What Would You Do With 20 Million Dollars?

This month (September edition) of Wired UK focused on inspiration. I must admit that my pile of unread wired magazines was starting to get out of hand. Thirsty for inspiration I started reading. At first I was a bit confused. This issue has a lot of inspirational stories from the wider world beyond the confines of the UK.

These are some of the startups featured. What came across so strongly in this issue was that many (read most) of the inspirational companies featured have serious funding.


Their vision is clear: create a platform your mom could use to create an ecommerce store. Carl's stated goal is to create an evolution of the ecommerce concept. At its heart their platform focuses on the core concept of how to help your customers have a great experience.

The team launched with $1.5M in seed funding. See Alibaba figures below for an idea of the market size, these guys have made it to 15K stores in 15 months. To give them credit, they have achieved the kind of growth most startups dream of.

Team: Carl Waldekranz, Kaj Droning, Birk Nilson and Silva Ghorbani.


This startup has figured out a way of beating DDOS attacks on legitimate  sites.  Their technology is described as a having two parts:

A my gun is  bigger than yours way of deferring the immediate threat of DDOS.

The opportunity to learn from identifying common sources of attacks. In the fight against cyber attack, it is easy to see how network effects on this kind of model become really valuable. They have raised $22.1M according to crunch Base.

Team: Lee Holloway, Matthew Price and Michelle Zatlyn


These guys can show you how to do a kick start! They aimed to raise $30K but raised $2.43M in 34 days. 3D scribbling are the new way!

Team: Peter Dilhorne and Max Bogue


Michael reveals his tips on limiting the cost of failure so you can live to fight again. Crunch Base reports they have raised $10M.

Team: Michael Acton Smith


A startup trying to revolutionise online payments and deliver a product fit for 2013. The team received $20M in funding including from PayPal.

Team: John Collison


Alibaba: Quarterly sales passing $160Bn eclipsing eBay or Amazon.

The Web Is Dead: Last year the average time on the Web shrank to 70 minis per day vs 72 the previous year, the first annual reduction, according to comscore. At the same time American mobile app usage went up from 94 to 124 minutes respectively.

Top Idea

My top inspirational idea from this edition of wired: "a stream of messages telling retailers how to run their shop" allowed Tictail to differentiate themselves. /me makes note to do a tweet a day on ideas to boost your site revenue.

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