Want to experience faster growth and near immediate success as a business? There are businesses that focus soley on profits alone. And, there are businesses that have managed to get not just their customers’ monies but their customer base rally behind and throw the full weight of their support to help them grow. But how did they do it? They did it by putting problem solving first before profits.
In this write-up I walk us through 7 companies that grew faster by winning their worlds being habitual problem solvers. Enjoy.
- AeroFarms: The company feeding the world with indoor farming.
The world’s population is expected to rise to more than 9 billion by 2050. The UN’s Food Administration Organisation (FAO) estimates that, in this scenario, food production needs to increase by 70% .
Yet scaling global agriculture at this rate could result in an environmental disaster. Further deforestation, spreading deserts as well as toxification of soil and water, would be the consequence .
AeroFarms provides a sustainable alternative to conventional agriculture. The company has built indoor farms that can produce food locally using a technology called “aeroponics.” Plants are not growing in soil, but in air canals sprayed with water mist. This provides the roots with the necessary water to grow.
The company claims this method reduces water consumption by 95% compared to field farming .
AeroFarms doesn’t rely on toxic chemicals to fight pests as the enclosed growing method serves as a natural way to keep crops pest-free .?
2. Honey: The company helping buyers save thousands of $$$ online shopping.
Have you ever spent way too much time Googling and applying expired, invalid or downright useless coupon codes when you’re shopping online? The founders of Honey had the same problem.
And, they came out with a solution by creatin a browser extension that automatically scans the entire internet in search for any coupon code ever issued. Their browser extension automatically finds and applies coupon codes for online shoppers during checkout at thousands of sites. Turns out, investors are pretty sweet on the idea. In 2019, honey was acquired for $4 billion by PayPal. Honey is now used by 17+ million people and has helped shoppers save from 40,000+ stores worldwide.
3. Uber: The company that cut taxi costs and still managed to help drivers earn well.
Taxis are really expensive. Uber made its mark by solving that common big-city problem. Its ride-sharing service spawned a brand-new industry, with competitor companies such as Lyft popping up around the country.
According to TaxiFareFinder.com, a 10-mile ride in Los Angeles in January 2018 cost up to $34. A ride share with Uber, on the other hand, came in under $8 in non-rush-hour conditions. In Ghana for example, distances that would cost about GH₵50 when using taxi would cost onl GH₵15. Uber’s problem-solving is multi-faceted; in an economy driven by unemployment, Uber keeps somewhere between 12,000 and 27,000 drivers earning money in the Ghana alone. And ride-sharing is more environmentally responsible than going solo. All those perks add up to a valuation of about $69 billion.
4. The Ocean Cleanup: Eliminating Plastic From The World’s Oceans
At age 18, the Ocean Cleanup was founded by Dutch entrepreneur Boyan Slat in 2013. Slat started with a simple idea: What if we could stop ocean pollution by filtering plastic out of the water?
At the time, the focus of existing solutions was to prevent plastic from entering the oceans. Yet, there were no affordable and fast options to reduce existing plastic pollution.
The Ocean Cleanup plans to remove 90% of floating ocean plastic. The company started by cleaning the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, located between California and Hawaii . The area represents the largest accumulation of ocean plastic in the world. The Ocean Cleanup estimates the size of the patch at 1.6 million square kilometers. This is three times the size of France. It consists of 1.8 trillion pieces of plastic, weighing 80,000 tonnes.
The Ocean Cleanup will not be able to eliminate all ocean plastic immediately , but the company expects to reduce the Great Pacific Garbage Patch by up to 50% within the next 5 years .
5. Khula: The huge cluster of digital farms
What problems is Khula trying to solve?
Khula has created one huge digital farm, which comprises of thousands of smaller farmers. These farmers contribute to orders as a group, and receive logistics support through their app, allowing them to increase their volumes.
In essence, Khula is a shared economy approach to farming, giving visibility to some of the world’s poorest and allowing them to build growing businesses with their greatest resource – arable land.
Their Khula app, for example, gives further support through group buying inputs at a lower cost, connecting with local experts, and offering lower cost logistics.’
Khula is based in South Africa and their marketplace has a range of clients, from processors to retail who can buy different shapes and sizes, giving the farmer alternative channels to sell their product, instead of going to waste.
6. Sesi Technologies: Affordable technologies to increase the productivities of African farmers
Sesi Technologies is a Ghanaian agritech startup which develops affordable hardware technologies for farmers and businesses across the Agric value chain to help them increase productivity and reduce losses. Sesi Technologies was founded in March 2018 by Isaac Sesi, a recent university graduate.
Their mission is to help reduce poverty and hunger in Africa by developing affordable tech solutions for farmers and businesses across the Agric value chain to help them increase productivity and reduce losses. In the process, they seek to create economic opportunities for individuals and local businesses to help spur economic growth in Ghana and Africa.
Their first commercial product, GrainMate, is an affordable grain moisture meter which helps farmers accurately measure the moisture content in their grains to help them prevent post-harvest losses.
Compared to commercial moisture meters on the market which retail at about Ghc2000 locally, GrainMate is 3 times more affordable; retailing at only Ghc500. GrainMate is used by grain farmers, Poultry Farmers and crop aggregators with other customers being food processing companies, government agencies such as agric extension services and donor organizations working with grain or poultry farmers.
7. Team Trees: Planting trees to kill deforestation – with gamification
Team Trees, also known as #teamtrees, is a collaborative fundraiser that raised 20 million U.S. dollars before 2020 to plant 20 million trees. The initiative was started by American YouTubers MrBeast and Mark Rober, and was mostly supported by YouTubers.
So far, #teamtrees has planted 8 million+ trees in the ground all around the world! The trees have been planted in Africa, Europe, North America & South America.
All donations go to the Arbor Day Foundation, a tree-planting organization that pledges to plant one tree for every U.S. dollar donated. The Arbor Day Foundation began planting in January 2020 and plans to end “no later than December 2022”.
It is estimated that 20 million trees would take up 180 km2 (69 sq mi) of land, absorb around 1.6 million tons of carbon and remove 116 thousand tons of chemical air pollution from the atmosphere.