Khosla Ventures GP Keith Rabois has a great heuristic for startup success.
This frame of mind has resulted in businesses like Opendoor, Forward, and Square. The philosophy behind consolidation and integration is that while it’s expensive to get off the ground, one can capture more pieces of the value chain in the long run with tight customer acquisition and lifetime value.
Digital proliferation within markets for older adults is weak. And if you look at my friend Will’s blog post, designing for this population requires a different type of product and business logic. He writes, “unique senior-specific UX and sales challenges create a surprisingly solid moat. Think about everything I listed above — I suspect that X but for seniors will be a viable startup idea generator.”
Consider all the senior-specific markets. Home ownership, financial literacy and savings, renewed education and skills building, healthcare and CPG are among the massive categories where full-stack solutions could be viable. An interesting company in the space is in-home care company Honor, which started out by employing the caretakers on the platform, but recently announced a network or marketplace offering for existing in-home care providers. It’s a blend of a operationally heavy and light model.
Broadly speaking, technologists have learned a lot of lessons building full-stack companies across a variety of industries. Now, it could be time to apply those same lessons to industries geared for older adults. The Herfindahl Index could be a good starting measure.
This post was part of a larger series I wrote at the end of 2018. You can check out the other ones here. If you’d like to get in touch, you can reach me at aashaysanghvi[at]gmail.com.