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10 Highly Successful Online Startups To Inspire Your Business

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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                      Co-Founder, Siplikan Media Group

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                      Published on September 18, 2018

                      17 Proven Tactics for Motivating Employees and Building a Stronger Team

                      17 Proven Tactics for Motivating Employees and Building a Stronger Team

                      Have there been instances when you noted a drop in your team’s productivity or observed a behavioral change in someone who used to be an excellent performer?

                      Before you blame the team for not being motivated enough or worse still, choose to ignore these warning signs, look inwards and ask yourself if YOU are doing enough to keep your team motivated in the first place.

                      Motivating employees is extremely crucial. As the leader of the pack, it is your responsibility to ensure each and every member of your team feels valued, driven and motivated.

                      After all, you cannot expect a bunch of disengaged and demotivated people to deliver results and grow your business, can you?

                      Here are 17 surefire tactics for motivating your employees and building a productive team:

                      1. Show your appreciation

                      In the whole race to achieve external business goals, leaders often forget to value their most important assets — their employees.

                      The least you can do to boost performance and morale is to appreciate your employees, recognize their efforts and give them credit when it is due.

                      Whether it’s sending a personalized note, recognizing achievements publicly during team huddles or even rewarding top performers at the end of every month, you will be surprised to see how these small acts of appreciation can go a long way.

                      2. Communicate effectively

                      Effective communication can do wonders in motivating employees. Who is a strong communicator? Someone who knows what they are talking about and are able to convey their message accurately.

                      Communication is a lot more than just language and talking. Factors such as eye contact, active listening, hand gestures and postures also say a lot about a person’s communication skills.

                      3. Be open to dialogue

                      Gone are the days when leading through fear and putting on the tough, distant leader act would work.

                      New age leadership is all about instilling trust by being accessible and encouraging discussions. Your team needs to feel comfortable speaking to you and you need to set the tone for such a camaraderie.

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                      In spite of having a busy schedule, you can still show you care through simple, effective acts.

                      For instance, having an open door policy, showing genuine interest while interacting with your employees or even greeting your team members helps breaking barriers and projects you as an accessible leader.

                      4. Provide constructive criticism

                      Giving negative feedback is always tricky — you don’t want to hurt feelings nor do you want the feedback to be taken lightly.

                      So, what do you do? The idea is to offer criticism such that it inspires change and delivers results.

                      Firstly, take criticism behind closed doors because nothing breaks self esteem the way calling out employees in public does.

                      Have a one-on-one discussion with the concerned person and make your feedback very specific. Be clear about your expectations and offer guidance on how they can improve.

                      Most importantly, give them the chance to explain their side of the story too instead of jumping to conclusions.

                      5. Conduct one-on-ones

                      Yes, you conduct weekly meetings with the team but how well do you know them on a personal level?

                      While you may think this isn’t an important practice to follow, it is one of the best ways to engage with your employees and identify what drives them.

                      Conduct a one-one-one session every month and use it to understand how your employees are doing and if they are facing any roadblocks.

                      More than reviewing performances, consider this as a relationship building tool to ensure you are aligned with your team and are working towards a shared, common goal.

                      6. Build training programs

                      In this ever-changing business landscape, it is important to ensure your employees are updated with the latest, relevant skills that can help boost productivity and performance.

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                      From imparting technical and soft skills to offering mentoring programs – investing in training and development significantly helps in motivating employees and keeps the learning going.

                      While conducting training programs, remember to keep them engaging and interactive. They need to ultimately drive value and reinforce learnings.

                      7. Offer growth opportunities

                      Every employee envisions a different career path for themselves and demotivation strikes the day they feel they have reached stagnation. As a leader, you need to first be aligned with their goals and offer ample growth opportunities that constantly keeps them engaged and motivated.

                      Growth opportunities go beyond just financial growth. While money is a huge driving factor, what makes most people tick is making progress in the company and going up the career ladder.

                      Being faced with new challenges and responsibilities lets them push the envelope and broaden their knowledge and skills.

                      8. Reward them

                      Go beyond verbal recognition and reward employees for their notable work. You can start an incentive program and reward top performers. This ensures increased productivity and brings out the best in them.

                      If you don’t have enough budgets for that, you can also reward top performers with movie tickets, a paid vacation or something as simple as giving them the option to work from home.

                      Rewarding employees promotes healthy competition and motivates them while meeting business goals.

                      9. Encourage team outings

                      Employee motivation also stems from how connected the team is. Invest time in team building because a team that works collaboratively is likely to deliver better results.

                      From bowling nights to hosting team dinners – team outings are a great way to get to know each other and bond. Assign someone from your team to be in charge of organizing these monthly outings and make sure you join them too!

                      10. Involve them

                      Involve your employees in decision making because when they are involved, they feel more valued and part of a larger cause.

                      Seek your team’s opinion and encourage healthy debates within the team. This boosts employee morale and challenges them to work harder as they know they are in a position to make an impact and will be taken seriously.

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                      11. Set meaningful goals

                      In the beginning of the financial year, make sure you sit down with each employee to set meaningful and realistic goals. The goal-setting conversation is an extremely crucial one and needs to be a two-way street.

                      Whether your employee feels burdened or doesn’t feel inspired enough by the assigned goals – this is the time to come to a consensus and assign goals derived from business objectives that foster individual development while keeping in mind their strengths and weaknesses.

                      12. Empower them

                      You cannot expect employees to be motivated for long if you micro manage the team and do all the talking.

                      Trust your employees and empower them to take decisions. Mistakes will happen but that is the only way they will learn.

                      Be open to discussions, delegate effectively, set your expectations and give your team the freedom to do it their way.

                      13. Deal with conflict

                      A conducive work environment is one wherein there is open communication and trust, but every once in a while, you do encounter people in the team who indulge in office politics and spread negativity.

                      How much ever fulfilled an employee feels with their work, gossiping co-workers are bound to ruin it for them. Workplace gossip if not tackled hampers productivity and soils working relations.

                      As a responsible leader, you need to maintain a conducive work environment and act as a mediator in such cases. Don’t be the leader who is locked up in his/her cabin and is unaware of what is brewing within the team.

                      14. Implement a flexible work culture

                      Flexible work cultures are a growing trend and are here to stay.

                      Whether it is offering flexible working hours or allowing employees to work from home once in a month – a flexible work culture promotes work-life balance and aids in employee satisfaction.

                      It shows that the management is sensitive to employees’ schedules and is thereby highly appreciated.

                      15. Host engaging activities

                      All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy and we cannot agree more! So, why not devote one day of the week to employee engagement activities?

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                      From hosting baking competitions to introducing wellness programs in the office – let your team have some fun beyond work. This keeps the environment engaging, light-hearted and interesting, giving them all the more reason to look forward to coming to work.

                      16. Maintain a positive work space

                      Your employees spend more than half their day at work and in order to keep them energized and motivated, it is important to maintain a positive and inspiring work space.

                      Have a recreation center where employees can unwind after a hard day’s work, offer free snacks and beverages and invest in an open office design that promotes socializing and conversations.

                      These are simple yet effective ways to create a space your employees will love coming to.

                      17. Avoid discrimination

                      Any kind of discrimination, be it due to age, gender, religion or race hugely impacts employee motivation and performance.

                      In order to avoid such cases, you must lay down rules against discrimination and take strict action against accused employees. Lead by example and make sure no one in the team is a victim of bias and discrimination.

                      The bottom line

                      Don’t underestimate the power of motivating employees. Understand that the more engaged and motivated they are, the better their performance will be.

                      It is also a good idea to send out a survey and get feedback from your employees on the company culture, work environment and their motivation levels.

                      This will help you be more aligned with their expectations and further improve your efforts in building a stronger, engaged team.

                      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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