Platforms, retail, healthcare: test your business creativity with Edition 63 of our quiz!
Lateral Sparks, the weekly quiz from YourStory, tests your domain knowledge, business acumen, and lateral thinking skills (see the previous edition here). In this 63rd edition of the quiz, we present issues tackled by real-life entrepreneurs in their startup journeys.
What would you do if you were in their shoes? At the end of the quiz, you will find out what the entrepreneurs and innovators themselves actually did. Would you do things differently?
Q1: Platform business
Running a successful B2C (business-to-consumer) or B2B (business-to-business) platform calls for tech expertise in AI-powered learning loops to create a virtuous cycle of insights and predictions. Effective data preparation can help handle incomplete or erroneous data, and APIs facilitate partner connections. But there’s more needed for platform success from the human side–what are these requisites?
Q2: AI and health
AI and ML have been shown to be accurate in health fields like radiology, with use cases such as detecting early lung cancers. But AI is effective in other areas beyond radiology as well–where has this been proven?
Q3: Lower-income segments
Business model innovations in packaging and pricing have helped companies open up large markets in lower-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?
Q4: Ecommerce drivers
Ecommerce has been driven by the wide availability of scalable platforms, smartphone usage, 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
Startup success depends on the founder’s passion and perseverance. Founders also need to articulate their mission and rally around employees, customers and investors. But there is more to getting the startup off the ground – what else should be there in the focus of a startup?
Congratulations on having come this far! But there’s more to come–answers to these five questions (below), as well as links to articles with more details on the entrepreneurs’ 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 come in the way include leadership paralysis, fear, panic, and denial.
Creating the unexpected and making disruptive leaps call for conceptual insights from creativity and out-of-the-box 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 for frameworks and examples of platform businesses in action.
A2: AI and health
“AI in pulmonary medicine is aiding in computer vision for lung nodule detection and prediction risk for malignancy,” explains Dr. Viswesvaran Balasubramanian, Consultant Interventional Pulmonology and Sleep Medicine, Yashoda Hospitals, Hyderabad.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, deep learning algorithms based on radiographs and CT scans were used to identify active infections. “In asthmatic patients, machine learning algorithms are used to phenotype asthma patients to help in predicting patients’ responsiveness to steroids,” he adds. Read more about AI and respiratory care here.
A3: Lower-income segments
To target the next segments of customers, it is important to understand their decision-making process and criteria, and reduce risk of exposure, explain Bala Srinivasa and TN Hari, co-authors of Winning Middle India.
Examples include giving return guarantees to small corner stores when trying new brands. Onboarding for digital solutions should be low-friction and intuitive. At times multi-product platform strategy also works. Read more here about how to earn customer trust and goodwill, and then launch adjacent products and services.
A4: Ecommerce drivers
Live commerce is a growing ecommerce trend–it includes uses of technologies like live streaming, where influencers showcase products in real-time. “Live commerce is inevitable. It is not new; it is similar to teleshopping networks,” observes Kaushik Mukherjee, Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of digital-first 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 for market trends and examples of live commerce.
A5: Getting started
“It’s always good to be passionate about your idea, product, or service. But you need to validate whether it really solves a problem,” advises Doris Kiendl, Head, Department of Management at FH JOANNEUM University of Applied Sciences.
“As soon as you have the first reference market, you’ve taken a big step towards eventual success,” adds Bastian Rüther, CEO, Carbomed Medical Solutions. Read more here for tips and examples of startup success, and advice from domain experts.
YourStory has also published the pocketbook ‘Proverbs and Quotes for Entrepreneurs: A World of Inspiration for Startups’ as a creative and motivational guide for innovators (downloadable as apps here: Apple, Android).