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Innovator Blog

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Mayur Ramgir

3 Most Favorite Innovative Startups

3 Most Favorite Innovative Startups

 

This list is for you if you are looking for some inspiration for an innovative business idea or just want to stay updated with the latest market trends. Here we round up 3 of the most innovative business startups, which have emerged in the last couple of years, and have completely transformed the world we live in.

Dwolla

Dwolla is a fintech startup founded by Ben Milne. It is determined to change the way we make our payments. It has taken the concept of mobile payments to the next level. Apparently its concept design and business model looks similar to PayPal and other mobile payment transferring options. But the major difference is that Dwolla makes payments directly from the bank accounts and is avoiding payment transfers through credit cards, which means that users will not have to incur the high fees associated with the credit card transactions. Dwolla charges a minimal fee of 25 cents on each transaction, which makes it increasingly affordable for everyone. In addition to that, since Dwolla doesn’t use credit cards it implies that people will only be able to spend the amount they actually have in their accounts. Now some people might see this as a restriction, but I see it as blessing in disguise. By using no credit card policy the application is actually helping us to manage our finances.

Skillshare

Skillshare, founded by Michael Karnjanaprokor and Malcom Ong, brings innovation to the education sector. This New York based startup aims to turn everyone with knowledge and expertise into a teacher and everyone with a desire to learn into a student. The basic idea behind Skillshare’s concept is that the world is evolving at a rapid pace, which implies that what might stand true for current times might not be true few years or even few months down the line. Therefore, Karnjanaprokorn and Ong felt the need for a platform to combat outdated and irrelevant information.

Kickstarter

Kickstarter works as a blessing for potential but small business ideas. It has made the search for investors really easy and efficient. It is also a New York based startup and is founded by Perry Chen, Yancey Strickler and Charles Adler. The model of Kickstarter is based on the concept of crowdfunding. So basically your target audience and consumers decide whether your product is worth the investment or not. Kickstarter charges 5% of the total funds raised as the fee and is backed by the users from various countries including US, UK, Australia, Canada, Spain etc.

These are some of our most favorite innovative startups. Do let me know about your favorite startups in the comments below.

 

Mayur Ramgir

Innovating Without Investing Millions

Innovating Without Investing Millions

It is quite obvious that in today’s time and age if you are not innovative enough you will definitely be left behind. In order to sustain your clientele, your image, your company’s growth and progress, you must have the ability to come up with innovative ideas and solutions.

When we talk about being innovative, what we really mean is that we have to figure out a way of doing something which is one of its kind. Several companies tend to shy away from trying out something which has never been done before because the fear of risking it all for nothing is too big. Nobody wants to invest millions into rolling out an idea which brings you zero profit.

So, can companies be innovative without having to necessarily spend millions on trial projects?

Yes, they can!

 

Shifting the Focus:

When we talk about a company’s assets, we do not always mean its monetary assets.

In terms of being innovative, the biggest asset any company has is its pool of talented employees! Instead of investing large sums of money into projects you are not even sure how they would turn out, a better idea would be to shift the focus from there to training the promising employees.

There are so many companies out there that can help train the employees of any organization and get them to think more creatively, more innovatively. So why not invest some money there, get your employees on the right track so they can generate innovative, creative ideas? The generated ideas can then be turned into something of value.

Think of it like innovation through education.

You can make the process even more cost-effective by selecting the right employees who already have a good set of skills and experience to boot in the first place. Hire smart people from the very beginning. They would not even need that much training and still be able to come up with innovative strategies.

Companies can make innovation a budget friendly process by training their pool of talented employees accordingly. Special attention should be given to selecting the right kind of workshops and seminars which would prove to be the most beneficial for the employees attending them.

Since there is so much development that is happening in almost every field today, these training programs should be made somewhat of a regular component of the company’s activities. This way whatever recent trends, developments etc. are happening, the information regarding them can be provided to the employees in question, in a timely manner.

It is important that whatever knowledge is being imparted through these training workshops, courses and seminar should be maintained. Organizations should see to it that they give equal opportunities to employees to provide their best, creative strategies of solving problems. They never know just which idea might just end up being their best, most profitable one.

Mayur Ramgir

3 mistakes most people make when it comes to innovative ideas

3 mistakes most people make when it comes to innovative ideas

 

Innovation is one of the best approaches for success in the world of business. Any company or person that can innovate and come up with something better than the current best has an easy path to success. However, there have been many innovative companies that ended up failing. Not because they innovated, but because they approached innovative ideas in the wrong way. Let’s look at the 3 most common mistakes people make.

Mistake #1 : Not caring about the Price

One big problem that many innovative companies have is that they don’t do a cost/benefit analysis from the point of view of customers. A product doesn’t just have to be innovative; it also has to justify its price. Even if your product is more innovative than what is available in the market right now, and provides more benefits, people will not buy the product if the price is too high. Internet of Things products are a great example of this. Something like a thermostat with smart features can cost more than 300 US dollars. People love the options of smart thermostats, but not many of them will be willing to drop 300 dollars on it.

Mistake #2 : Ignoring Optics

‘Optics’ is a term that is normally used in the world of politics. Optics refers to the way something makes you look. An idea may be perfectly good and beneficial, but it may still look bad. A great example of this is Segway. Before Segway was launched there was a lot of hype for it. The company was supposed to revolutionize the way people travelled. There were dreams that the whole world will give up on walking and instead start using Segways. A Segway is a very convenient product and it is brilliantly engineered as well.  Yet, arguing against people walking was just bad optics, especially when obesity is such a big problem. People were worried about being judged for using a Segway, and the company wasn’t able to reach any of its sales targets.

Mistake #3 : Disregarding societal norms

An innovative product will fail if it makes people feel uncomfortable. Google Glass is a great example of this. Google Glass, wearable glasses that overlaid information over the real world, was a very innovative product. It was a new technology that could be used conveniently. It wasn’t expensive either. Yet there was a huge backlash – not by consumers, but by other people. Someone wearing Google Glasses could discreetly take pictures or make videos. This made people mistrust Google Glass users. A term was even coined for people wearing Google Glasses – Gl***hole. The product ended up being discontinued.

Think of your innovative idea like a piece of the puzzle that you need to fit into people’s lives. It doesn’t just have to attach with their life on one side – it has to be the right shape to fit in on all sides. If your innovative idea is too expensive, makes the user feel uncomfortable, or even makes others uncomfortable, it may never succeed.

 

Mayur Ramgir

Social Innovation: Building Stronger & Sustainable Societies

Social Innovation: Building Stronger & Sustainable Societies

We are living in the era of innovation, where more and more people are realizing their potential to be an innovator. The best part about being alive in these times is the way we are witnessing the expanding and evolving definition of innovation. It is a term no longer limited to the area of science or technology. It has become a term with boarder meaning and an even broader application. The concept and idea of social innovation is a testimony to this truth.

Social innovation involves creating or introducing an idea or concept that is bound to have a positive impact on the society. It is usually an initiative that ultimately raises the standard of living not just for an individual but for a certain community or the whole world. These are the ideas conceived and implemented by people concerned about the greater good.

Despite being a derivative term, social innovation itself has a broad definition and application. From an app that allows self-learning to homes with zero carbon emission, to the app you use to keep track of your daily tasks, all such projects come under the definition of social innovation. However, the most appropriate definition of social innovation is ideas that enhance society’s capability to improve or to empower it to resolve its problems.

In one form or another, social innovation has remained a strong force in changing societies for centuries. No matter which definition you go by, even industrialization is a huge example of social innovation. However, innovation today doesn’t occur on a scale as big as revolutions, reforms, and movements. Yet, it has the capability of spreading on a much faster pace. One thing that has remained the same, however, is the process of how it happens.

Social innovations are always sparked when a person or a group of person realize the need for a change. There is always a need that remains unmet just because nothing has been done about it, or there could be a need that is met but the current solution is not efficient or sustainable enough. For instance, if the current education system is able to educate 10 children, there can be a way to educate 30 within the same time and resources.

Education, healthcare, fair trade, and sustainable housing are just some of the areas where social innovation is making its mark. Since it takes deep understanding of the problem and the shortcomings of existing solution to come up with an effective alternate, there is a dire need to empower people living in societies that need innovation and enable them to be social innovators.

 

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