Funding ranging from the $5 million up for grabs from 43 North to The Awesome Foundation’s $1,000 projects is putting Buffalo on the map as a haven for startups. As the space in the Innovation Center and Z80 Labs fills with startups, it’s important to think about what startups and small businesses need in order to thrive in Buffalo.
Our city is in the middle of a resurgence and the nation has taken notice. Something for the entrepreneurs setting their sights on Buffalo to consider? Remain open-minded to feedback from your users and the opportunities around you!
Sometimes Ideas Change
It’s tough to let an idea morph into something you didn’t originally plan on, but flexibility in business essential.
Did you know that YouTube was supposed to be a dating website? The original website, with the motto “Tune in, hook up,” was a platform to talk about the partner of your dreams. No one used the service – even after the founders offered to pay women to do so. Founders Steve Chen and Jawed Karim decided to allow users to upload videos of anything. This small change resulted in a platform with 1.9 billion active users where 400 hours of video are uploaded every minute.
The William Wrigley Jr. Company originally gave its Juicy Fruit and Spearmint gum away with purchases of baking powder and soap. The gum quickly became the more popular item. 3M scientist Dr. Spencer Silver was trying to create a stronger adhesive when he created the slightly sticky Post-it Note. Avon was supposed to sell books, not makeup.
Adapting to Opportunities
These are just a few examples of why flexibility is such an important part of business, especially as a startup. Redbox and Netflix thrived in exactly the same environment that led to Blockbuster’s decline, simply because they responded to an opportunity.
Buffalo welcomes entrepreneurs to its rich history, strategic location, and livable neighborhoods. What will our growing community of startups do with these opportunities? We can’t wait to see!