Saturday, February 16, 2013

The Next 36

I happen to be addicted to start-ups. To be an entrepreneur today is the equivalent of what it used to be to be an inventor. And that whole idea is rich to me. Some dude tinkering in some crazy scientist garage cluttered with a thousand things while he invented the toilet. Some other guy who invented THE INTERNET. Someone inventing a certain medicine.

To me when I weigh career options I think about tangibility. I want something I can see. Construction jobs are highly rated in rewarding categories because there is a tangible result. Painting, construction, landscaping, anything physical that has a literal result is something that is, to me, extremely basic to the human being. We build. It was our nature and remains so. We dig. We think and we envision how it can be done differently, how it can work better, how it can be more efficient, more aesthetically pleasing. It's primitive but fulfilling in ways that PR and marketing aren't. Being a consultant. A human resources director or any kind of manager. I don't know. Perhaps those are fulfilling in that you see the result of human management techniques but personally I am a creator and I like to physically see the outcome of my work.

With start-ups I think you get that. You're literally birthing an idea, forming it, growing it, bringing it into the world. These minds are just kids, but they are the next 36 minds being sculpted for great things. I won't lie, I think some of the ideas are weak and unnecessary, but I respect them. I don't think all start-ups should be apps, I think there should certainly be some different sorts of things, but who am I right?

Anyway, here are some of my favorites:

Foodstr is a Toronto based startup focused on revolutionizing social dining. Let’s face it – meeting new people can be tough. That’s why we provide users with an easy way to meet new and interesting people over great food at local restaurants. Users simply browse through local Foodstr dinners through our service and find one that suits their schedule and taste. They then pay online to place a reservation and arrive on the date of the dinner ready to enjoy a meal with a great group of people. Foodstr encourages you to get out there so you can Meet, Eat, and Repeat!

I think this is a very interesting idea, similar to Dinner With Seven Strangers, given how increasingly difficult it is to meet new people once you're done school. Why is there such a stigma against wanting to meet new people? It's often seen as a sign of desperation but I think it's beautiful and brave.

Playfit drives exercise partcipation by offering our users tangible rewards for physical exercise. We build meaningful relationships between brands targeting physically active consumers, and our users, by intimately involving the brand in users' fitness goal attainment.
As another international player makes an entry to the virtual Canadian taxi stand, the market for apps that let you hail a limo or cab with a tap is starting to look a bit crowded.
San Francisco startup Uber Technologies Inc. forged the model for slick mobile applications to summon private cars in a flash and the premise has been picked up by many others and extended to regular taxis as well. Fans of the services appreciate the convenience of hailing a comfortable ride on-demand and the fact that their trip (including a tip for the driver) is billed to a credit card on file, eliminating the pesky in-car exchange of money.The apps can also mean less downtime for drivers, who can switch them on using their own smartphones while cruising around between other fares.
Still trying to figure out why they turned cab drivers into penguins, though. 

Check out more here.

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