Fab was a company that you might remember seeing ads for everywhere around 2012, including TV commercials. It’s that heavy spending on marketing that helped doom the company, along with rapid expansion and other problems. The site still exists under new owners, but the company that started it was once a startup worth $1 billion. Two years later, it was dead. What happened? [More]
If you haven’t yet tried the meal kit service Blue Apron, you’ve probably read about it somewhere, or seen one of its many, many ads online or on TV. Yet who is on the other end of the transaction, making sure that you have your tiny bag of cilantro and packing the ice with your catfish filets? An army of blue-collar workers in one of three chilly warehouses make these meal boxes happen. [More]
The news went out around December: a startup in Seattle would give engaged couples loans for their weddings, and some couples receive $10,000 toward their wedding expenses with no obligation to pay it back… for as long as the couple stays together. Then it abruptly changed the entire business model when it launched. [More]
Quirky began in 2009 as a community where anyone could design a product and get paid once it went to market. This led to easily-mockable products like piggy banks and egg trays that connect to your smartphone, but also some valid products, like the Pivot Power power strip. The company is selling its Wink smart-home connection system for $15 million, and also plans to sell off its name and maybe even its product-development and the community that goes with it. [More]
From books to mini-tanks, Amazon might be a one-stop-online-shop for just about anything consumers could desire, and with the unveiling of its new platform, Launchpad, the e-tailer is now gunning to be the one-stop-marketing-and-distribution center for startups. [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.
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.
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.