Now that Google has reportedly agreed to buy Israeli crowd-powered navigation app Waze for $1.3 billion, many other “Silicon Wadi” startups are daring to dream big. Here are some others that could potentially follow in Waze’s footsteps:
Powermat:Battery drainage is one of the biggest problems faced by consumers as they increase their reliance on smartphones. EnterPowermat, whose wireless power solutions help millions charge their devices between home, car, and office.
Wibbitz:Wibbitz’s text-to-video platform uses advanced language processing to allow anything published online to be instantly turned into a video clip. Its publisher solution—which boasts a clientele of 50,000 websites and 17 million monthly viewers—will soon be available foriPhone.
Parko: Recent studies show that city drivers spend at least 20 minutes on average searching for a parking spot. Parko has developed a crowdsourcing solution for parking in a similar vein to Waze’s solution for traffic: It connects motorists looking for a spot with others about to leave one, while its algorithm identifies parking spots without users needing to remove their phones from their pockets.
“All the elements just seemed right with Circa—that they’re embarking on something new, that they’re trying to do something no one else has done before, and that they look at news presentation in the same way—that it’s broken—as I do, and they want to fix it. That’s something I always wanted to focus on and make something I do—it’s something I jump out of bed and think about.”
What do a startup king, a social network innovator, a hip hop prince, perhaps the best actor on television, and two absolutely hilarious dudes have in common? They’re all among the Most Creative People—and we can learn quite a bit from the way they work.
It’s only appropriate that Eric Ries is the subject of the first video for Fast Company's new series: The Pivot. He’s the author of a best-selling book, The Lean Startup, and the man who made the term “pivot” part of the business vernacular. During the course of his entrepreneurial adventures, he realized that some of the most iconic companies of our time—Twitter, YouTube, Groupon—had abruptly changed course before they achieved success. If they hadn’t, Twitter would have stuck with audio podcasting, YouTube would have been a video dating site, and Groupon would have continued organizing political protests (and you likely would have never heard of them). Virtually every startup he could think of had pivoted at one time or another. Ries’s observation quickly morphed into a kind of Moore’s Law for startups, which he believes are almost certain to change course before becoming successful.
New York City is the craziest. The fact that you can be arrested for not having a mobile food-vending badge is unbelievable. Just take a moment to think about going to jail for making an ice cream sandwich. Where does that happen? Only in New York City. We are licensed by the NYC Deptartment of Parks to vend in Central Park, and the NYPD comes almost weekly to try and shut us down. New York City has extremely strict laws, and there is a lot more vendor-versus-vendor conflict in NYC, but because there are so many people, there is also more money to be made.