Jobs and the Future of Work

Advice for succeeding as an entrepeneur - from one of Forbes' 30 under 30s

An employee works on his computer at the office of CloudFactory, a Canadian startup that based itself in Kathmandu, where it hires teams of Nepalese October 5, 2012. Not far from the world of regimented cubicles and headset-toting call centre operators, a quiet revolution is stirring in its slippers. While it's early days, proponents of so-called commercial crowdsourcing contend that a swelling army of global freelancers is already disrupting traditional outsourcing - from preparing tax statements to conducting research on pediatricians. Picture taken October 5, 2012. To match story ASIA-FREELANCE/       REUTERS/Navesh Chitrakar (NEPAL) - RTR39016

Michael Martin shares some advice for young entrepreneurs. Image: REUTERS/Navesh Chitrakar

Frank Chaparro
Finance and Markets Intern, Business Insider
Share:
Our Impact
What's the World Economic Forum doing to accelerate action on Jobs and the Future of Work?
The Big Picture
Explore and monitor how Future of Work is affecting economies, industries and global issues
A hand holding a looking glass by a lake
Crowdsource Innovation
Get involved with our crowdsourced digital platform to deliver impact at scale
Stay up to date:

Future of Work

RapidSOS, a New York-based startup that's modernizing the way people connect with emergency services, is growing quick.

Their smartphone app Haven, which allows users to transmit their exact location to emergency dispatchers, was launched in June 2016 and the company expects to be in a million devices by the end of this year.

RapidSOS's founder Michael Martin was recently named to the 2017 Forbes' 30 under 30 list for healthcare.

The 29-year-old entrepreneur told Business Insider his idea for the app was inspired by a "quintessential New York experience."

"I was walking home late at night when I noticed that someone was following me," he said.

"I didn't want to attract attention by dialing 911 on my phone, so I ended up calling an Uber," he added.

And that's when it hit him. Contacting 911 should be just as easy as getting an Uber.

The main selling point of the app, however, isn't its convenience. Martin said it addresses some of the issues that underpin the emergency dispatch infrastructure.

"The system was built back when landlines were king and so it's not well equipped to handle cell phones," he said.

"Over 10,000 people die a year because calls drop or dispatchers can't accurately pinpoint a person's location," Martin added.

Martin told Business Insider that his entrepreneurial journey wasn't a cake walk, and that it took almost four years to bring the product to market.

In addition to raising hundreds of thousands of dollars from various student entrepreneurial contests including the Harvard Innovation Challenge, Martin said he and his team had over 10,000 conversations with industry experts.

We asked Martin to share his best advice for young aspiring entrepreneurs. He said they should consider three things:

Importance of passion. When you're starting a company there are so many ups and downs and tons of challenges. If it's not something you're passionate about, you're going to be miserable.

Take on a big problem. I always encourage my younger peers to avoid anything that's too comfortable. If you're too comfortable, then you're not being challenged. Do something that's different and that will make a difference.

It's not all about disruption. The notion of disruption is very in vogue these days. But from my experience, it's not always about disrupting an existing industry but partnering with it and then improving it.

Don't miss any update on this topic

Create a free account and access your personalized content collection with our latest publications and analyses.

Sign up for free

License and Republishing

World Economic Forum articles may be republished in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License, and in accordance with our Terms of Use.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.

Related topics:
Jobs and the Future of WorkLeadershipBusiness
Share:
World Economic Forum logo
Global Agenda

The Agenda Weekly

A weekly update of the most important issues driving the global agenda

Subscribe today

You can unsubscribe at any time using the link in our emails. For more details, review our privacy policy.

What can employers do to combat STEM talent shortages?

Timo Lehne

May 21, 2024

About Us

Events

Media

Partners & Members

  • Join Us

Language Editions

Privacy Policy & Terms of Service

© 2024 World Economic Forum