4 Things All Start-ups Can Learn from Big Companies
You might think that you shouldn’t be going after the big guns in business just yet and you’re probably right, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be learning from the things they’ve done in the past and the steps they’ve taken to success.
Innovate and Imitate
Amazon, ask most people what it’s the name of and the chances are that they won’t think of the world’s largest rainforest, they’ll think of the world’s largest ecommerce site. Strange to realise that when Jeff Bezos founded the company in the early nineties there were few who thought the idea had much potential. Bezos foresaw the growth of the internet, he saw what others didn’t and he saw the need to plan for change. Amazon’s ability to change its infrastructure to ensure its continued relevance to the market is one of its key strengths, but hand in hand with its ability to innovate is its deft use of imitation. Amazon took the USPS’s postal service model and created its own delivery service by putting self-service lockers near convenience stores. Sometimes, innovation means looking at what’s already available and adapting it.
It was Silicon Valley which pioneered the idea of co-working spaces and sharing ideas but it was eBay which put the practice at the heart of its business. Like Amazon, eBay was founded in the nineties and again, like Amazon, it is now a multi-billion-dollar business with a global span. Its unique model for creating a community of buyers and sellers is based on collaboration. Its use of API has enabled it to manage a huge volume of transactions on multiple platforms. Vendors communicate directly with the eBay database in XML format where ‘your application can provide a custom interface, functionality and specialized operations not otherwise afforded by the eBay interface’. API’s enable start-ups to develop quickly by providing routines, protocols and tools to enable capabilities such as payments and analytics.
Why Investing in an App is Important
hungryhouse is a UK business built on an app. Originally launched on a website in 2006, hungryhouse would not have achieved its success without its now ubiquitous app. Partnered with over ten thousand restaurants its app enables customers to enter a postcode, browse their local takeaway choices, read reviews, order and pay on line. It’s the ultimate convenience app. It delivers choice, information and the hungry, tired customer gets a meal delivered to their door. As lifestyles get busier and busier, consumers are attracted to those businesses which make their life easier and more convenient.
Offer a Unique Service
Uber is a convenience service like hungryhouse, and like hungryhouse it offers a unique service. Founded as recently as 2009, Uber is one of the fastest growing companies in the world with an estimated revenue of ten billion dollars per year. A taxi service may not strike you as unique but this is an example of imitate and innovate because what Uber offers is taxi service which is far more convenient to the user. It connects passengers and drivers. Its app allows you to monitor when your taxi will arrive which is a much, much better experience than standing in the rain and hoping. It also allows you to rate your driver, thus building in a quality assurance absent from the usual taxi experience.