ClassPass, originally known as Classtivity, generated plenty of press and investor interest but not much customer enthusiasm when it launched as a search engine for fitness classes. Founder Payal Kadakia and her team got the concept back on track by focusing on customer behavior and trying to solve a real problem.
Lyft says it will waive its arbitration clause and allow individual claims against it alleging sexual assault to be heard in court. The ride-hailing service made the announcement just hours after rival Uber announced substantially the same policy change.
Recent events such as the acquisition of the concept store Story by Macy's show how established retailers are seeking to gain an edge by working with startups. "Retailers are joining forces with startups as brick-and-mortar stores continue [to] align the look, feel and function of their physical locations to market demands," writes Tom McGee, president and CEO of ICSC.
Female Founders Fund, whose backers include Melinda Gates, Katrina Lake and Jenny Fleiss, has closed on a $27 million fund. Since its founding in 2013, the organization has helped 30 companies that have raised roughly $500 million in capital.
Providing real-time support to customers is challenging, but it can pay dividends in terms of customer satisfaction and revenue, write Kaitlin Pettersen and Ryan Steinberg of Intercom. They describe their real-world efforts to get a support operation up and running and discuss how they handled issues such as scheduling and workflow.
Justin Gold sold the Justin's nut butter business to Hormel in 2016 for $286 million, but not before overcoming many hurdles, like struggling to find the right place in the store for customers to notice his products. "You just can't put something on the shelf and expect it to sell," he said.
Problems such as inadequate planning, pricing mistakes and trying to do everything yourself can lead to the failure of your company, writes William Harris. "While some may find planning tedious, you will be operating in the dark if you don't have a roadmap for your company," he notes.