I have never met a person who was able to sell an idea for cash. I’ve also never heard of an investor making a decision exclusively by judging an idea. In most cases, having an idea is not even enough to land an appointment with an investor. You have to show something that proves you are capable of developing it: past success with other ideas, a working web application, or at least a minimum viable product. Continue reading Running in Stealth Mode?
Selecting the right web application framework (WAF) for your startup isn’t an easy task. There’s a multitude of factors you will need to consider: from software patterns to development costs (with many other factors in between). To make the selection process easier, in one of the next posts, we will explain how not to make a mistake while selecting a web application framework for your startup.
Oftentimes, before comparing other factors, founders want to see what can be accomplished with a specific framework. Well, modern frameworks, like Spring MVC (Java), Django (Python), and Ruby on Rails (and some others), are powerful enough and allow building quite complex web services, but since we here at Vertalab are Ruby on Rails specialists, I will show you a variety of startup ideas implemented with Ruby on Rails.
I hope this list of Ruby on Rails application examples really opens your eyes and makes you realize just how many popular startups are using Ruby on Rails as their preferred web framework.
Here is a list of popular web services built with Ruby on Rails:
A tool to test and innovate on your business model using the business model canvas, lean startup, and customer development
Fiverr is an online marketplace for micro tasks, starting at $5.
Urban Dictionary is an online dictionary with definitions written by everyone.
Jango is a free online music streaming service that allows users to create custom radio stations.
GitHub – web-based hosting service for software development projects that use the Git revision control system.
Click on an image below to see a huge and ever-growing list of web applications built with Ruby on Rails:
Vacation rentals: from apartments and rooms to treehouses and boats.
Kickstarter is the world’s largest funding platform for creative projects.
Groupon – deals from 50-90% off on restaurants, fitness, travel, shopping, beauty, spas, holiday gifts and more.
Floorplanner allows creating floor plans, house plans and home plans online.
Pixlr is a free online photo editor.
Foodspotting is a community-driven dish discovery app.
Dribbble is a place to show and tell, promote, discover, and explore design.
Coub is a service for creating looped videos up to 10 seconds long.
SendGrid is a cloud based service that solves the challenge of email delivery by delivering emails on behalf of companies.
HotelTonight is a last-minute hotel deal app.
Digitally Imported streams the world’s most addictive electronic music.
Treehouse – Learn web design, web development, and more.
SeeClickFix – Report non-emergency issues, receive alerts in your neighborhood.
Bandzoogle – Build a pro band website that sells merchandize, streams music, syncs with your social networks, and puts you in front of more fans.
NovoEd offers free online classes from top Universities and educational institutes.
Traity aims to create a world where we can trust one another, building a reputation standard.
Bonobos is a clothing brand offering men’s clothes – pants, shirts and suits
Basecamp – web-based project management and collaboration tool.
Strava is a running and cycling GPS tracker.
Scribd – Unlimited instant access to over 400,000 books from 900+ publishers.
Highrise – small business CRM, web-based contact manager.
Clarity is an on-demand business advice for entrepreneurs.
Goodreads is the world’s largest site for readers and book recommendations.
Bloomberg – Premier site for business and financial market news.
Click on an image below to see a huge and ever-growing list of web applications built with Ruby on Rails:
CrunchBase is a definitive database of the startup ecosystem.
Geni is a powerful genealogy tool to help you grow your family tree.
Animoto is an online tool for making and sharing videos online.
Urbanspoon is a restaurant information and recommendation service.
ThemeForest – marketplace for premium website templates, including themes for WordPress, Magento, Drupal, Joomla, and more.
Paper.li – Create your online newspaper in minutes.
Student Competitions is the world’s largest online platform featuring all major global and local student competitions.
Wetfeet is a personalized insider answers that help you get your dream job.
ReadCube is a free reference & citation manager for article PDFs (for researchers).
Active.com is the leading online community for people who want to discover, learn about, share, register for and ultimately participate in activities.
Poll Everywhere is a tool for collecting instant audience feedback.
Food52 is devoted to helping people become better, smarter, happier cooks.
My FitnessPal is a free online calorie counter and diet plan.
Public Radio Exchange (PRX) is an online marketplace for distribution, review, and licensing of public radio programming.
Fundly is an online fundraising websites to raise money for anything.
VHX – Digital distribution platform that helps independent artists sell video content and connect directly with their fans.
Timehop is an app that helps you see your photos and updates from this exact day in history.
Bibme is a fully automatic bibliography maker.
500px is a photography community allowing its users to upload, share, and discover inspiring photos.
Ticketbud is an online event registration and ticketing service.
Sermo is the largest online community exclusively for physicians.
Sport Ngin delivers world-class sports websites, online registration, tournament management, league management, mobile apps, stats and online scoring applications.
Mubi is a hand picked selection of movies for just $4.99 a month.
TwitterFeed feeds your blog to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and more.
Storenvy is an e-commerce platform which consists of an online store builder and social marketplace, with over 65,000 merchants and millions of products listed.
Harvest is a simple time tracking, fast online invoicing, and powerful reporting software.
Alltrails helps with discovering camping, hiking, mountain biking & other outdoor trails.
StockTwits is a tool for finding out what real investors and traders are saying about your stocks right now.
Enternships – Internships And Jobs In Europe’s Most Exciting Companies.
Local.ch – The official phonebook and yellow pages of Switzerland.
TOUT is a real-time mobile video publishing platform.
InternMatch – Search and find your next internship in the largest database of college internships online.
Code school teaches you to code in the comfort of your browser with video tutorials, programming challenges, and screencasts.
Open Site Explorer is Moz’s Search Engine for Links. It allows performing competitive link research, exploring backlinks, anchor text, and more for free.
Genius annotates lyrics, literature, the news, and more.
Toys, gifts, and gadgets for dog lovers: a monthly box of dog goodies.
Business loans funded by thousands of individual investors. Great investment opportunities for investors & fast business lending for small businesses.
Connecting talented individuals find the job they never knew was waiting.
Threadflip is building a social marketplace that changes the way women shop for clothes and style their wardrobes, creating a peer-to-peer shopping experience.
SimpleReach tracks every social action on each piece of published content to deliver detailed insights and clear metrics around social behavior.
Online tool for event organizers.
Yesware is an email tool for salespeople, it allows tracking emails, creating templates, sync email communication with CRM system, and more.
AvantCredit – simple and easy personal loans.
Hardware, software and cloud services for commercial drones
Fundraising platform for universities.
One of the easiest ways of fixing your parking ticket. Just upload a photo of your ticket.
SEO tool for tracking and improve website rankings.
thredUP is an online consignment shop allowing users to buy and sell quality used women’s and children’s clothing
LivingSocial features daily inspiration on things to do locally, travel adventures, and fabulous products.
Two Tap is a platform allowing publishers to sell products directly in their applications, enabling streamlined e-commerce.
Fresh ingredients and unique recipes delivered directly to you each week.
Travel the world, explore your city and host new friends. Couchsurfing is the world’s largest travel community.
Chairish is the world’s first online consignment marketplace for design-obsessed people to buy and sell exceptional pre-owned home furnishings.
Greenhouse Software offers recruiting performance improvement systems.
gigmit.com is the platform for live music professionals’ easy event- and booking management – book gigs quickly, easily and conveniently!
A community for developers to unlock & share new skills.
Forward is the easiest way to share a web project on your localhost over the internet.
Doximity is a professional networking tool exclusively for Physicians and health care professionals.
HouseTrip is the revolutionary holiday rental online booking site, offering a wide selection of self catering apartments, cottages, villas and chalets.
Instacart is building the best way for people everywhere in the world to shop for groceries. Using your phone or the web, you can order groceries and have them delivered to your door in minutes.
Medical second opinions from the world’s best doctors and in-person visits with top specialist provide state-of-the-art healthcare for your entire family.
Monetizing retail site traffic w/ predictive personalization & risk-mitigated retail media.
LevelUp is the better way to pay, allows paying with your phone.
Simple cloud hosting.
Sports journalists and bloggers covering NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, MMA, college football and basketball, NASCAR, fantasy sports and more. News, photos, mock drafts, game scores, player profiles and more!
Learn from top practitioners of programming, business, and design at General Assembly.
Agile digital learning solutions.
Coinbase is a Bitcoin wallet.
KISSmetrics is a revolutionary person-based analytics platform for your whole team. Get product, sales, marketing, customer support working together to improve the metrics that matter.
Causes.com is the world’s largest online campaigning platform. We connect people who support a common cause and empower them to run grassroots campaigns.
One of the biggest platforms for streaming jazz music online.
Bigcommerce provides ecommerce software solutions and shopping cart software for online businesses.
IFTTT is a service that lets you create powerful connections with one simple statement — if this then that.
Square is a merchant services aggregator and mobile payment company that aims to simplify commerce through technology.
Product Hunt is a curation of the best new products, every day. Discover the latest mobile apps, websites, and technology products that everyone’s talking about.
Honeybook is a platform for event organizers.
Teladoc is a telehealth services company providing medical care for adults and children via video conferencing or telephone consultations.
Silvercar offers an app that provides airport rental car services.
MoviePass employs location-based technologies to allow individuals to watch movies at local theaters for a fixed monthly price.
Discover the best camping in California.
Insightpool helps the world’s largest brands scale their social outreach. By instantly identifying and proactively engaging the ideal influencers, prospects or customers, Insightpool helps drive Social KPIs and your bottom line.
Quantopian is an algorithmic trading platform providing users with tools to learn, create, and trade their algorithmic strategies.
Browse and purchase royalty free music, sound effects, stock audio.
ABODO is the easiest way to find your next apartment. We search the web every day to find you more fresh listings of apartments for rent.
This is not a complete list of Ruby On Rails application examples. In fact, it’s far from completion, and I will keep adding new popular web services as I stumble upon them. And if you know of any Ruby on Rails application examples that are not listed here, please add them in the comments to this blog post.
There are many varying definitions of a minimum viable product. For an e-commerce startup, minimum viable product might be as simple as a basic landing page, just enough to test if people are interested in buying a specific product online (in fact, that was what Zappos did to find out if people were ready to buy shoes online). In other cases, minimum viable product can become much more complex, e.g. the original version of iPhone is considered by some to be a minimum viable product as well. Continue reading MVPs of Famous Companies [Examples]
It’s estimated that anywhere between 75% and 90% of all startups fail. There are many reasons behind failures, but in our experience, most startups fail because they fail to attract enough users. It appears that building a product is not a problem – the problem is getting people to use it.
Many failures could have been prevented, should the founders have followed the methodology described by Eris Ries in his famous book The Lean Startup
This book is a must-read for aspiring startup founders. It’s packed with real-life stories and provides answers for many questions first-time entrepreneurs might have.
Key takeaways from The Lean Startup
Startups are developed under conditions of extreme uncertainty.
Business plans are useless because there is no reliable data to base them on. The only data you can rely on is what you learn while building a startup. Don’t rely on words; get insights observing and measuring how people use your product or service.
The goal of a startup is to figure out the right thing to build. Start with a Minimum Viable Product and see if anyone is willing to buy it. Going all-in without paying close attention to what users want is never a good strategy.
Grow as you learn.
Set yourself up on a learning curve. Build a new feature -> measure how customers use it -> learn from it. Then use this knowledge to develop the project further, one step at a time.
As it was famously summed up by Lyndon Johnson: “Doing what’s right isn’t the problem; It is knowing what’s right.” Applying Lean Startup methodology can help you with figuring out what’s right faster and with fewer expenses. Visit http://theleanstartup.com/ to learn more and buy The Lean Startup by Eric Ries.
Today, more and more people are dreaming of quitting their day job and launching a startup. Some are fed up with corporate life, some want to be their own boss, and some just want to make a dent in the universe. We’ll explain how to launch a startup without taking too much risk.
If you think that launching a startup is time-consuming, you are absolutely right. Launching and running a startup will take all the time and energy you can spare. But it doesn’t mean you have to quit your day job to launch a startup, at least till you are confident your startup idea will work out.
Here’s how you can launch a startup without quitting your job:
1. Validate your idea
Just as parents think their babies are the most beautiful in the whole world, so startup founders think their ideas are genius. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. There are countless examples of seemingly great ideas that didn’t work out; therefore, you need to validate your idea before spending any money. Here’s what you can do:
- Research the web. Check if there’s any competition or any signs of unsatisfied market need
- Talk to people whose opinion you value, what do they think about your idea?
- Talk to your potential customers. What do they think of your idea?
- Collect feedback and use it to improve your idea
- Create a Lean canvas to get a better understanding of your business model
2. Get ready to launch a minimum viable product (MVP)
If you think your idea has market potential, you can start getting ready to develop Minimum Viable Product – a first working prototype of your startup idea.
- Create a list of absolutely necessary features of your first prototype; no bells and whistles, only the essentials
- Create mockups of your web application
3. Outsource development of the MVP
A good web application development company will assist you with refining functionality of your minimum viable product and mockups. Here are a few tips on choosing an outsourcing company:
- Outsource overseas – this will help you to cut the development cost significantly
- Don’t hurry to select the cheapest option: compare offers, check reference letters and portfolios
- When signing a contract, insist on a provision to cancel the contract if you are not happy with the quality of work. This way, you may lose some time but you will be protected from losing money
4. Collect feedback from real users
By now you have a working prototype with minimal functionality. Spend a few bucks marketing your startup and get some early adopters to use it. Collect feedback from your new customers and get a true confirmation of the validity of your idea.
Now when you have a proven idea, working prototype, positive market feedback, and, above all, confidence, you can quit and work on your startup full-time. If you’re still not confident enough, you don’t have to quit – just keep implementing new features and correcting the product according to collected feedback until you gain the confidence.
With this approach, you don’t have to quit your day job to work on a startup. Sure, working evenings and weekends is tough, but this is the price you need to pay if you want to launch a startup without risking your paycheck and your family welfare.
Disclaimer: Talk to your lawyer before launching a startup. It’s a common legal matter and it shouldn’t cost a lot, yet it can protect you in case your employer doesn’t like what you do.