When it comes to startup success, it’s not always about being original.
In many cases, success is about finding a niche and working to do the very best job possible within that space.
Back in June, Valleywag had an article about the “Stupid Startup Clone War.” In it, the writer laments that so many companies in the tech startup scene are merely “half-baked” takes on other startups.
In particular, he points out the many startups are simply “X company but for Y,” such as Vine, the “Instagram for video.”
He then proceeds to list the many examples of such startups on AngelList, a site that aims to bring together startup teams and potential investors.
While the point of the post is that many of the ideas are silly at best, a closer look reveals that some of his examples are actually quite clever.
Nudge is Klout for healthy living. Instead of scoring the social media reach of its users, it encourages better living by making it a competitive game. Unlike Klout, people will actually be happy for you if your Nudge score increases.
HomeStars is Yelp for home improvement. It lets you read reviews of the experiences that people have had with local contractors. For bigger renovations, this app could be the difference between a job well done and a sleazy contractor doing shoddy work on your home.
Pixplit is 'a collaborative Instagram.' By letting users mix and combine their photos, it offers a fresh take on the photography app that doesn't simply rely on fancy filters.
BabyClip is a Pinterest clone focused on discovering baby products. Considering how intimidating it is to prepare for parenthood, an app that that makes the process easier by making it feel like you're spending time in an app you'd be using anyway seems like a great idea.
PlowMe is Uber for snow plowing. While it doesn't doesn't have a pitch as sexy as 'replacing cabs for those who can afford it,' those living in regions with lots of snow could get a ton of use out of the service come winter.
On the other end of the practicality scale, EvoLox is Uber but for helicopter travel. While most don't have room in the budget for it, being able to arrange a helicopter trip with the ease of getting a car is pretty amazing.
Hoppit is Pandora for dining out. Based on your previous tastes and whatever 'vibe' you happen to be in the mood for, Hoppit can create a 'playlist' of restaurants that should fit the bill.
Anywhen is 'Pinterest for history.' While the site's interface is very similar to Pinterest, the concept is basically a crowdsourced time machine. Users can select an era (based on decade for the 20th century and by century for earlier) and see pictures from that time that users have uploaded.
SimpleCrew is Instagram for street teams. Think political campaigns, lawn mowers, and sales teams. Instead of taking selfies or pictures of food, users document the work they do with pictures and prove that they were at the correct locations at certain times.
Rithm is 'Snapchat for music.' While that sounds like a gimmick at first, I can't help but think of the many songs that I could send to friends that would evoke some shared memories.
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