side Sparks, the weekly quiz Your history, tests your domain knowledge, business acumen and lateral thinking skills (see previous edition here). In this 63rd edition of the quiz, we present problems that real-life entrepreneurs tackle on their start-up journeys.
What would you do if you were in their shoes? At the end of the quiz, you will find out what entrepreneurs and innovators actually did. Would you do things differently?
Take a look at YourStory Book Review also, with conclusions of more than 340 titles on creativity and entrepreneurship, and our weekend PhotoSparks section on creativity in the arts.
Q1: platform business
Running a successful B2C (business-to-consumer) or B2B (business-to-business) platform requires technology expertise in AI-driven learning cycles to create a virtuous cycle of insights and predictions. Efficient data preparation can help handle incomplete or erroneous data, and APIs make partner connections easy. But more is needed for the success of the platform from the human side: what are these requirements?
P2: AI and health
AI and ML have been shown to be accurate in healthcare fields such as radiology, with use cases such as early detection of lung cancers. But AI is also effective in other areas beyond radiology. Where has this been demonstrated?
Q3: Lower income segments
Business model innovations in packaging and pricing have helped companies open up large markets in low-income segments. Examples include the sachet model for shampoos and cooking oils. However, there is much more to successfully targeting the next wave of customers: what strategies can work here?
P4: E-Commerce Drivers
E-commerce has been fueled by the wide availability of scalable platforms, the use of smartphones, and cutting-edge technologies like AI and ML. Immersive channels like AR and VR have also enriched the shopping experience. What’s another trend driving online retail?
Q5: Getting started
The success of a startup depends on the passion and perseverance of the founder. Founders also need to articulate their mission and rally around employees, customers, and investors. But there’s more to getting the startup off the ground: what else should be in a startup’s approach?
Congratulations on getting this far! But there’s more to come: answers to these five questions (below), as well as links to articles with more detail on entrepreneur solutions. Happy reading, happy learning and happy creating!
A1: Platform business
“It takes courage and skill to run open platforms,” according to Nobel laureate Bengt Holmstrom. Challenges that stand in the way include leadership paralysis, fear, panic, and denial.
Creating the unexpected and making disruptive leaps requires conceptual knowledge of creativity and innovative thinking, as explained by Tero Ojanperä and Timo O Vuori, co-authors of Platform Strategy: Transform your business with AI, platforms, and human intelligence. Read more here to learn frameworks and examples of platform businesses in action.
A2: AI and health
“AI in pulmonary medicine is assisting in computer vision for lung nodule detection and malignancy prediction risk,” explains Dr. Viswesvaran Balasubramanian, Consultant Interventional Pulmonology and Sleep Medicine, Yashoda Hospitals, Hyderabad.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, deep learning algorithms based on X-rays and CT scans were used to identify active infections. “In asthmatic patients, machine learning algorithms are used to phenotype asthma patients to help predict patient response to steroids,” she adds. Learn more about AI and respiratory care here.
A3: Lower income segments
To target the next customer segments, it is important to understand their decision-making process and criteria, and reduce the risk of exposure, explain Bala Srinivasa and TN Hari, co-authors of Win Central India.
Examples include giving small corner stores money-back guarantees when trying new brands. The incorporation of digital solutions must be simple and intuitive. Sometimes the multi-product platform strategy works too. Find out more here on how to earn customers’ trust and goodwill, and then launch adjacent products and services.
A4: E-Commerce Drivers
Live commerce is a growing e-commerce trend – it includes uses of technologies such as live streaming, where influencers showcase products in real time. “Live trading is unavoidable. It is not new; it’s similar to teleshopping networks,” observes Kaushik Mukherjee, co-founder and COO of the first digital cosmetics brand SUGAR Cosmetics.
“Since live commerce is so new, brands and platforms are keeping it lucrative for influencers,” adds Ramya Ramachandran, founder and CEO of influencer marketing agency Whoppl. Read more here about market trends and live trading examples.
A5: Getting started
“It is always good to feel passionate about your idea, product or service. But it must validate if it really solves a problem”, advises Doris Kiendl, director of the Administration Department at the FH JOANNEUM University of Applied Sciences.
“As soon as you have the first reference market, you have taken a big step towards ultimate success,” adds Bastian Rüther, CEO of Carbomed Medical Solutions. Read more here for tips and examples of startup success and tips from domain experts.
YourStory has also published the paperback ‘Proverbs and Phrases for Entrepreneurs: A World of Inspiration for Startups’ as a creative and motivational guide for innovators (downloadable as apps here: Apple, Android).