The first step into every venture is an idea. But just having a good idea doesn’t mean your business or service will grow and be successful. With more than a dozen popping up every day in the US alone it’s plain to see that the ones who plan ahead have the best chance of surviving. From a startup launching till it becomes solvent there are now plenty of people around who can help you out. A ton of things can change from the time you begin until the time you have a successful company on your hands. Let’s explore the journey of 5 startups in the US that have not only thrived but changed their respected industries.
Love it or hate it, use it or not it is an undeniable fact that Facebook has changed the world. It was started by Mark Zuckerberg (19 at the time) as an internal site for the students of Harvard University. Soon it spread across other universities and gained immense popularity. After a successful round of fundraising, Facebook reaches 1 million users in 2004, and just 2 years later allows everyone to join, as long as you have a valid email address. After that, the site goes through constant UX changes and tweaks to better cater to the audience that uses it. It has seen constant growth and reached its 1 billionth user in late 2012.
Eventually, Facebook acquired Instagram and WhatsApp further cementing its dominance in the social media landscape.
The idea started from a simple enough place, there was a conference in San Francisco and most hotels were fully booked. So Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia decided to rent out three airbeds on their floor and make whoever rented them breakfast. It wasn’t all smooth sailing from there tho, they realized that most of their renters, who were located in New York didn’t really make their rooms/apartments look good. So many potential customers choose to avoid the service altogether.
Things soon changed tho, because in the following three months Airbnb hired professional photographers to better showcase the apartments, and the whole thing took off into the $10 billion dollar industry it is today, changing how entire cities work.
This has to be the most insane story so far. It goes like this, back in 2001 Elon Musk traveled to Russia to buy some intercontinental ballistic missile, as one does. It wasn’t done with some nefarious intentions behind it, Elon simply wanted to use his fortune to deliver some plants or mice to Mars and have them safely back n Earth. After the business meeting went sour the billionaire founder of Tesla realized that if he wanted to achieve this he would have to build them himself.
Some 19 years later SpaceX delivered two NASA scientists, Bob Behnken and Doug Hurlet, via their Falcon 9 rocket into space. While not a public company yet SpaceX is currently valued at $74 billion dollars, and will most likely change how we go into stars forever.
It all started in 2008 when 2 friends(Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp) at a LeWeb conference complained about finding a cab. Just 2 years later the test ran 3 Uber cars in New York City, and it was used exclusively via an iPhone app. This approach was incredibly popular and soon spread across the US. It went through 3 rounds of funding and is now valued at about $17 billion dollars.
Although the driver on-demand market is now not exclusively Ubers domain, there’s no denying the impact it had on the way people get around.
When a macaroon store asked the help of 4 Stanford students to make more efficient deliveries is when the idea of DoorDash began. It first started as Palo alto delivery in California and most of its customers were students but soon spread well beyond. When the company committed to providing hand sanitizers and gloves for its delivery drivers for free during the 2020 pandemic as well as a contactless delivery option the company became the fastest growing delivery service in the US.
With an estimated worth of $16 billion dollars, the company will soon become the biggest food delivery service in the US and change the way people not only order but deliver food as well.
What’s clear for all of these successful companies is the vision and implementation their founders had. With over 90% of startups failing when you start your business having a clear path isn’t enough, you need to have good qualified people around you that can help make it a reality.