December 1, 2015
If you are an entrepreneur, you have a lot to learn from other entrepreneurs. It is just a matter of finding the ones who have excelled in the area in which you could use a boost. If you do not yet have an app for your business, or the app you have is not performing up to your expectations, here are three app-centric businesses you need to study:
Uber is a company that seems to have come out of nowhere, and burst onto the scene fully formed and indispensable to millions. They called themselves a ride-sharing company, and knocked the taxi industry on its black and yellow backside. They flew in under the regulatory radars of major countries all over the world. By the time regulators got around to setting matters straight, Uber was too entrenched to easily uproot.
At the heart of it, Uber is a mapping app that enables ride-sharing. The app is everything. It allows a person to hail a ride from the app on their smartphone or Apple Watch. They can track the car as it approaches, get information on the car and driver, and confirm it is the right car before they get in. It turns everyday people into unregulated taxi drivers.
Your ambitions don’t have to be as big to still benefit from an app. If you don’t have the people to design one for you, you can use an app developer like ISBX, which makes apps for companies like Warner Bros, CW Network, and Sony pictures.
Uber understood the power of connecting people through apps. When you are ready to incorporate that lesson into your business, find a company to deliver an app worthy of your aspirations.
In America, we have a problem when it comes to entertainment. The companies who control that entertainment content are making it difficult for us to stream the content we paid for to the devices we already own. That’s where Slingbox comes in.
Slingbox is a set-top box you hook up to your cable or satellite box. It takes that content and delivers it over the web to any Slingbox app-enabled device on which you wish to view the content. There are no blackouts or restrictions. It is the TV programing you are already paying for.
The secret ingredient is the app, not the box. You hook up the box once. It is the app you interact with. The app is what turns your iPhone, iPad, and every other connected device into a portable TV. When you are away from home, or just in another room, your Slingbox app is your set-top box. They monopolize that space because they realized that apps could solve industry-created problems. If some big industry reality is keeping you down, there just might be an app for that.
It is easy to forget that Netflix started out as a DVD movie rental company. Their big idea wasn’t an app (that would come later), it was a website. Rather than open retail locations for movie rentals, they stocked a warehouse, and tapped the U.S. Postal Service as their logistical partner. Before you knew it, movie rentals by mail was born.
Netflix had one major problem to overcome. The movie rental industry was in decline. DVDs were going out of fashion. They had to find a way to deliver movies without the hassle of delivering disks. They bought the right technology and made the right deals. But there would be no Netflix as we know it today without the app.
They rode the popularity of smartphones and other connected devices and, with a wave of the wand, transformed the movie rental store into an app people could carry in their pocket or purse. It was more than a store. It was also the DVD player. Between the innovative subscription model and the app that changed the entertainment world, Netflix became the model for all streaming services to follow. The used the app to transition from a dying industry model, into one of the pioneers of the future.
What can you do with a well-made app? Uber connected pedestrians with drivers. Slingbox connected people with the content they paid for. And Netflix disconnected the movies you want to see from plastic disks. Isn’t it time you made a connection with the app-obsessed public?
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