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October 15th, 2019

🏘️ Tiny Everything – Diversity Windfalls – Airplane Cocktail Kits ✈️

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We show you how to make $10m while achieving social good and introduce a step-by-step guide to starting a small business.

Happy Tuesday, Trendsters! That’s how Urban Dictionary describes people who don’t follow trends, but set them. Sounds like us, don’t you think? Shout-out to the dozens of Australian business leaders we met in SF last night, here touring some of our most innovative companies. Enjoy your first Trends email! 

New this week: We show you how to make millions by helping other companies achieve diversity… explain the big business of tiny products… encourage you to describe what jobs need done in your industry… and roll out our first step-by-step guide on growing your business… Also: Subscription elevator businesses are in demand (seriously)… how to become a speed reader… and more.

Ready to hustle?

01  Signals
Quick snapshots from across the internet of potential trends before they happen.
Airplane Cocktail Kit graph

Airplane Cocktail Kit
Ever longed for a 30k-foot cocktail that wasn’t just vodka à la tomato juice? People have been searching for airplane cocktail kits—small packages designed to allow you to create your own cocktail mid-air, whether it’s a margarita or a hot toddy.

What’s next: A quick Google search only surfaces one major competitor, W&P, which prices their kits at $24 apiece. Yep, you heard right. Each TSA-compliant cocktail costs more than one bought in downtown NYC, even though it doesn’t include the alcohol and you mix it yourself. There’s room for more players to come in at lower price points and to diversify the cocktail options.

Pimple Patches graph

Pimple Patches
One of the many K-beauty revolutions is making its way West. Acne is a universal phenomenon, impacting 90% of the world at some point in their life, and the pimple-prone are looking for alternative solutions. Pimple patches are small, hydrocolloid bandages designed to absorb fluid from the zit, while preventing contamination. Imagine dot stickers, but transparent and surprisingly good for your skin.

What’s next: Companies are starting to launch specialized product lines, by incorporating healing chemicals like tea tree oil and hyaluronic acid. Others, like Starface and Squish, are new-age brands looking to make acne recovery trendy.

FenSens graph

FenSens
Own an older car but still interested in having a backup camera? FenSens has you covered. The company makes sensors that you can install on your license plate––which, when paired with your smartphone, help you make sure you don’t hit anyone when you back up. Its referring domains and organic traffic are both trending up.

What’s next: Since 2018, backup cameras have been required on all new cars. But for people who still have older cars, wireless sensor technology will be in high demand.

See the archive of our Signals here and browse through dozens more Signals related to Inc.’s 5000 fastest-growing companies here.

02  Trends Recommends  

Advice:

  • Become a speed reader (Quartz): We’ll let you in on the secret, as long as you promise to read every word of this email. The key: learning to read a clump of words in a single glance.

Opportunities:

  • The elevator business goes up (WSJ): Big data, predictive maintenance, and subscription services are needed in this $100B industry.

  • Smart apparel becomes reality (NYT): Where Google Glass fizzled, Levi’s smart jackets are succeeding and could be the beginning of a wearable tech trend.  

🖋️ Take note:

  • Beware the increasing costs of SEO (Bloomberg): Compared to 2016, companies are paying double to get to the top of Google, making reliance on search traffic more precipitous. 

  • The ‘changeover point’ for millennial spending (CNBC): One analyst says a bulk of millennials will soon shift from discretionary spending to necessity spending, like houses and cars.   

03  How to make $10m and achieve social good

Companies want to be more diverse but many are failing. Tilr has made $10m helping a niche industry become more diverse through a proprietary hiring service. 

How it works: Tilr focuses on temp and gig-worker jobs. It uses an algorithm that matches the skills of applicants with the required skills of an open position without considering titles. The company charges employers when they hire applicants.    

  • Tilr’s revenues have increased from $400k in its first year, to $800k, to $5.4m, to a projected $10m this year. 

The opportunity: Like the temp and gig economy, various industries are lacking in diversity. Entrepreneurs could create a Tilr-esque service for another specific industry, such as law or construction, where nearly 90% of workers are white. 

  • Want to get in on this? Check out this table from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, which shows the racial and gender breakdown of nearly every industry — and where the gaps are for capitalizing.  

Read the full report.

04  Honey, I shrunk everything

Last week we shared a Signal about miniature cooking sets. This week we went all-in on the tiny biz, and found out that it’s not just the miniature cooking set––it’s tiny , tiny , tiny , and just about tiny everything. We teased out over 50 tiny products and whether they’re on the or .

These are some of the tiny/mini products with growing interest:

  • Mini succulents

  • Mini nutella jars

  • Mini teddy bear 

  • Mini kitchen set

And tiny houses remain popular. By calculating search volume per million people, we discovered these cities have the most interest in tiny homes:

  • Chattanooga, Tenn.

  • Tulsa, Okla.

  • Orlando, Fla.

  • Seattle

  • Atlanta

Check out the full deck for more opportunities, including how people are utilizing Youtube to capitalize on “tiny” trends––from miniature cooking to miniature creations––and how you can get in on the surprisingly unsaturated market.

Want the tiny version? Check out this spreadsheet.

05  🗑️ Make trash your treasure

My tenants are moving out of my rental house. Soon, I’ll have to sell or find new tenants. Both options will likely involve some repair work and, inevitably, junk.

It got me thinking about junk and the possible opportunities in this space.  

  • Affordable dumpster rental: Dumpster rental search interest has increased the last five years and the overall market, valued at $394B, has been growing at 2.5%. Given the increase in DIY renovation, more people regularly need dumpsters. But dumpsters are expensive, going for ~$400+ for a 10-yard rental in big city markets, based on estimates from the marketplace Dumpster Market. The competition in many areas on Dumpster Market is also nearly nonexistent. Also: It’s free to put a rental company on Dumpster Market.   

  • A junk removal marketplace: Junk removal companies collect waste and put it into a dumpster for you. Similar to dumpster rentals, search interest is increasing. But there is no Dumpster Market equivalent specializing in junk removal, where prospective customers can conveniently view prices and services across multiple companies to select the best option.

  • Reusable containers: This opportunity is about eliminating junk. Milk delivery and refillable beer growlers have become more popular in recent years. Think of other items commonly used in plastic containers––soap, shampoo, ice cream––and starting subscription services that deliver a product and then pick up and clean the container for reuse. Loop is trying to do this with big brands.

06  ‍♀️The small business how-to guide

You’ve asked us for step-by-step guides on how people started successful businesses. We’re trying it out this week with GBPro, a Seattle-based design firm that has done design work for Alaska Airlines and Amazon.

In addition to design, GBPro makes merchandise and apparel for clients. Typical firms usually focus on design, and clients must go elsewhere for merchandise.

We’re sharing:

  • The first steps that founder and CEO Greg Brumann took to organize his company. 

  • The key to getting his first client. 

  • How he capitalized on early success to strategize long term.     

Read the full report.

And be sure to tell us how we can improve this section! Also: don’t forget to hit those Smileys––we’re listening.🤑
 

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