Steve Jobs once said:
“I want to put a ding in the Universe!”
It’s an aspiration that many entrepreneurs have when they create their businesses. Ideas that start as scribbles in a notepad or a few lines of code often come with dreams of massive success.
It’s a worthy aspiration yet one that few businesses actually achieve.
Over the last few years, companies like GoPro, Facebook, Twitter and Salesforce have IPO’d and regardless of their stock price today, have made dings in the universe. Whether it’s Mark Benioff of Salesforce donating millions through his philanthropy efforts or Twitter being the channel to break news on a daily basis – these companies have made a lasting impact.
But it’s not just public companies that are making a ding in the universe. In this blog post, I’m going to share with you six companies that are still private yet having a MASSIVE impact on the world around us.
Let’s get to it…
How many startups do you know that can inspire riots…?
— CNBC (@CNBC) April 20, 2016
Well that’s exactly what Uber has done. The billion dollar company is a global juggernaut. It’s completely changed the taxi industry and it’s fans and critics are constantly duking it out head to head. Whether you love Uber or hate Uber, the one thing you cannot do is deny the fact that the company has put a ding in the universe. Reports suggest that Uber is earning more than $10B in revenue each year and that within a month, some cities are bringing in $20M in revenue. Of course, Rapper Wale is helping the cause spending $1M on Uber in 2014… While Uber may be loved by many. Organizations and government continue to fight Uber with regulations that suggest that what they’re doing needs to be regulated and changed:
What does the future hold for Uber? Legal headaches for one, but overall, my money’s on growth.
Not only has Slack become a great communication tool for teams around the world, their efforts towards diversity in tech cannot be understated. Any profit from Slack swag purchased in the Slack Shop goes towards a program called Hack The Hood. A 6-week PAID program for young people of color, ages 16 to 20 teaching them how to learn to build websites, improve their community, and meet others interested in tech and entrepreneurship. But that’s just the start. When Slack won a Crunchie (tech award) they sent four black female engineers to accept it and make a statement on diversity.
Slack was one of the first companies to release a transparent look behind the scenes at how diverse their team was. The metrics highlighted race, gender, and sexual orientation. Here’s one of the charts:
As you can see, Slack is doing better than most.
Similar to Uber, Airbnb is not a company that hasn’t been met with controversy time and time again. It’s a business that started in 2008 in San Fransisco, California and acts as a marketplace for people to list, book and discover accommodations around the world. Whether it’s an apartment or a castle, Airbnb connects people with unique travel experiences in 34,000 cities and more than 190 countries. To suggest that this company hasn’t changed the world of travel would be an understatement.
Did I mention that there are more than 2 million listings on Airbnb?
Of course… This success also comes with criticism.
First, Airbnb makes it easy for individuals to illegally convert residential rental housing into transient properties that sell for more than $150 per night. Once these apartments are taken off the housing market, locals (like New Yorkers) are unlikely to get them back.
It’s easy to understand why…
Renting an apartment to a tourist for this rate is far more lucrative than renting an apartment to a permanent resident for a fraction of the monthly value. As a result…
Anti-AirBnB groups have developed:
— Linda (@LLinda91) March 14, 2016
Anti-Airbnb Signs Pop Up Around New Orleans Over Jazz Fest Weekend https://t.co/PynJBGcve3
— MillionaireBnB (@Millionairebnb) April 26, 2016
So, this company is founded by Elon Musk. The guy who also is the CEO of Tesla… Yeah, Tesla, the electric car company that has already put a ding in the universe.
So what’s the big deal about SpaceX? Well… Let’s just say the goal of this company is to colonize Mars.
You read that correctly.
Elon Musk has already confirmed that SpaceX plans to send a vehicle to Mars in 2018 to prepare for Human Colonization. Of all the companies on this list, I think it’s fair to say that SpaceX is the one that has the chance to live the ding of all dings in the Universe.
Making a ding in the Universe isn’t easy.
It’s not for the faint at heart and is likely to stir up lots of buzz (both negative and positive).
If you want to create a business that changes the world, you need to start by investing heavily into learning. Whether it’s learning from the best through association (ie. work) or by learning from the best through their work (ie. books/blogs) – every successful person I know has embraces curiosity.
So stay curious.
Invest in yourself. And never, stop hustling…