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Truebill: Saving Money Made Easier

In today’s world of e-commerce, subscription services and goods are becoming increasingly popular.  Although subscriptions provide individuals with an easy and convenient way to buy the items that they need, people frequently sign up for subscriptions without having a good way to keep track of all of them.  Unfortunately, many of these individuals sign up for subscriptions and forget about them.  This frequently results in them paying for services or goods that they do not need or use.  This is where Internet-entrepreneurs Yahya and Idris Mokhtarzada saw an opportunity and took advantage of it by creating a mobile application that helps one to manage all of his or her subscriptions.

Truebill is a mobile application that makes managing subscriptions and recurring payments easy.  When one provides his online banking and/or credit card credentials, Truebill accesses and scans his credit card bills and/or bank statements for subscription and recurring charges. This helps one to keep track of his subscriptions and possibly even discover an unexpected bill.  For example, if an individual signs up for a free trial and forgets to cancel it before the free trial is over, Truebill will alert the user when an unexpected charge shows up on his credit card bill or bank statement.  A user can then choose to cancel the subscription from directly in the app.  After one cancels unnecessary or unwanted subscriptions using Truebill, the app continues to help consumers by monitoring their accounts and notifying users whenever there is a change in subscription charges or recurring bills.

This startup has evidently been a successful Internet-based business.  According to an article written by Erin Griffith from Fortune, Truebill saw 12,000 people use their service within three months of launching.  According to Truebill, they save people an average of $512 per year.  Truebill has even found ways to help users cancel subscriptions or services that are not based online such as gym memberships.  According to Fortune, the services that people tend to cancel most frequently are those that consumers only need once.  For example, people typically only want to check their credit score once, but many companies want to charge users a subscription rate for this service.

After exploring Truebill’s website and reading some relevant articles, I am convinced that their success is due to them identifying a widespread problem and designing a solution that solves the pain using technology that most individuals already have.  By solving a problem  that many consumers face, Truebill has grown quickly and saved many people time and money.

More information regarding Truebill can be found on their website here.

 

Sources:

https://www.truebill.com/

http://fortune.com/2016/03/29/subscription-startups-truebill/

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Freemiums

A Freemium is a subscription service which has both a free to use and a premium version of the service.  Spotify is an example of such a service.  Spotify offers a music streaming service and one can use this
service without haveing to buy anything but to use the whole service they would have to pay for a premium account.  These Freemium subscriptions services are becoming more and more prevalent and have become a norm for many app based internet entrepreneurial services.  With these new styles of services, the possibilities for entrepreneurs only grow.

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Squarespace

“Award-Winning Design.  Look like an expert right from the start.  Our award-winning templates are the most beautiful way to present your ideas online. Stand out with a professional website, portfolio, or online store.”

Squarespace is a popular place to go when trying to design a new website.  They offer so many different options like formatting, blog themes, and templates.  Ultimately, Squarespace is a platform where you upload the content and the rest can work its self out from there.  It acts as a place to sell products, not just showcase work.  This is a nice feature in that you don’t need a third party necessarily.

Their website specifically focuses on their best attributes:

  • Do-it-yourself, Customizable Layouts
  • Templates by Top Designers
  • Mobile-Optimized Design
  • 3rd Party Features, Powerful Integrations
  • Professional Email
  • Unique Domains

And those are just some of their awesome features.  They offer a free trial to then go into a low monthly or yearly price, which is so worth it when a website offers so much.  Squarespace features big companies that trust their site for their particular business, which adds a great deal of credibility.  Overall, Squarespace is very successful in pleasing their customers.

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Instagram’s Success

I personally love the platform of Instagram in that I can post my photography on it to share with my friends and family, along with possibly gaining attention from other people using the site.  I really appreciate all of the constant updates and changes that Instagram’s team makes in order to better the platform in all kinds of ways.

Recently, Instagram has added a new feature that one can add multiple pictures to a single post.  This not only enables the user to show more of their pictures, but create less crowding on someone’s feed.  Instead of the user posting all of their pictures in several posts, they can combine it and followers can look at them all at once.

Instagram has also added the feature of live video where people can essentially watch what others are doing at the exact moment.  Instagram combines factors from all kinds of other social media sites into their own, which makes it so much more necessary to have the app.

I think Instagram really has a firm grasp on what people want and then they try their hardest to give them just that.  After all, the social media site has 400 million daily active users.  This just goes to show how successful the app/website is and how it has climbed up the ladder to make it in the top three biggest social media platforms.

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April Fool’s Day From Your Favorite Internet Businesses

This year saw some interesting April Fool’s pranks pulled by major businesses. With the hype about fake news buzzing around the biggest prank day of the year, many businesses went the very-obviously-a-prank route to avoid confusion. Here are some of the highlights:

Netflix Live

Appearing on the home page a few hours before April 1 started, Netflix Live featured Will Arnett commentating for 48 minutes about normal items like a toaster, pencil sharpener, and an office copier. Some people (like myself) were initially excited – is Netflix finally jumping on the bandwagon of streaming live TV? Further investigation proved no, just a silly prank, resulting in a quality 48 minutes of wasted time.

Netflix Live

 

Amazon’s Petlexa

An Amazon Alexa update that allows your beloved pets to interact with your Alexa home device just like you – but watch out, your cat can now order sushi all on its own.

 

Google Gnome

A spoof on Google Home, this friendly outdoor Smart Gnome promises to help you with your gardening, tell you the weather, turn on outdoor tools, but don’t you dare ask it to complete an “indoor request.”

Zappos Unstealable Boxes

Zappos takes it’s customer service to the next level by announcing their new invisible, unstealable boxes to combat parcel theft. “With one touch of a button, your delivery goes from timely to transparent.”

 

This is a fun way to generate buzz around your business, but it can very easily go wrong, so if you decide to pull an April Fool’s prank on your customers next year, proceed with caution!

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The Doorman App

Have you ever ordered something offline and when it was delivered to your house you weren’t there? Instead of coming home to find the product you ordered you find a delivery notice. Well, there is a new and innovative app called Doorman that is aiming to solve this problem.

Doorman is trying to eradicate this problem by allowing customers to schedule their own delivery times. Even if it is as late as midnight seven days a week.

Doorman was created by a former Pixar Technical Director named Zander Adel. Zander came up with this idea by looking at the retailers that offer same day shipping. Places like Amazon or Postmates. He goes on to explain that all of the shipping and deliveries are done through companies like FedEx and UPS. As a result of this customers have less control over the time their product is delivered.

Doorman fixes this by allowing customers to give these retailers their “Doorman address” which is a location of the company’s warehouse. The customer will then be able to specify exactly when they want their order delivered.

Doorman has already delivered over 25,000 packages in its first market in San Francisco and is preparing to spread to the east coast.

When looking at how awesome the name of this app is and how cool of an idea it is, I wish I could have come up with it first.

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