For years businesses chased the holy grail of Faster, Better and Cheaper to help them dominate in their sector, and beat out the competition. Especially those competitors who claimed, you could have any two of those, but not all three.
In today's world the pace of innovation, change and growth have gotten so much faster, that even if you check all three boxes of, faster, better, and cheaper these are no longer sufficient to guarantee success in the on-demand economy.
Companies like Lyft and AirBnb entered new markets and scaled at lightning speed because they were not weighed down by car or property ownership. Plus, with innumerable choices, customers can choose to do business with companies that align with their values, and for Millennial Customers, this often means social responsibility.
Looking to join those ranks is a high-accuracy weather data company that launched this year in Boston, called ClimaCell, that helps build street-level demand predictions in real time, for transportation apps and food delivery companies, among others.
To help themselves become successful, they are building a business model based on the following five essentials for massive growth in the on-demand economy.
The faster a company's time to market, the faster they can serve customers and bring in revenues. ClimaCell was the first company to bring a brand new source of weather data to market by repurposing existing global infrastructure. Unencumbered by manufacturing and hardware deployment, companies like ClimaCell can launch their products, almost immediately.
All companies aim to outperform their competitors, but that's not always enough. ClimaCell aims to redefine a quantifiable standard of quality in weather, where 50% accuracy was considered acceptable.
Itai Zlotnik, the company's CTO, notes that, "The best hyper-local weather data always meant, 'down to the ZIP-code.' We redefined this term to mean, 'down to the street.'" Additionally, ClimaCell's inherent number of weather observation points provide data inputs every minute, which was not possible with traditional hardware like radar and satellite.
Just like Ebay and Etsy don't own their inventory, in ClimaCell's case, owning no hardware means no manufacturing and no installation costs that need to be passed on to the consumer. Innovative engineering can allow entrepreneurs to cheaply achieve results that were once very expensive. By repurposing and leveraging existing infrastructure instead of manufacturing new sensors, ClimaCell cuts deployment costs dramatically.
Companies that have little to no infrastructure costs have lower costs to pass on to their customers.
Corporate social responsibility is no longer the domain of legacy multinationals. No matter a company's stage or size, Millennials today have the power to build impactful businesses, and there is more than one way to do it. For example, finding new capabilities in old infrastructure is eco-friendly, with no new hardware created.
Companies that can build products that are environmentally friendly, reusing existing infrastructure and resources, rather than consuming additional raw materials are going to be more attractive to Millennial Consumers.
The most successful companies in the on-demand economy go from prototype to global deployment in the shortest possible time. Often it's about who can scale the fastest, rather than who has the best product or service, or who is first to enter the market.
"Weather happens on a global scale, and that's where we have to operate," says Shimon Elkabetz, ClimaCell's CEO. "Thanks to our engineering innovations, we can go anywhere that there is wireless connectivity, and today, that means we can scale and deploy globally without the need for costly and time-consuming infrastructure developments."
Innovation doesn't always come from a shiny new hunk of metal. It can be found in surprising places, even hiding in plain sight inside of existing technology. Millennial entrepreneurs can't ignore on-demand requirements, and by including social responsibility and scalability from the outset, they have a better chance of becoming a lasting and very prosperous part of the new economy.