Lessons from out West: Lessons from Small Places

knackIn today’s society we picture big things coming from big places, but we never realize the impact small companies are making. The small startup field is growing rapidly allowing for more creative ideas to be introduced in the world. This became apparent during our visit to Knack on the Wabash College San Francisco Immersion trip.

Located above a small shopping complex in a 30×30 room Knack is reimagining how people discover their future in education and the workforce through the development of games. People discover their personality traits and strengths, their “knacks,” by the way they play games, whether as a button masher or a more strategic player. These knacks are determined through multiple tests and factors this small company has developed using the latest behavioral and positive psychology. (Look for links to the games at the end of this segment.)

We stopped by Google and got to try out Google Glass, and we pitched ideas to Indiegogo. But some of the brightest minds on the trip came from the employees at Knack. After speaking with a few of the lead designers who have previously worked for EA Games and Zynga, they expressed how being a number in a company is not the way to make an impact. The ability to help someone discover his or her calling, whether in education or in the workforce, is something a big company cannot teach you; only a small place like Knack can teach a lesson like that. Another lesson taken from speaking with Knack Co-Founder John Funge, who previously worked at Netflix and on the Sony Playstation, was to celebrate failure. In the bigger companies failure is not an option; it is the difference in keeping and losing your job. When it came to Knack, failure is the greatest learning tool you can use. Failure only creates a greater drive to succeed and work harder to achieve your goal, rather than being forced to succeed each and every time.


So the next time you are apply (or hire) for a job, think how a computer game created from a small group of people with a mission to change the way we look at employment could be the interview.  Thanks again to all the great hospitality these amazing companies gave the Wabash men that attended the San Francisco trip!

http://knack.it/ to request an invite to wasabi waiter,

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/balloon-brigade/id661014257 balloon brigade

Top 20 Startups of All Time [INFOGRAPHIC]

What makes a startup truly great?

Well, it isn’t how cool their office is or how many twitter followers they have. And it certainly isn’t the number of lines of code written. So how, then, do we measure the success of a startup?

Top 20 Startups InfographicCapitalization & growth are two indicators that we like to look at for startups in the Verge community. But those two factors don’t tell the whole story. There’s also social, cultural, and industry impact to consider.

What’s the value of a technology or brand in its community?  What is its lasting impact on the world?

These are tough things to measure, so our team set out to sort through more than 906,000 companies that could have been considered a startup at some point in time. We used resources like BrandZ’s Top 100 brands lists to narrow our search and combined multiple data sources to create our definitive list:

The Top 20 Startups of All Time

Sifting through the financial data of the public companies was the easy part. Placing a value on qualitative areas was a bit trickier.

Top 20 Startups All TimeTo learn more about our methodology in creating The Top 20 Startups of All Time, check out the video at the top of the interactive infographic below. We’ll be launching more videos on the Verge YouTube channel with deep dives into each of the Top 20 Startups. Click through to subscribe to our channel if you want to keep up with us.

If you want to fact-check us, or contribute to The Top 20 Startups study, you can click through to our citations spreadsheet and checkout the resources we utilized to determine these ranking.

Do you think we’ve got these companies listed in the right order?  Did we leave anyone out?  Let us know what you think in our comments section or tweet out your observation with the hashtag #VergeStartups.

Top 20 Startups of All Time [Infographic and Video Below…]

The infographic below is interactive and pulls a lot of data. Thanks for being patient while it loads 🙂

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