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10 Highly Successful Online Startups To Inspire Your Business

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10 Highly Successful Online Startups To Inspire Your Business

It’s the age of Internet. Everyone is online–your parents, your uncle, your cousin from farms and even people you think you know but you’re confusing with someone else. Consumers, agents, producers are endangered species and the tedious hours of browsing through bazaars are gone. It’s certainly easier to move your pointers through the lengths of screen than to move your tired legs in the crowded market, right?

So, the trends are changing and people are tweeting. Internet is no longer ‘the next big thing’, it is “the big thing” now.  Since everything happens on the internet these days, it will be a logical and far sighted decision to put your business online.

If you want to take your business online but you do not have sufficient experience or for some reasons your online business is not taking off as you expected to, you can follow the examples of the below mentioned successful online startup companies who shine like Venus in this vague glitz of the Internet.

1. Kaltura

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    Founded In: 2006

    Founded By: Ron Yekutiel, Shay David, Michal Tsur, and Eran Etam

    Kaltura is an open source software company established in 2006. The company allows publishers and content owners to publish, manage, monetize and analyze their video and other rich-media content. Kaltura’s Online Video Platform is based on software, enabling any site to add advanced video and rich-media capabilities.

    Kaltura was originally based on collaborative Wiki model but later decided to provide an open source video platform focusing universities, media companies and service providers.

    Having already raised more than $25 million dollars in funding, Kaltura teaches online entrepreneurs to target a handful of niches and master them with care and passion.

    2. Taboola

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      Founded In: 2007

      Founded By: Adam Sigdola

      Enough with shoes, shirts and flower bouquets, we are going to market web contents. With this quirky idea, Taboola has managed a revenue run rate of $250 million.

      What is amazing about Taboola is that it has only 120 employees and yet it has managed to attract high profile clients like BBC, USA Today and Boston Globe.

      Taboola is the best content marketing platform on the internet. It provides a web widget to content creators on their website which links to additional similar posts, photos and videos.

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      Recently, Taboola announced that it was serving 150 billion recommendations to 400 million unique users.

      3. Imgur

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        Founded In: 2009

        Founded By: Alan Schaaf

        Imgur, pronounced “Imager” is an online image sharing and hosting community.

        The site was initially developed by Alan Schaaf as a side project while he attended Ohio University for Computer Science. Originally, it was intended as a gift to online community Reddit but the site took off from its startup seeing the number of views go up to millions from thousands in matter of months.

        In 2012, there were 300 million images uploaded, 364 billion image views counted, and 42 petabytes of data transferred. In April 2014, Imgur received a funding of $40 million USD from investor Andreessen Horowitz.

        4. ShoeDazzle

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          Founded In: 2009

          Founded By: Brian S. Lee, Robert Shapiro, M.J. Eng and Kim Kardashian

          ShoeDazzle is a personalized online styling platform and store. It helps woman discover and buy shoes, accessories and apparels. ShoeDazzle has seen a meteoric rise since its launch. The company boasts 13 million members.

          Days were not always this sunny for ShoeDazzle. Back in 2011, the company completely dumped its hugely popular and successful models.

          The company never gave up despite minor bumps. The company kept faith in e-commerce and since restructuring its e-commerce software model in 2011, the company has never looked back.

          5. LCDcycle

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            Founded In: 2013

            Founded By: Chris Koerner

            What is broken that cannot be fixed? Plenty of frustrated gadget users are going to come up with the answer of the broken screens. If you are thinking of giving up on your beloved phone then do consult LCDCycle.

            LCDcycle repairs smartphone screens. They prevent myriads of smartphones from being dumped into trashes. Their business is also a wholesale of smartphone parts to repair shops.

            A true pioneer of the smart phone repairs, Chirs Koerner deserted the traditional ways and took his business online.

            Innovative and “green”, LCDcycles has managed to attract high profile publications like CNET, Mashable and Gizmodo.

            The company has managed to acquire a funding of more than $60 million and new users are signing each day for their personal showroom curated to their indicated fashion preferences.

            6. Voxy

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              Founded In: 2010

              Founded By: Paul Gollash and Gregg Carey

              There are thousands of language learning apps on the market so why does Voxy stand out? Because Voxy helps learning English through small practical lessons that can be implemented in real lives.

              With the advanced propriety technology, Voxy could have easily expanded its services to other languages but it stuck to its purpose. The company has developed a loyal fanbase of English learners.

              The app boasts 3 million users and more than $15 million USD in funding.

              7. Javelin

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                Founded In: 2010

                Founded By: Trevor Owens and Grace Ng

                Owens and Grace were both working on their own startups hoping something would spark their business. They had a hefty load of their own startups on their heads already and what did they decide? To work on their idea of a full time company to help aspiring entrepreneurs turn their concepts into a business.

                Since the startup, they have hosted numerous workshops to help aspiring entrepreneurs achieve their dreams and make serious money on the side.

                The company has already hosted educational workshops in more than 200 cities of the world and they have an ambitious plan of extending it to 600 by next year.

                They help entrepreneurs in different stages of their business, from sending money abroad to completing all the legalities. Whether you are an aspiring entrepreneur who wants to start a new business or an already established one looking for a trial on new ideas without wasting your precious bucks, Javelin will always be there to help you.

                8. Getaround

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                  Founded In: 2010

                  Founded By: Sam Zaid, Jessica Scorpio and Elliot Kroo

                  Your uncle might lend you his lawnmower, if you are close enough with your cousin, he might lend you his car. What will a complete stranger give to you? Nothing, but that was until Getaround came into existence.

                  If you are looking for a car to rent or otherwise make some extra cash renting the car you’re not using, join the community of more than 200,000 Getaround members, your life will surely be easier.

                  The lenders who do not want renters to have the access of a key, there is also an option for renters to open the car door without a key. This is made possible by Getaround.

                  This awesome startup company which offers a simple life hack has already received $19 million USD in seed funding.

                  9. Prismatic

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                    Founded In: 2012 for web browsers and iphones, 2013 for ipads

                    Founded By: Bradford Cross and Aria Haghighi

                    People can do three main things on Prismatic: Tell the service what topics they are interested in and which people they want to follow; read and look at the suggested articles and photos; and share content back to those topics.

                    Before they became mobile app magnates, Cross was a head of research in Flightcaster and Haghighi was a mathematician who studied natural language programming and they decide to do a news aggregator app startup and guess what?-  They have 25,000 weekly users and $16.5 million in funding now.

                    The secret of the meteoric rise of Prismatic lies in the collaborative environment the company has managed to create for its employees. The engineers responsible work very closely with designers, researchers and the whole team.

                    Bradford Cross, the founder and the CEO learnt in details about the nuances of intricacies of design so that he could apply it in his startup and he sure is effective in what he’s doing. The company has however closed its consumer-facing apps since December 2015 and now solely focuses on its machine learning algorithms, which it intends to make available to hedge funds and publishers.

                    10. Bloomboard

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                      Founded In: 2010

                      Founded By: Eric Dunn and Jason Lange

                      Dunn and Lange were a bunch of teaching aficionados. Dunn dedicated a full decade of his life building adaptive learning management systems while Lange sided with education focused non-profit organization.

                      When they were introduced to each other by a mutual friend, it was like the world was set right for them. They were both searching for professional development based solution for teachers as they believed the teacher was the major driving force for the productivity of children.

                      When they decided to take on the internet, they were only equipped with their experience and a rough prototype. They were like two hikers who were on an expedition of the unexplored hills.

                      Bloomboard is a work of art by the duo. It combines technology and the skills of educating. Bloomboard offers “Click to Schedule” option which saves lengthy paper works while organizing evaluator notes. Because of the quality of its innovation, it was able to attract big giants like Gates Foundation and Birchmere ventures. Bloomboard has managed to secure $5 million in funding.

                      Featured photo credit: YouTube via i.ytimg.com

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                      Nabin Paudyal

                      Co-Founder, Siplikan Media Group

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                      Last Updated on August 25, 2021

                      Why Personal Branding Is Important to Your Career

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                      Why Personal Branding Is Important to Your Career

                      As a recruiter, I have met and interviewed hundreds of candidates who have no idea who they are.

                      Without a personal brand, candidates struggle to answer the question: “tell me about yourself—who are you?” They have no idea about who they are, what their strengths are, and how they can add value to the company. They present their CV’s believing that their CV is the key to their career success. In some ways, your CV still has its use. However, in today’s job market, you need more than a CV to stand out in a crowd.

                      According to Celinne Da Costa:[1]

                      “Personal brand is essentially your golden ticket to networking with the right people, getting hired for a dream job, or building an influential business.” She believes that “a strong personal brand allows you to stand out in an oversaturated marketplace by exposing desired audiences to your vision, skillset, and personality in a way that is strategically aligned with your career goals.”

                      A personal brand opens up your world to so many more career opportunities that you would never have been exposed to with just your CV.

                      What Is Your Personal Brand?

                      “Personal branding is how you distinctively market your uniqueness.” —Bernard Kelvin Clive

                      Today, the job market is very competitive and tough. Having a great CV will only let you go so far because everyone has a CV, but no one else has your distinct personal brand! It is your personal brand that differentiates you from everyone else and that is what people buy—you.

                      Your personal brand is your mark on the world. It is how people you interact with and the world see you. It is your legacy—it is more important than a business brand because your personal brand lasts forever.

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                      I have coached people who have very successful careers, and they come to me because they have suddenly found that they are not getting the opportunities or having the conversations that would them to their next role. They are having what I call a “career meltdown,” all because they have no personal brand.

                      A personal brand helps you become conscious of your differences and your uniqueness. It allows you to position yourself in a way that makes you stand out from the pack, especially among other potential job applicants.

                      Don’t get me wrong, having a great CV and a great LinkedIn profile is important. However, there are a few steps that you have to take to have a CV and LinkedIn profile that is aligned to who you are, the value you offer to the market, and the personal guarantee that you deliver results.

                      Building your personal brand is about strategically, creatively, and professionally presenting what makes you, you. Knowing who you are and the value you bring to the table enables you to be more informed, agile, and adaptable to the changing dynamic world of work. This is how you can avoid having a series of career meltdowns.

                      Your Personal Brand Is Essential for Your Career Success

                      In her article, Why Personal Branding Is More Important Than Ever, Caroline Castrillon outlines key reasons why a personal brand is essential for career success.

                      According to Castrillon,[2]

                      “One reason is that it is more popular for recruiters to use social media during the interview process. According to a 2018 CareerBuilder survey, 70% of employers use social media to screen candidates during the hiring process, and 43% of employers use social media to check on current employees.”

                      The first thing I do as a recruiter when I want to check out a candidate or coaching client is to look them up on LinkedIn or other social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Your digital footprint is the window that highlights to the world who you are. When you have no control over how you want to be seen, you are making a big mistake because you are leaving it up to someone else to make a judgment for you as to who you are.

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                      As Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, once said, “Your brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room.”

                      In her book, Becoming, Michelle Obama writes about the importance of having a personal brand and her journey to defining her personal brand. She wrote that:

                      “if you don’t get out there and define yourself, you’ll be quickly and inaccurately defined by others.”

                      When you have a personal brand, you are in control. You know exactly what people will say about you when you leave the room.

                      The magic of a personal brand is that gives you control over how you want to be seen in the world. Your confidence and self-belief enable you to leverage opportunities and make informed decisions about your career and your future. You no longer experience the frustrations of a career meltdown or being at a crossroads not knowing what to do next with your career or your life. With a personal brand, you have focus, clarity, and a strategy to move forward toward future success.

                      Creating your personal brand does not happen overnight. It takes a lot of work and self-reflection. You will be expected to step outside of your comfort zone not once, but many times.

                      The good news is that the more time you spend outside of your comfort zone, the more you will like being there. Being outside of your comfort zone is where you can test the viability of and fine-tune your personal brand.

                      5 Key Steps to Creating Your Personal Brand

                      These five steps will help you create a personal brand that will deliver you the results you desire with your career and in life.

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                      1. Set Your Personal Goals

                      What is it that you want to do in the next five years? What will your future self be doing in the next five to ten years? What is important to you? If you can answer these questions, then you are on the right path. If not, then you have to start thinking about them.

                      2. Create Your Unique Value Proposition

                      Create your unique value proposition by asking yourself these four questions:

                      1. What are your personality features? What benefit do you offer people?
                      2. Who are you and why do people enjoy working with you?
                      3. What do you do and what do people want you to do for them? How do you solve their problems?
                      4. What makes you different from others like you?

                      The answers to these questions will give you the information you need to create your professional story, which is the key step to creating your personal brand.

                      3. Write Your Professional Story

                      Knowing who you are, what you want, and the unique value you offer is essential to you creating your professional story. People remember stories. Your personal story incorporates your value proposition and tells people who you are and what makes you unique. This is what people will remember about you.

                      4. Determine Which Platforms Will Support Your Personal Brand

                      Decide which social media accounts and online platforms will best represent your brand and allow you to share your voice. In a professional capacity, having a LinkedIn profile and a CV that reflects your brand is key to your positioning in relation to role opportunities. People will be connecting with you because they will like the story you are telling.

                      5. Become Recognized for Sharing Your Knowledge and Expertise

                      A great way for you to promote yourself is by sharing knowledge and helping others. This is where you prove you know your stuff and you gain exposure for doing so. You can do this through social media, writing, commenting, video, joining professional groups, networking, etc. Find your own style and uniqueness and use it to attract clients, the opportunities, or the jobs you desire.

                      The importance of having a personal brand is not going to go away. In fact, it is the only way where you can stand out and be unique in a complex changing world of work. If you don’t have a personal brand, someone will do it for you. If you let this happen, you have no control and you may not like the story they create.

                      Standing out from others takes time and investment. Most people cannot make the change by themselves, and this is where engaging a personal brand coach is a viable option to consider.

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                      As a personal brand coach, working with my clients to create their personal brand is my passion. I love the fact that we can work together to create a personal story that defines exactly what people will say when you leave the room.

                      Other People’s Stories

                      Listening to other people’s stories is a great way to learn. In his article, 7 TED Talks About Personal Branding, Rafael Dos Santos presents the best Ted Talks where speakers share their stories about the “why,” “what,” and “how” of personal branding.((GuidedPR: 7 TED Talks About Personal Branding))

                      Take some time out to listen to these speakers sharing their stories and thoughts about personal branding. You will definitely learn so much about how you can start your journey of defining yourself and taking control of your professional and personal life.

                      Your personal brand, without a doubt, is your secret weapon to your career success. As Michelle Obama said,

                      “your story is what you have, what you will always have. It is something to own.”

                      So, go own your story. Go on the journey to create your personal brand that defines who you are, highlights your uniqueness, and the value you offer to the world.

                      Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com

                      Reference

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