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THE UNDERRATED GENIUS ENTREPRENEURS THAT CONTRIBUTED TO THE TECH WORLD

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Launching a new business – whether it’s a small business, a tech startup or an initiative to expand a large corporation – has always been a miss or hit proposition. Anyone who starts a business applies the same decade-old formula: writing a business plan, pitching to the investors, assembling a team, introducing products, and then selling as hard as one can. In this sequence of events, chances are high to face a fatal setback. A new research by Shikar Ghosh of Harvard Business School showed that 75% of all the startups fail. With such stats, it’s fairly easy to say that the odds are rarely in your favor.

Richard’s and Greg’s research showed companies like Google, Apple, IKEA, Uber and others achieved their game-changing status by identifying needs and simplifying their easy-to-use products by paying premiums to capture the large market. Each served as an inspiration to form a new company and have only one goal in mind: to reinvent an industry that hadn’t yet been captured or modernized. For example, Shiva Shankar Patibanda – founder and CEO of VividLogic – worked with giants like Sony, Mitsubishi, Philips, Panasonic and other leading brands by defining and developing Audio Video interoperability specifications required to seamlessly transfer audio and video between different types of devices manufactured by different manufacturers. The creation of the organization Honey, an automated coupon clipping, was a result of identifying a lack of motivation by customers to search for discount coupons for Pizza Hut. Honey generates over $750 million to date. 

Failed Startups with Amazing Ideas 

The time we are living in is an age of ‘technical advancements’ due to which the global economy is getting more competitive each day. The knowledge-based approach of an entrepreneur can become the key to success. However, not every person is cut to be an entrepreneur.

Not every great innovative idea tends to be successful. The Pet.com corporation launched in 1998 was based on the premise of saving money through online shopping and paying less for pet products. The company’s site raised $80 million in funding. Their success was felt from Super Bowl to Kathy Lee to Conan and Regis. However, in 2000, the startup burned about 300 million dollars in 23 months and the site crashed. This resulted in hundreds of layoffs and the company was eventually shut down. This was an idea worth noting because it was introduced prior to the dot-com bubble burst trend. 

Another example of a great idea failure is the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon launched in 1997. The company was based on the premise of connecting with people online. The company got many honorable mentions and was followed by MySpace and Friendster. The startup was sold at $125 million, by founder Andrew Weinreich. This helped in the springboard of other successful ventures.

The Successful Startups – Honey Science and Vivid Logic Inc.

The successful tech entrepreneurs are those who design and invent. They are the tech visionaries who have created products and services that changed the world forever. Many people acquire the skills to excel in their startup ideas through their previous experiences. Shiva Shankar Patibanda founded the VividLogic Incorporation in December 1999. Shiva’s past experiences working as an engineer and architect gave him enough edge to work with leading brands of Consumer Electronic and Cable Set Top box manufacturers. He was born in Rajahmundry, India, on August 31st, 1959. He moved to Louisiana, USA to pursue his Master’s degree in Computer Science from Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge. He is most known as an entrepreneur, an advisor, investor and an executive in the Cable and Consumer Electronics industry. 

Shiva’s company VividLogic pioneered the development and implementation of interoperable standards based on IEEE 1394 (Firewire) for commercial Home Audio Video Devices, such as Digital VCR, HDTV, Audio Video HDD, Digital Cameras and Camcorders and Digital Cable STB. VividLogic’s FireBus IEEE-1394 software was deployed over 5 million HDTV from Mitsubishi Big Screen TV, Philips, Pioneer, Panasonic, Hitachi, Thomson/RCA and Samsung.  The software was also deployed in over 60 million premium Digital Cable STBs from Pace and Scientific Atlanta. His company developed and licensed the Set Top Box middleware currently deployed in over 40 million Comcast Xfinity X1 cable Set Top Boxes in the US and Canada, this software is widely accepted as the cable industries’ Reference Design Kit (RDK). 

Another great example of a successful startup is Honey Science Corporation, launched by Ryan Hudson and George Ruan in 2012. They built a prototype for browser extension in 2012. Later, a bug tester leaked the extension tool to Reddit. By 2014, they had over 900,000 organic users. In 2019, the founders rebranded the LA Clippers as ‘The Honey Training Center: Home of the LA Clippers’ after entering into a partnership with them. In 2014, Honey raised over $1.8 million in seed money, and in 2016 it raised $4 million in Series A round. By October 2017, Honey raised a $9 million Series B round. By 2018, the company raised a total of $40.8 million and in 2020, it was acquired by PayPal for about $4 billion.  

Tech Companies that Focused on Reinventing

Many startups are focusing on re-inventions because existing great products require efficient ideas to get easy access. For example, SeamlessDocs raised over $20 million by modernizing and digitizing government forms. It reduced the inefficiency in the existing procedures. Another company, Relationship Hero, was launched on the premise of giving instant relationship counseling yielding over $1 million in a matter of a year. 

Each company discussed is an inspiration to follow to form a new company. The entrepreneurs have introduced interesting products and new technologies by combining with other technologies. The only failure for an entrepreneur is in not taking risks.

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