This Week In Startups
This Week In Startups
Heels Up To A New App
It’s clear that women dominate the market of food and fashion apps, and another one just arrived. Shoe Addicts is like Instagram but solely (pun intended) for shoes.
This startup and its co-founders Anela Sencar and Pedja Puselja are from Croatia. With Anela’s love for shoes and Puselja’s interest in mobile networks and applications, Shoe Addicts has become their brainchild.
Similar to Instagram’s timeline is Shoe Addict’s ‘Shoeline’ – a place to view all the photos your friends took recently. People won’t ‘like’ photos, but rather give them a ‘Heel up’. Shoe Addicts features The Vitrine – it shows what shoes are popular and what photos were taken nearby. Lastly, the ‘Cities’ filter gives a preview of the latest photos taken. It allows you see all of the images sorted horizontally instead of vertically.
If the outcome of this product is measured by the amount of women that have a shoe fetish, Shoe Addicts will be wildly successful.
A New Breed Of Entrepreneurs
It turns out the Great Recession birthed a new kind of entrepreneur – one that invents out of necessity – and utilizes technology to build and launch ideas.
A similar trend occurred in the 1990s when America’s first white-collar recession turned workers into entrepreneurs in order to keep a roof over their heads. New business owners are accidental entrepreneurs, defined as “a company founder who started his or her small business out of pure necessity rather than a lifelong dream of ‘being their own boss.’”
What else is mixed into this new breed? Well, technology is a huge factor. It’s clear that many people, not just entrepreneurs, are connected and tech-savvy. Forrester Consulting research shows that small businesses with 10-49 employees are especially “aggressively leveraging technology and poised for explosive growth.” They’re optimistic, too: 75% project revenue will grow more than 10% in the next two years. 46% plan to double their number of employees.
It seems that the ideal recipe for new entrepreneurs is pursuing sound business principles while taking advantage of tech innovations, as well as being ready to scale.
So you think you know what it’s like to be a lean entrepreneur? Check out how aspiring entrepreneur Kurt Varner is bootstrapping out of his car.
Newly married Varner has chosen to live out of his Honda Civic in Palo Alta, California. Until his wife is done teaching third grade for the year, he is going it alone. He pays $39 a month for membership and a 24-hour gym where he showers and brushes his teeth.
Leigh Buchanan, the woman covering Varner’s story, says living out of a car is “extreme but not unreasonable”. Varner quit his job as a flight-test engineer at Edwards Air Force Base because, as he says, “I wanted to do something I was passionate about.” About moving to Silicon Valley, he said, “I just had to be here.”
His product is called DailyToaster, which started as an iPhone alarm clock that could only be dismissed from a computer. The current model is completely mobile and incorporates a voice greeting that informs users of the date, temperature, traffic conditions, calendar appointments, and number of digital communications received overnight.
Now that he has met a technical co-founder, Varner is committed to life in the car. His attitude remains optimistic, and he exclaims, “What’s the worst-case scenario? I fail and can’t afford rent? I have to life in a car?” His word of advice to entrepreneurs: “People who aren’t successful yet can do anything they want.”