If you’ve been hearing startup companies throw around phrases like, “We’re the Uber of [insert industry that is not ride-hailing]!” or “Our service functions just like the Airbnb of [another industry that is not renting out rooms to strangers]!” you’re not alone. A recent analysis of language used by startups to describe their businesses show that a lot of them are hitching their apple carts to those brands’ rising stars. [More]
People and journalists often compare new products and services to an existing company that does something similar. “It’s a StitchFix for umbrellas,” you might say about a new venture. “It’s like GrubHub, but for freshly-prepared cat meals. It’s Netflix for woodworking tutorials.” A few startups have launched a new business model that could actually work: they’re like Uber, but for snow plows and lawn care. [More]
What if there were an AirBNB for cars? FlightCar is a startup that aims to connect lonely cars in long-term airport parking with travelers in need of short-term wheels. This seems like a great idea….except, like many “sharing economy” businesses, it’s a great idea until something goes wrong. Just ask reader Evan. [More]
Sure, there are Netflix-style rental services where you can rent designer dresses and accessories by mail, but would you swap toys with strangers by post? A few recent startups are betting that you will, at least to try out new and pricey toys before buying them, or to reduce clutter. [More]
The trouble with traditional disc-based data storage products is they decay over time, potentially allowing information that isn’t backed up to vanish. A startup, working with LG, plans to rectify the problem with a disc that promises to etch data in virtual stone. [More]
John can’t understand how Wachovia charged his startup $12 in fees for failing to maintain a minimum balance when his company never opened an account with Wachovia in the first place. Apparently, his former bank manager decamped to Wachovia and, without his permission, opened a new account “to ensure certain money rates,” whatever that means. John isn’t mad, and the bank manager agreed to close the account, but John is a little worried because a collections agency has started calling and the account now lists $24.05 in fees.