There’s a good chance you’ve used Uber to catch a ride around town at some point. The app is ubiquitous, partly because it’s easy and smooth to use.
But unless you’re a software engineer, you may not know that Uber’s app only works so well thanks to APIs, or application programming interfaces of other services that the app works with. APIs allow the app to use navigation, send messages, and accept payments — without forcing Uber’s engineers to create those services on their own.
APIs are the hidden infrastructure that keeps many of your favorite apps humming along, which means there’s also a huge, if somewhat hidden, market for them. You can build APIs and offer them as your product instead of full-stack apps, which include a cloud backend, an API, and an application such as a website and a mobile app. For instance, Facebook is a full-stack app. …
Resale rights already exist in a number of creative industries.
To use a song in a commercial, a company has to license it and pay royalties to the musician. Every time a book is purchased, the author gets a small percentage of the sales.
But for many visual artists, once they’ve created and sold a work of art, that’s the last they ever hear about it. Their resale rights are essentially non-existent. …
When beginning a large project or complex task, the problems you’ll run into aren’t always apparent.
This can be an issue, because lack of clarity often leads to an unproductive response. We often rush into implementing new solutions before thinking about whether we’re even solving the right problem.
On the other hand, it’s possible to get so wrapped up in trying to understand the problem that you never begin working on solutions.
The trick is: You want to get a sense of the actual problem, but you also need to take measurable and readily quantifiable steps to keep yourself from getting bogged down. …
Every founder starts a company with a vision — a problem to solve, a goal to achieve, a dream to attain.
It’s what drives us to work long hours and make sacrifices, all in pursuit of the bigger picture.
When I started ThirdLove with my husband, Dave, our mission was simple: to offer bras for all women that makes them feel confident and comfortable.
Creating the perfect bra for everyone hasn’t been easy, though. One of the hardest things for me is getting feedback from women who say, “You don’t have my size.” …
Everything on a college campus today is an experience.
Students don’t just go to a dingy basement gym to work out. They go to a multi-million dollar rec center complete with state-of-the-art equipment and a lazy river.
Universities are competing for students, shelling out huge amounts of money to prove they have the best amenities. Lavish dining facilities, roomy dorms, and pricey athleisure at the bookstore are all there to attract students.
But for all the structural and cosmetic improvements being made on campus, laundry has been overlooked entirely. …
There’s one thing I’ve learned since I started advising companies powered by the blockchain: Projects are only as promising as the team that’s driving them.
For a blockchain project to prove successful, the team behind it must be inspired, intelligent, and interested in the blockchain for the right reasons.
If the founders of a company don’t seem interested in the technological potential of the blockchain — or if they seem interested only in the short-term economic potential of it — that company won’t be around very long.
No, the teams I advise must possess certain characteristics and traits that evidence potential for real success. …
The traits that drive startup founders forward are sometimes seen in a negative light.
Entrepreneurs can be seen as aggressive, impatient, hard-headed. And yes, there are plenty of founders who fit that description.
But that’s only because entrepreneurs usually have a strong instinct around what products will work for people. They push ahead even when others can’t see what they’re after.
And not all of the traits that lead to entrepreneurial success are viewed so negatively. …
In some companies, performance reviews and annual evaluations fill employees with a sense of dread or morbid anticipation.
What will they find out about their performance? How will they be rated? What ghosts from the past year will come back to haunt them?
The reason employees fear reviews so much is because their company doesn’t have a good system for offering feedback.
Good feedback eliminates surprises. No one should be shocked when they sit down for their yearly review. …
The blockchain bears all kinds of potential for improving human systems. Most often we hear of that potential in reference to financial services and banking systems. But the human arena that could perhaps be most improved by the blockchain is voting.
Over the course of the previous election cycle, talk of fraud, fake news, and “system rigging” was rampant. And for good reason. Fake news was detrimental. Our existing mechanisms did prove susceptible to outside infection. It became clear to everyone that something needs to change.
And that’s where the blockchain comes in: by moving our voting systems to the blockchain — something several countries and states have experimented with already — we can ameliorate a system exposed as insufficient multiple times over. …
Plenty of people want to be a CEO, but not many know what the job actually entails.
I co-founded ThirdLove with my husband, Dave, back in 2013. And I’ll always remember going on Bloomberg in 2014 — my first live press interview — to talk about the company.
I was so nervous that I didn’t sleep the night before. I got to the studio, they did my hair and makeup, and I went on. But I don’t remember a thing. I was so nervous, I blacked out.
Later, I went back and watched the interview. Luckily, I nailed it. …