This weekly quiz from YS tests your domain knowledge, business acumen, and lateral thinking skills (see the previous edition here). In this ninteenth edition of the quiz, we present five issues tackled by real-life entrepreneurs in their startup journeys.
What would you do if you were in their shoes? At the end of the quiz, you will find out what the entrepreneurs themselves actually did. Would you do things differently?
Q1: Digital, but with less fatigue
The ongoing pandemic restrictions have forced millions of people around the world to work, learn and entertain at home. However, too much screen fatigue is taking a toll as well. What’s a form of digital media that has boomed during the pandemic, but has less screen fatigue?
Q2: A barrier to doing good
Many people want to dispose of their old belongings, but are unable to find effective ways for immediate donation. Many items that are reusable also unfortunately end up in landfills. So what’s a good way to make it easier for people to donate belongings to good causes?
Q3: Beyond the ‘success trap’
Many companies have successfully dominated the market with one set of business models – but were unable to change with the times and went bust. Kodak, Borders, and Blackberry are often cited as companies who could not get past the blinders of their earlier success. So which companies managed to reinvent themselves and ride new trends?
Q4: Education beyond the curriculum
The pandemic indirectly spurred the fortunes of a range of edtech startups, offering everything from online courses to virtual edutainment. It also boosted activity in another product category for children. Which category is this?
Q5: AI, ML, and cybersecurity
Digital transformation, accelerated by the pandemic, has left more users and firms open to cybersecurity risks than before. AI and ML can help analyse vast data pools, and identify patterns of behaviour underlying cyberattacks. What’s another defense AI and ML offer?
Congratulations on having come this far! But there’s more to come – answers to these five questions (below), as well as links to articles with more details on the entrepreneurs’ solutions. Happy reading, happy learning – and happy creating!
A1: Digital, but with less fatigue
“As we moved into COVID-19 induced lockdown, our lives became screen-focused and podcasts turned out to be the perfect escape in an otherwise screen-filled routine,” explains Varun Duggirala, Co-founder of The Glitch.
Podcasts provided effective content consumption but without demanding all of the user’s attention.
“The changing market dynamics pushed an entire stream of new podcasters who wanted to try this out for themselves and used the tools available online and on their phones to create content,” he observes. Read more about the podcast boom here.
A2: A barrier to doing good
Share at Door Step (SADS) is a YS 2021 Tech50 startup that makes it easy for anyone to donate their old toys, clothes, electronics and furniture and earn rewards for the donations. The app is operational for donors across 11 major cities.
“We support 120+ NGOs across India,” explains Founder Anushka Jain. The “cause-commerce platform” has logistics partners such as Dunzo, Delhivery, Blowhorn and Porter. Read more about the social and environmental contributions of this startup here.
A3: Beyond the ‘success trap’
Kodak failed to transform itself the way Fujifilm did, according to Scott Cochrane, author of Your Creative Mind: How to Disrupt Your Thinking, Abandon Your Comfort Zone, and Develop Bold New Strategies.
The “tyranny of experience” can lead to cognitive rigidity and resistance to change, Scott cautions. Other companies that successfully reinvented themselves were Target. While forming habits is useful for survival, there are times when old habits need to be abandoned, Scott advises. Read more about creativity and business reinvention here.
A4: Education beyond the curriculum
To keep the social learning process of children alive during the pandemic, parents started relying more on interactive and learning-based toys. This drove a steady increase in sales in the toy sector, explains Vick Rana, Group Chairman of arts supplier Red Ridge Global.
There have also been online toy exhibitions and innovations in interactive toys. India is one of the most rapidly growing toy markets in the world, expected to be worth up to $3 billion by 2024. Read more about the first Indian Toy Fair and online toy hackathon Toycathon here.
A5: AI, ML, and cybersecurity
“AI and ML are accelerating real-time fraud detection and greatly reducing the possibilities of false positives,” explains Anirudh Kala, Co-founder, Director, and Chief Data Scientist at Celebal Technologies.
The real-time advantage helps not just detect frauds as they are happening, but take immediate corrective action and reduce further risk. With constant training and updating, ML can get even better at predicting and eliminating cyber threats. Read more about cyber-risks and the gamechanging opportunity for cybersecurity firms here.
YS has also published the pocketbook ‘Proverbs and Quotes for Entrepreneurs: A World of Inspiration for Startups’ as a creative and motivational guide for innovators (downloadable as apps here: Apple, Android).