What makes a company thrive? Some of the fastest growing companies are looking at innovation in a new way. Here are some useful perspectives for people thinking about what kind of business they would like to start.
Help people utilize underused assets
The sharing economy is one of the fastest growing sectors in the digital world. The sharing economy brings people together to do business who might not ever have had a chance to meet each other otherwise.
Companies like Airbnb and Lyft make it possible to exploit underused assets to earn a little income. Airbnb makes it possible earn some extra money renting your home while you are on a business trip or vacation. Underemployed people with a car can make money offering rides using their car. You can make money by helping people make money deploying an underutilized asset.
Airbnb experienced huge growth between 2013 and 2014. The company saw the number of properties listed jump from 300,00 to 550,000. Over the last five years funding for the company grew by 6,000%.
Break regulatory monopolies
Monopolies are always prime targets for new companies looking to innovate. Monopolies tend to have wide margins and lack incentive to innovate. Monopolies created by government legislation tend to be even more complacent because they have government to do their enforcement for them.
A perfect example of a company that helps consumers break a government created monopoly is Uber. Uber is at war with taxi commissions in a variety of different states. The taxi cab industry has a well established lobby that is trying to block out competition from Uber. Fortunately for Uber and other similar companies there is mounting pressure from the public on elected officials to stop blocking competition.
Investors seem to believe that Uber will win out of the legacy industry. In December of 2014 Uber announced that it closed another round of financing for $1.2 billion on top of $1.5 billion the company already raised. With most recent round of fundraising the company is now valued at over $40 billion.
One of the fastest growing segments of the technology industry is websites that create transparency about how businesses operate. Websites like Angie’s list, Tripadvisor and Yelp allow consumers to make informed decisions where there had previously been a lack of information. People will support websites that help them make smart choices.
Provide on demand solutions
Businesses that provide on-demand solutions are increasingly popular because businesses and private consumers do not want to have money tied up in unnecessary equipment. Companies like Shutterfly make it easier than ever ditch expensive hardware/equipments. Shutterfly makes it possible to upload pictures and have them shipped to you.
The old saying about “build a better mouse trap and the world will beat a path to your door” is still true. But now the entrepreneur who dreams of success must look long and hard at what the consumer needs, and think of imaginative ways to meet those needs. Sometimes before the consumer even fully understands what the next thing he cannot live without actually is.