Article in Under the Hood category.

Article Club

Fueled is now hosting an ‘Article Club’ fortnightly where participants share ideas and questions on articles in the tech scene. Catch the highlights here

Issue 3 | 12 Jan 2016

Every other week, the Fueled team hosts our own take on a book club. We call it Article Club and we all pop into a big conference room in our SoHo office to debate and discuss ideas and issues affecting tech. The basis of this conversation is 2-3 articles selected by senior members of the team. Articles and notes from each week appear here.

The Articles

Why Is a Shoe Company a ‘Startup’? - Submitted by Perry Curac-Dahl
What is Code? - Submitted by Aaron Cohen
iOS Dominated U.S. Holiday Shopping - Submitted by Ryan Matzner

In Taylor Davidson’s “Why Is a Shoe Company a ‘Startup’?” readers are introduced to a new model of business that relies on tech but veers from the typical tech startup. These tech-enabled companies utilize branding, visual design, brand promise, and customer experience to bring a fresh approach to stale industries.

Perry Curac-Dahl led us in exploring those startups that deliver old products with a newly branded and tech-focused model. Glasses, mattresses, and designer shoes are typically known for huge markups and often outdated customer service. Entrepreneurs saw the potential in a retail industry ripe for disruption and have begun to take advantage of the money-saving benefits of utilizing tech features in production and distribution.

While there’s no shortage of new startups and founders, funding is still competitive. So why would an investor who has traditionally invested in tech companies be interested in a home-delivery mattress model? Tech investors, like all investors, are focused on growth rate. These tech-enabled companies focus on products that have traditionally high markups which provide investors with immediate growth due to large margins.

With the rise of technology, we saw a rise in services and products that consumers didn’t even know they needed. Now, we’re seeing a return to more classic goods with a twist to meet the growing demands of a consumer accustomed to a tech-heavy experience.

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As a consumer, we are inundated daily with new apps. It is no longer sufficient to release a functioning app to the app store. Startups must be smart and product a polished app to obtain and keep users. For already launched apps, this means constant maintenance and tweaking to release new versions that keep up with the competitive landscape.

“What is Code?” by Paul Ford gives us a sneak-peak into the minds of non-tech leaders. On paper, the costs associated with designing and developing an app can seem astronomical. Pouring money into updates just a short time after releasing a first version, may seem ridiculous to company heads who are hesitant about a mobile-focused strategy.

In reality, tech is such an ever-evolving industry that these updates are necessary if companies want to remain at the forefront of their industry’s digital presence. E-commerce in particular has lured a growing percentage of users. While a mobile platform is costly to build and upkeep, the potential for a positive ROI is great and seems to be necessary for companies that don’t want an aging consumer population.

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According to Apple Insider’s article on holiday sales, iOS dominated online holiday orders at 77% compared to Android’s 23%. iOS may hold 40% of the US smartphone share, yet it holds the the majority in sales. Why?

For starters, iOS users are typically more affluent and therefore have more expendable income to spend than Android users. The spending habit of these users also differ. Those that choose Android may be looking more for a customizable experience rather than the luxury status symbol that iOS provides.

Additionally, many e-commerce development happens on iOS before moving to Android. iOS users tend to download and use more apps than Android so it’s a better market to test in. This potentially means a stronger and more tested iOS presence for e-commerce apps.

With numbers like this, it seems natural that retailers would put more money into new versions and enhanced features on iOS platform.

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