them, which gives users a unique experience, a feeling that they matter, and most of all, deep brand loyalty. Pandora is expected to raise $231 million in the sale of 10 million shares.
Lesson 3: Put end-users in control
Taboola, which is at a revenue run rate of $100 million (with only 120 employees), one of the highest revenue generating companies per employee in the world–is a content-discovery platform that recommends video and other content that users are likely to be interested in based on the content they’re currently viewing. While not the only content-recommendation platform, Taboola has decided to take a forward-looking approach of democratizing recommended content by putting control in the hands of end-users.
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