Building a sustainable business takes more than a good idea. Here’s what you can learn from startups that are making it big.
The path to startup success is not always a predictable one, as only 30 percent of seeded 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: Target several niches
Kaltura is an open-source video platform for managing, publishing and distributing video content. The platform successfully targets and caters to several niches: enterprise, education and media. Kaltura has built specific features and functions tailored to the needs of each of these sectors and is being used by 300,000 enterprise, education and media organizations, including Groupon, Bank of America, Harvard and 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.
Lesson: 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 and 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: Put end-users in control
Taboola, which is at a revenue run rate of $100 million–and 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.