I guarantee you won't know them all 🤯 Believe it or not, these multi-million/billion-dollar startups started life from modest beginnings. See how.
A few weeks ago I was asked by a an early stage founder "Can you provide any good examples of Minimal Viable Products (MVPS)?". I was previously giving the incubation cohort I run examples of hypothetical MVPs, which in hindsight perhaps wasn't the best approach. So I had a look online and compiled a list of well known businesses and how they initially started.
In the startup tech world it's easy to think these successful businesses started life as venture funded instant successes but that's not the case more often that not, despite what the tech media circulate.
🏡 Airbnb: started as a marketplace for people to find accommodation for conferences. Users would sleep on airbeds in people's living rooms.
🐦 Twitter: began as a podcasting platform before it pivoted to its current, status-posting form.
💬 Slack: started as a computer game called Glitch - they took an internal chat tool their team developed to chat with each other.
🛍 Shopify: started out as a snowboard store called Snowdevil before shifting its focus to e-commerce.
📹 YouTube: started out as a dating app before its founders realized they’d find more success as a general video platform.
🎟 Groupon: Spin-off from a business called 'The Point' which was a social media platform designed to get groups of people to together to solve problems.
📄 Craigslist: Started as an email list for local events to help te founder Craig meet people when he first moved to SF in the 90's.
Any good ones I might have missed?