當IG相變品牌分析來源


(左)朱子達、(右)山浦真由子

(左)Zero One Network International Limited創辦人朱子達、(右)另一創辦人山浦真由子
每天打開Instagram,有無數的新相片湧現,一瞬即逝,不會記住,但原來這些被我們遺忘的相片可以變成分析產品使用的資源。
Brand Pit由Zero One Network International Limited研發,創辦人朱子達解釋,社交網絡上有八成的相片没有hashtag,要搜索人們如何使用某一品牌,會有很大的難度,「因此要做出一個工具,讓品牌經理於現在及將來更深入了解其顧客層,好好利用社交媒體」。
例如一張用戶拿着啤酒的照片,Brand Pit在不同社交媒體瀏覽各種照片,透過圖像識別分析技術,去辨認圖片內的產品用戶使用的產品品牌、其種族、性別、年齡層、臉部表情、身處場景、地區,去總結社交媒體上,有那一類人會較多使用某一類產品,及詳細的使用情況,例如研究消費者會多數在室內或室外飲啤酒,身旁有没有其他品牌產品。
但會否引起私隠的問題?朱子達表示,分析報告不會顯示相片,也不會儲存,報告只會顯示分析數據,並只會分析設定為「公開」的相片。Brand Pit在去年年中發佈,而目前的客戶數量不超過10個,較知名的有聯合利華。Brand Pit另一創辦人山浦真由子表示,品牌知道用戶使用情況後,知道可集中那一類客戶,節省推廣的開支。
Brand Pit的目標客戶除了是企業的品牌經理外,亦會尋找調查機構,朱子達說,「他們仍會用舊式的方法,例如是問卷、聚焦小組,我覺得我們的方法能提供更準確的數據」。
brandpit 11may

Brand Pit在不同社交媒體瀏覽各種照片,透過圖像識別分析技術,去辨認圖片內的產品用戶的特徵(受訪者提供圖畫)
Instagram的相片是Brand Pit進行分析的來源之一

Instagram的相片是Brand Pit進行分析的來源之一(Google Play圖片)

港日合作搞Startup

朱子達在2001年自中文大學的信息工程學畢業後,曾於摩根史丹利、瑞士信貸及法國巴黎銀行任職,在日本生活長達八年,又協助過朋友做網上品牌推銷,日本生活期間認識山浦真由子,她在美國及日本從事過科技公司及市場分析公司,隨後二人一起創立Zero One Network International Limited。
公司在日本成立,回到香港的原因,是因為Brand Pit去年參加在香港的「The 2014 StartmeupHK Venture Programme」時,認識了本地的投資者及Startup,朱子達說這讓他感覺可以回到香港創一番事業,又剛巧遇上太古「blueprint」加速器招募,並申請成功,今年一月成為「blueprint」的一員。

生活費高昂

告別香港多時,令朱子達不習慣的地方是現在「街邊拮串魚蛋貴咗三倍」,連被認為是「窮人恩物」午餐肉也漲價了不少,但最教人痛苦的是租金,因此他在不同場合向幾名達官貴人傾訴過生活費高昂的問題,包括商務及經濟發展局局長蘇錦樑、科技園董事會主席羅范椒芬,「如果香港政府有興趣搞大Startup文化,作為海外過來的創業人士,最大問題不是能否獲得簽證…如果我找來一隊團隊到香港,只說租屋,一個月要給多少!?生活費又貴,食飯又貴…Living cost不是一般Startup可以負擔得起。」因此他建議香港應設置專給予創業人士的宿舍,除了舒緩租金,亦創造一個創業人士彼此交流的環境。
至於在日本土生土長的山浦真由子,今年一月才到香港生活,她表示,香港的環境多元化,較容易接觸不同國藉的創業人士,日本亦没有像「blueprint」這類加速器計劃,得到來自太古的不同支援,而且廣告中介的數目,香港比日本多很多,讓公司較易拓展業務,香港亦較日本容易獲種子投資,但讓她不習慣的香港事物,除了是昂貴的租金外,還有是濕熱的天氣,令她皮膚敏感,使她懷念日本的乾爽天氣。
朱子達亦表示,日本投資公司不多,亦較注重解決本土問題的Startup,例如鄉郊地區的人口密度低的問題,但此類問題只在日本出現,這使Startup難到海外發展,使創新環境受限制,難吸引外資。
Brand Pit剛奪得由駐日本的瑞典大使館頒發的「The Embassy of Sweden in Japan: the Entrepreneur Awards 2015」,及「2015香港資訊及通訊科技獎:最佳資訊科技初創企業(商業市場)金獎」,成績不錯,但至今仍在尋找投資者。
創業人士一般工作時間什長,没有真正的假期可言,支出也是來自自己積蓄,朱子達自言,「忽然覺得做ibank好輕鬆,現在正常一天在辦公室十五至十八小時,要坐尾班車走,回家後要寫電郵,有時一天只能睡兩小時,星期六、日都没有放假」。
訪問最後一個環節是拍照時間,二人與「blueprint」場地內的一個大笨象模型合照,房間牆上亦掛滿大笨象的壁畫,象與Startup似乎互不相干,其實是來自一個知名的諺語elephant in the room,指房間裡明明有頭大象,但房裡的人卻没有理會,比喻眾人故意忽視一個擺在大家眼前的問題。朱子達解釋這樣的佈置,是鼓勵大家看到「房間裡的大象」。
source from startupbeat
廣告

經濟衰退是否創業好時機?

plewicki cc licensed

plewicki cc licensed
很多人經常問我:「經濟衰退時是否應暫緩創業計劃?」這的確是一個值得探討的問題。對我而言,只要計劃得宜,即使正值經濟衰退,都可以是創業良機。
首先,經濟衰退時,整體環境充斥著不明朗因素,令市場更具風險,連帶就業市場亦不穩定。面對不明朗因素如裁員或減薪時,上班族往往更有勇氣放手一搏,一嘗創業滋味。
其二就是一般而言,新成立的公司會經歷一段約18個月至兩年的孕育期(Gestation Period)。不少合伙人在創業初期都另有正職,同時欠缺充足資金。但在籌備過程中,他們的創業意念會逐漸成型之餘,亦為未來尋找投資者或籌集資金作了更好的準備。假設兩年後經濟會開始復甦,那些率先在衰退期間展開創業計劃的人,便會在復甦期間較快得到投資上的回報。由此可見,創業講求把握時機,即使經濟不景氣,有能力的人亦能化危為機。
另外,不少人認為,籌集資金是想到一個創業意念後第一件要做的事。我卻認為這是一個常見的錯誤想法,以下兩項建議或許會能解釋我的觀點。
首先,假如你有創業的想法,就應盡快為業務鋪路。我們必須尋找投資者,但不是為了籌集資金,而是向他們吸取意見,嘗試了解他人於成立初期所面對的種種挑戰。這些意見能讓創業者了解如何面對和克服孕育期的困難,對創業有莫大幫助。正如剛才所說,不要在業務初期便向投資者籌集資金,這只會影響聲譽,絕無益處。
此外,創業者不可以閉門造車。躲在睡房或工作間裡思考創業大計固然容易,但創業者最需要的是實戰經驗,並不是紙上談兵。創業者必須多與潛在客戶溝通,直接了解市場的需求。
總結而言,縱然創業需要良好時機的配合,但只要創業者能抓緊機遇和了解市場,即使在經濟低迷時亦能造就成功的商機。
source from startupbeat

成功Startup要具備的五個條件


 GotCredit cc licensed

GotCredit cc licensed
營運成功從來没有單一的方程式,但雲端服務Startup SingleHop 市場總監David Dunlap在e27網站撰文教導五個條件,增加成功的機會。

1. 改進現有的產品或過程

最成功的新生意不是創造全新的產品及服務,而是找到如何簡化人們日常使用的產品及服務,有時可能簡化數個工序,更容易完成其產品及節省成本,或節省客戶的時間。
現時快速的服務透過科技傳遞,Startup改善人們熟悉的事物,比起說服人們使用全新的產品或服務,更容易取得成功。

2. 願意改變

成功的Startup總能靈活處事,他們可以跟着市場潮流而行走,軟件公司不會永遠停留1.0版本,汽車公司亦會不斷研發減少里程油耗的車輛,Startup欲要成功,不能永遠停留最初的版本,需要從客戶、對手,什至是其他行業的發展,尋找更好的方法去傳說有價值的產品及服務。
可能你有時只需改進現有的產品及服務,增加產品功能及包含新的範疇,或者要放棄原有計劃,換入新元素。Startup需知道何時及如何轉換焦點,讓公司繼續成長。

3. 探索雲端

現時雲端服務已成必需品,Startup需要想想如何保護好自己的數碼業務財產,例如儲存文件的伺服器、異地儲存及其他應用程式,雲端服務供應往往能為每間Startup的需要度身訂造,亦能隨時增加服務內容,在現今網絡發達的世代,雲端服務可以讓Startup減輕負擔。

4. 為未來募集資金

即使有很好的產品、有改進的意願、也有支援生產的解決方案,但只能令自己的Startup於起步時成形,要讓公司長遠穩定地發展,必定需要資金,例如是風險投資,Startup需要資金來為業務建立好根基,尤其是在他們向客戶收取費用及獲得銷售額之前。同時需平衡募集資金的需要,一間成功的Startup需要作出誠實的預算,估計產品可以帶來多少實際收入,不要讓自己過度膨脹。

5. 找來對的人

找來對的人去協助創立及運作,對一間Startup的成功是十分重要,在尋找合適的員工時,對方需要有熱誠,並有創新的視野,能夠改進其營運模式,以達致成功,同時亦需懂尋找最好的早期客戶,除了是帶來收入外,亦能提升Startup的形象。
除了上述五點,成功的因素還有時機、勤奮及紀律,但這五點是核心的因素,每間Startup想把自己成為有名望的品牌,這些因素需在開始時要具備,這能使Startup發展業務時可取得有利位置。
source from startupbeat

App creator urges Hong Kong’s coffee lovers to wake up to bitcoin

Starbucks is the first major global retailer where bitcoin can be used in-store. Photo: Reuters

The value of bitcoin may have slumped, but one US start-up is betting on the digital currency after developing an app for Hong Kong’s coffee drinkers that will allow them to pay at Starbucks with it.
The app, called Fold, is offering a 20 per cent discount to customers paying in bitcoin at the coffee chain. Starbucks is the first major global retailer where bitcoin can be used in-store.
The app works through stored-value payment cards such as Octopus, which can be synced with the user’s account on the app.
Matt Luongo, founder and chief executive of the firm that built the app, said he hoped it would provide a turning point after bitcoin’s troubled past.
“I hope [Starbucks use] helps raise awareness. Bitcoin needs to erase its past," Luongo said. “People see it as a scam and speculation, but I’m looking forward to showing them how to get cheaper groceries."
Luongo said the Starbucks discount was a bid to “drive more usage" because “bitcoin is difficult to use" without an incentive.
Michael Chau Chiu-lung, an associate professor at the University of Hong Kong’s faculty of business and economics, said any move to allow bitcoin to be spent was “helpful".
“This app is more of a help for the merchants in my view, but giving a discount is certainly a good way to attract more people to use bitcoin," he said. “Such incentives may encourage customers to overcome the hurdle of using bitcoin."
He said the jury was out on “whether consumers are willing to adopt it".
Hundreds of delegates are expected to attend Hong Kong’s second bitcoin conference today and tomorrow in Wan Chai, despite the value of the currency slumping to US$242 a piece, down from US$1,242 at its height.
Since bitcoin emerged, it has allegedly been used for illegal drug purchases and money laundering.
In Hong Kong, some 150 people reported they had been defrauded by local trading platform MyCoin, saying they had lost of total of HK$100 million.
Fold is able to offer the Starbucks discount by buying US dollars from unwanted Starbuck Cards – the coffee chain’s own stored-value payment card – at a low price and passing on the savings to bitcoin users.
Leonhard Weese, president of the Bitcoin Association Hong Kong, said: “The Fold app is a great demonstration of how smooth it is to pay with bitcoin. I’m sure other retailers are watching closely, and we will see more of this soon."
“Starbucks has always been a leader in mobile payments and will continue to drive innovations that will enhance customers’ digital experience,” a Starbucks spokesman said.
Correction: A quote was corrected to clarify that Starbucks is not currently working with Fold. 

Source from SCMP

How China’s young entrepreneurs are ‘overthrowing tradition’ to revitalise business through technology

Standing under the stage lights with a confident smile, 18-year-old Zhou Bangwei tried to persuade a full-house audience that the new mobile app he designed would rejuvenate his father’s declining business.
Metersbonwe, a major home-grown fast fashion brand whose profits have shrunk in the past few years as Western brands and e-commerce platforms flooded the market, is now pinning its hopes on the mobile internet. It’s new shopping app allows users to start their own shops where they share “dress collocations” – or how people match clothes to improve their appearance – and get commission from the company if the outfits are picked and purchased by others.
Targeting young consumers born in the 1990s, the app avoids “stiff” business procedures and allows them to “create beauty, share and spread it, and make profits while benefiting others,” said the son of Wenzhou billionaire Zhou Chengjian at the company’s 20th anniversary celebration in Shanghai last week.
Many contemporaries of the junior Zhou, the so-called post-90s generation known for their tech savviness and individuality, are playing a increasingly important role in the transformation of traditional industries by utilising the internet, a strategy that Premier Li Keqiang raised in his work report last month.
Called “internet plus”, the strategy focuses on internet-powered start-ups and how new technology can be applied to traditional sectors as the world’s second biggest economy looks for an effective way to restructure itself.
“I’m combining the resources of a post-60s and the mindset of a post-90s, who has the internet gene flowing in his blood,” said Zhou Chengjian, who was forced to close some 800 stores last year in an effort to restructure the company, once one of the most popular brands among young mainlanders.
“If we don’t know how to use the internet to refresh our experience and knowledge, there will be absolutely colder winter, and if we do, then the spring is approaching,” he said.
Others may not have a billionaire father, but they are also adding renewed vigour to old industries.
Daxiang, a condom manufacturer co-founded by post-90s college classmates Liu Kenan and Zhao Chuan in Beijing just over a year ago, became popular among young internet users overnight and won investment from several venture capital firms for its novel business model.
Unlike other condoms that are typically sold in supermarkets, pharmacies and convenience stores, the company sells its products only online without a bricks-and-mortar distributor.
Its condoms are also designed to improve the sexual experience for women, instead of the industry’s stereotyped focus on men.
“We vowed to ‘overthrow tradition’ because we’re the youngest in this sector and have a better sense of entertainment,” said Zhao, who leads a team of fewer than 30 members who are mostly in their twenties.
Liu Yongjie, a senior student in Guangzhou’s South China University of Technology, has also seen business burgeoning at his Western-style restaurants that were started with online crowd-sourced funding.
He opened his first Bepotato restaurant near the Wushan campus with an investment of 850,000 yuan (HK$1 million) a year ago, of which 350,000 yuan was funded from Liu’s school mates via WeChat, the mainlands’ most popular social media platform.
With two other outlets opened recently and two more being fitted out, each of the restaurants has more than 160 shareholders with an aggregate investment of 1 million yuan, said Liu.
He said what also made the restaurants different was that they allowed students to participate, whether in terms of decoration, participating in offline weekly events or even waiting on tables.
“We serve for college student start-ups. Our shareholders are at the same time our most important customers,” he said, adding that three restaurants now operating have all started to make a profit.
Zhou Meihua, head of Shanghai Yingzhi Investment Consulting that advises young entrepreneurs, believes more students will launch businesses by embracing new technology, thereby changing traditional industries.
“I’m confident that the cultivation of youth’s creativity and entrepreneurship will make a group of outstanding business people in the future,” she said.
Young people today have characters that encourage entrepreneurship, she explained, adding that the growing number of organisations providing support for start-ups would also help.

What Hong Kong can learn from New York’s blueprint to take on Silicon Valley

Hong Kong, like most global cities, is in a race to keep its competitive advantage as the rapid advance of technologies and the Internet put the emphasis on innovation and fostering new companies over traditional business strengths.   
The Hong Kong government has made efforts to transform the economy into a more innovation-driven one, including setting up start-up facilitators such as the government-backed Hong Kong Science & Technology Parks, while private initiatives include Nest.vc, a venture capital firm working as an accelerator for start-ups.
But to move to the next level, the city may want to pay heed to the plans of New York mayor Bill de Blasio, who has unveiled a series of  proposals drawing in academia and business to build New York into a rival to Silicon Valley.
Speaking at the TechCrunch Disrupt NY event on Monday, de Blasio explained how three pillars, which he identified as professional development, access and innovation, will help New York secure its place as a tech hub.
“I like to brag about the glories of my city; sometimes it’s tempting to feel a little competitive with other cities,” de Blasio said. “This year, New York City has surpassed [San Francisco’s Bay Area] in startup funding requests.”
As part of his plans, de Blasio announced funding of US$29 million to support science, technology, engineering and maths teaching in the city’s public university, City University of New York.
Another US$70 million will improve access to affordable high-speed internet, with most of the money, some US$60 million, to go on building wireless corridors to provide free or low-cost internet access to up to 50,000 low-income residents.
The initiatives follow the city’s Tech Talent Pipeline, which de Blasio launched in May 2014 with US$10 million funding to train New Yorkers to become the hires of choice for tech firms.
De Blasio said the tech ecosystem in New York provides 300,000 jobs and US$30 billion in wages each year.
The plans are similar to suggestions that Google chairman Eric Schmidt made in an interview with the South China Morning Post in late 2013, when he expressed a hope that the Hong Kong government would open more technical universities, attracting more software engineers rather than more investment bankers.
Political squabbling in Hong Kong over electoral reform could make it difficult for the government to win approval from the legislature for funding for new projects, meaning that the private sector may have to take up the running. 
One area where Hong Kong has a competitive advantage is in global finance, and Nest.vc recently joined Singaporean bank DBS to launch a new dedicated start-up accelerator programme to help new and small firms get into the financial technology business, a growing field that encompasses such areas as mobile payment systems, analytics and risk management.
Consulting firm Accenture has estimated that global investments in financial technology ventures tripled to US$12.2 billion last year, from US$4.05 billion in 2013. Investments in Asia-Pacific financial technology ventures have grown to US$767 million last year, from US$245 million in 2013.
source from SCMP

【好文轉載系列】Bindo ─ ─從紐約走到香港

Bindo共同創辦人顏林胤

Bindo共同創辦人顏林胤
科技打破溝通的地域界限,香港的Startup更容易走出去,拓闊自己的領土,不只是鄰近的中國內地,而是去到更遠的歐美。就像在香港長大的顏林胤,他是零售系統Bindo共同創辦人,他在香港認識創業夥伴,卻因香港市場太小,便跑到紐約成立Bindo,為當地零售店舖帶來改變,但他没有忘記自己的根,在紐約做了點成績後,便回到老家香港,為Bindo開拓在香港及內地的市場。
Bindo在2011年創立,是一個雲端iPad POS系統(POS:Point of Sale),透過iPad連接收銀機,系統除提供銷售、庫存管理外,更能整合客戶關係(CRM),即結帳後,客戶的選購及銷售記錄將存進在系統內,為商舖保留紀錄,亦提供讓客戶設網購平台的服務。客戶主要為中小企,在美國有三千多間商店使用,香港亦有過百名客戶,例如陽光洗衣廠。
33歲的顏林胤(Jason)在內地出生,香港長大,中六時到美國升學及就業,有三年從事金融業的經驗。美國人拍檔Brad Lauster,在香港度假時認識Jason,二人便在2011年到美國成立Bindo,Jason說「我們知道香港的市場很小,如果在香港的話,我們應該連粥都無得食,而我對美國的市場亦較熟悉」。

創業者應過份地樂觀

B2B產品對介面及用戶互動的要求一般没有B2C的那樣高,但Jason自言,Bindo對比其他對手的優勢,是自己抱着開發B2C產品的心態去從事B2B的產品,因此令到其UI與UX比傳統POS系統好,價格亦較便宜,「POS系統是一個Underinvest的行業,許多人覺得這是一個没有前途的東西,是Underinvest的東西,我以前從事對衝基金,Brad亦有從事Startup的經驗,故把最好的技術帶到我們的POS系統,令它變好看好用,亦有效率」。
Jason說當初没想過開發零售系統,是想做本地化的網購平台,但後來發現許多美國店舖的POS系統都是使用過時的技術,及差劣的介面,於是便決定開發雲端POS系統,不過當時面對潛在的投資者的冷言冷語,「得到的所有答案都是無前途(研發POS系統),勸我們不要做,但我們do it anyway,one of best decision ever made…
我一早已經知道要做一件成功的事時,會有90%的人會說你一定失敗,反而每一個人都說要做的事情,其實是『唔輪到你做』的事情,競爭很大,每人都懂得市場,每人都做同一樣事情。我對許多反對的聲音是很樂觀,投資者對POS系統的認知不及我們,他們覺得不應該做的原因,源於對市場不夠了解及不夠樂觀。我覺得作為創業者,應該要過份地樂觀(optimistic)」。
Bindo現時是一間有50人的企業,更在去年獲得180萬美元的種子投資,約1400萬港幣,投資方包括葡萄酒專家Gary Vaynerchuk、風險投資公司Metamorphic Ventures、East Ventures及其他私人投資者,未來將會有新一輪投資者。

Expand business aggressively

Jason對美國業務發展的成績感到滿意,但被問到回到香港發展的原因,便答「因為香港的食物都幾好味」,其實是他發現香港POS系統技術比內地及美國落後,因此容易在市場上跑出,現時美國的市場便由拍檔及同事管理。但他亦感到香港較難尋找投資者,因此他認為Startup需「Go international at early stage,要想想在香港以外有什麼市場,能有增長的策略去擴闊業務」。
除了資訊科技行業外,香港店舖租金高企,實體生意難做,因此Bindo推出「Startup Version」及「Bindo Market」,前者讓新創業人士「接受免費」享用POS系統;後者是匯集本地商店的網購平台,將會先在美國推出,之後再有香港版。
B2B的生意理應有可觀的利潤,Jason亦說Bindo「曾幾何時有Break-even過」,但現在暫時未收支平衡,他回應時展現其樂觀的態度,「做Startup不是要在早期便收支平衡,做Startup是要Expand business aggressively,收支平衡及早期的盈利能力不是我早期的目標,如果任何時候我們想去慢下來,其實可以收支平衡,但我們没有選擇慢下來…想變成香港或美國的最大Player,是首要目標,而不是收支平衡」。
Bindo界面

Bindo介面
Bindo的辦公室剛由科技園搬到新蒲崗
source from startupbeat

阿里重鎚O2O萬事俱備

silver 11may
布局多年後,阿里巴巴本月開始在O2O領域加碼,測試「喵街」Apps,首批合作商場為杭州的城西銀泰城、西溪印象城和西城廣場,預計月底正式推出。阿里巴巴城市生活事業部總監苗峰表示,今年的目標是把「喵街」推廣至全國15個城市1000家商場,同時完成最少500家商城上線。

逛街神器領先市場

「喵街」是一款逛街神器Apps,以用戶當前地理位置,向顧客提供周邊商場及品牌門市資訊,並提供吃喝玩樂購的一站式服務應用,包括蘋果的App Store,以及Google Play商店已經可以下載「喵街」。
「喵街」首頁清晰展示周邊商場及商場內特定品牌正在進行的活動,接着打開商場的專門頁面,可以享用室內導航、停車找車、停車繳費、免費WiFi、餐飲排隊等服務;消費者用手機掃描周圍店舖,就可以看到商家的新品、折扣,在「喵街」亦可設計各種行銷玩法,例如透過全城尋寶等活動,將顧客帶到各個商家。
據公司網站資料,智慧之城運用主要有幾方面,城西銀泰城有2300個車位,為杭州最大的停車庫,車主停車繳費只要用支付寶錢包掃一下,毋須找固定崗亭、毋須排隊、毋須找續,還能同時享受各種消費優惠,相比傳統停車場,出入車效率可提升6倍以上。

傳剝離O2O項目

此外,銀泰城為淘點點首個合作的大型商場項目,85%以上的銀泰城餐飲商戶加入行列,在中國購物節期間,雙方聯合開展餐飲半價、百萬紅包、送招牌菜等活動;另外,利用iBeacon低能耗藍牙技術進行精確的微定位,幫助顧客找到自己關心的品牌訊息和店舖。
市場消息指出,阿里巴巴內部已決定把淘點點、淘寶本地生活等生活服務類O2O項目從集團剝離出去,派入銀泰任非執董的張勇亦已坐正阿里首席執行官一職,種種跡象顯示,阿里重鎚O2O已萬事俱備,欠的東風可能是注入更多O2O項目到銀泰,有一個框架獨立營運和集資。
source from startupbeat

Fitbit提交IPO申請

Fitbit官網截圖

Fitbit官網截圖
穿戴裝置製造商Fitbit,周四向美國證券交易委員會(SEC)遞交公開上市申請書,摩根士丹利、德銀證券和美銀美林等投行將擔任其IPO交易的承銷商,Fitbit計劃在紐約證券交易所掛牌上市,股票代碼為「FIT」,將通過這項交易籌集最多1億美元資金。
來自三藩市的Fitbit剛公布2014年的業績,純利為1.32億美元,7.45億美元收益,是2013年的一倍,當年收益為2.71億美元,虧損5200萬美元,2012年時收益僅7600萬美元,虧損4百萬美元。
2007年創立的Fitbit,募集到約8300萬美元的投資資金,投資者包括Foundry Group、 True Ventures 及 SoftBank Capital。Fitbit至今售出2050萬件體能追蹤裝置,連美國總統奧巴馬亦是Fitbit的用戶,但根據Fitbit的IPO文件,今年首三個月,只有950萬名活躍用戶。
不過穿戴裝置市場的對手眾多,蘋果、微軟及三星均推出智能手表,均具有紀錄運動表現的功能,運動品牌Nike亦加入競爭行列,較小規模的對手則是Garmin Ltd、Jawbone及Misfit。
截至3月,Fitbit有579名員工,NPD Group的數據稱產品售遍全球50個國家,佈滿4萬5千間零售店,市佔率68%。
2007年,Fitbit由James Park與 Eric Friedman共同創立,根據上市文件,兩名創辦人各擁有10.9%股權,Foundry Group則是最大股東,擁有28.9%股權。

Startup應做的十件事

1. 不要容許蠢貨(assholes)進場

多元控股公司Berkshire Hathaway的副董事長Charlie Munger說過,「我們早已採取不要蠢貨的規則,我們的基本原則就是不與蠢貨做交易。」這為公司建立優秀的團隊,這裡列出不少公司老闆或主管說明公司為何不聘請蠢貨,每間Startup應要學習,如果你不認同,你可能在這點上是個蠢貨。

2. 學習對手

許多Startup缺乏遠見,只專注在自己的產品/科技及現在的環境上,但其他人已走過自己的路,否則不會形成現有的「市場」,因此Startup不只學習對手的失敗並需學習他人的成功,好好研究自己的競爭對手,學習他們在這些方面的技巧,把對手的好主意借來,
  • messaging
  • Keywords
  • content plan
  • customer acquisition strategy

3. 讓團隊多元化

不少Startup由男性主導,但有調查發現,團隊若包括女性在內,成功的機會率較大,在早期建立一個多元化的團隊,能讓不同背景的專才帶來不同的思考模式,當然,增加團隊的女性數目對其Startup是很重要的。

4. 達成目標就是好

用了大量的金錢及時間,Startup團隊能做出好成績,但長遠未必可行,因為一個正成長的Startup永遠不會有足夠的金錢及資源,有生產力的團隊應訂下目標,努力去完成,但應放棄想得太美好的東西。

5. 遲到時有兩手準備

無論任何原因,Startup總要準備自己趕不上預訂的產品發佈日,應要準備必要又迫切的行動,例如募集資金及招聘人手的時間。

6. 盡快把不適合的員工解僱

每間Startup都會出現聘請的錯誤,有時對方是個好人,但太早遇上你這間公司,或者你公司招聘程序出現問題,但記住,你是間靈活的Startup,你犯下這個錯誤的原因並不重要,重要的是你如何解決它,越快把不適合的員工解僱,越快能讓你的團隊從錯誤中學習及復原。

7. 建立公司文化,但不要過度倚賴

免費冬甩、頸部按摩、帶狗上班,這些福利無疑有趣又吸引,但這些是表面的東西,如果你認為這真的是你公司價值的一部份,這才值得去做,把目標說清楚,讓辦公室經理去建立好公司文化,讓你專注在生意上。

8. 把圖表貼在辦公室

作出自我分析,畫出「SWOT」圖表,S是strengths(強處)、W是weaknesses(弱點)、O是opportunities(機會)、threats(威脅),並把分析結果貼在辦公室內。

9. 外判的工作,只與話事人合作

當你把網頁設計、拍攝及UI設計外判出去時,你應只與有決定權的人合作,即是你早期的Startup不要光顧大公司做外判工作,及不要預期跟有名氣的主管合作,你最終要與初級的人員合作,事實上你根本没有時間教導別家公司的初級員工,你應只聘用細小而專業的公司,因此你可與能有決定權的人合作。

10. 嘗試任何事情

Startup的市場推廣全是實驗及有知識支援的猜想,由產品定價、網站的免費下載按鈕顏色,這可以嘗試,並因應客戶的反應而轉變,但不要公開告訴他人你正在進行實驗,這聽起來很無力,應說你正是在導航去尋找新大陸。