9 Business Lessons We Learned in 2018

Business With Stories just finished an amazing year, and we’re looking forward to growing the quantity and quality of our content in the following year. Throughout all of 2018, we hit new record highs of monthly visitors and learned inspiring stories from entrepreneurs all over the world.

Here are some of the biggest lessons we learned in 2018.

1. IT’S TOUGH, BUT REWARDING, TO DISRUPT THE ESTABLISHED

Wanderu founders Polina Raygorodskaya and Igor Bratnikov shared with us how they utilized the internet to re-imagine the ground transportation industry. Annie Dean and Anna Auerbach revealed how establishing their company, Werk, added flexibility to traditional and oppressively rigid careers. Their radical new concept now allows parents and unconventional workers to pursue lines of work.

2. SIMPLICITY SELLS

Remind founders Brett and David Kopf explained how their entire business model depended on the intuitive nature of their product. They also emphasize the importance of setting reasonable goals based on “solid data” and how to balance passion with sensibility to build a successful startup.

3. IT’S JUST AS IMPORTANT TO LEARN TO SAY ‘NO’

Jackson Boyar of Mentor Collective describes how “It’s very easy as an eager entrepreneur when somebody is willing to pay you money for service to just go chase that opportunity.” and how the habit of picking your battles leads to long-term advancements.

4. WORD OF MOUTH IS INVALUABLE

Eric Groves told us that even as he was building his social network for small businesses, Alignable, he relied on word of mouth. He shared that “word of mouth is made up of two things: words and mouths. Words are the kinds of things that you like other people to say about you and your business, and mouths are the people who you establish trust with enough that they’re willing to share those words.”

5. TECHNOLOGY CAN IMPROVE EVEN THE SIMPLEST OF THINGS

Matteo Franceschetti of Eight Sleep shared how he’s “leveraging technology [to] truly transform the sleep experience”, a pillar of health that hasn’t had any major innovations since memory foam in the 1960s.

6. IT’S POSSIBLE TO SCALE TOO FAST

Gigster Founder Roger Dickey taught us what he learned when his company exploded and they took on an “overload” of work before their business model was built to handle the high demand for their services.

7. IT PAYS TO THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX

23andMe provides an unusual service, but Anne Wojcicki shared how her company used creative marketing campaigns to catch the public eye and launch the genetic testing service to a spot at the top of its industry.

8. HARD WORK BRINGS BIG DREAMS TO LIFE

Lark founder and CEO Julia Hu recounted how she overcame a seemingly impossible task with years of brutal work. The resulting application was an AI nurse that can provide 24/7 health coaching based on data collected through the Internet of Things. Her product was so ahead of its time that it matched real life clinical physicians in treating day-to-day chronic illnesses like high blood pressure and diabetes.

9. THERE ARE ENDLESS STORIES TO TELL

In the end, we’ve found that there is a large number of people solving the problems they encounter and offering their solutions to society. From Ethan Bernstein who founded Freebird, a company that quickly rebooks your canceled flight to Brendan Ciecko who developed Cuseum to enhance museum visitors experiences with technology, those who are slowly transforming the world we live in can be found all around.

Andrew Sutherland, the founder of the learning management app Quizlet, put it best:

“When I created Quizlet, I didn’t create it because I wanted to make a company; I created it because I thought it would be useful for my own studying. When I shared it with friends, it was incredibly gratifying to see that it also helped them!”

Andrew Sutherland, Founder of Quizlet

These amazing entrepreneurs, inventors, developers, programmers, and leaders all started with an idea and the courage to pursue their passions. As they continue to push their companies forward they’ll continue to push the world forward too.

As the new year arrives, we’re so excited to keep sharing these inspiring entrepreneur stories!