The growth from a startup into a full-scale company fascinates me. I’ve watched startups in a variety of verticals move from an idea into beta testing, raise rounds of funding, then build a product/customer base and become profitable companies that make an impact on people’s lives. What also fascinates me is when the solution these companies are providing is an intriguing and perhaps unexpected one. Everyone knows the classic Silicon Valley mantra, “if you want to build a successful company, solve a problem people have.” Sometimes the problems are a no brainer, like in the case of Lyft and Uber, but other times they are more surprising, like Airbnb – I would never would have thought so many people around the world would be willing to share their home with strangers, but even I’ve become one of those people and have offered my apartment to others.

Below is a list of four startups that are not only solving problems I didn’t realize really, really needed solutions to, but are also doing it really, really well.

Casper

Problem: The mattress industry is shady and the shopping experience is typically unpleasant. Usually, a buyer enters a large showroom, lays on different beds while staring up at rows of florescent lights, and within a short period of time spends upwards of thousands of dollars on a product that is somehow always on sale. I don’t know about you, but I’m not a fan of mattress shopping, despite my love of sleeping.

Solution: Make one, well-made and comfortable product, eliminate the showroom, employ smart logistics, and use compression technology to ship the mattress in a compact box. This allows the consumer to avoid the unpleasant shopping experience, and Casper can offer a premium mattress for a fraction of the price.

Hired

Problem: Looking for job is a full-time job, and with everything else we have on our plate, who has the time and energy to research and engage companies one at a time, before the long interview process even begins. Anyone who has ever looked for a new job while working full-time can tell you, it’s a broken system, but what alternative is there?

Solution: Become the destination for businesses to search out candidates and make offers directly to candidates. Hired believes we are entering a new era of work, where people are not looking for jobs – they are seeking opportunities, and Hired is taking the pain out of the job search so people can focus on easily discovering their next opportunity.

PowertoFly

Problem: Gender and diversity are seriously lacking in the workplace, especially in the tech industry. For the enterprise, it’s extremely difficult to find a qualified candidate, but many times qualified women of all ethnicities get overlooked, leaving their talents unused and their contributions untapped.

Solution: Create a platform that fosters women who work in tech, and connect them with companies who are hiring and care about diversity and inclusion in their workplace. The platform is designed so the enterprise can discover and peruse candidates, and job seekers can discover companies that are hiring and will value them.

Boon and Gable

Problem: We need clothes for both work and personal life, but not everyone has time the to shop, likes to shop or is good at picking out clothes that make them look good, feel good and are appropriate for the occasion. I’ll admit, I don’t have this problem, but I’m also not married, don’t have a family and love shopping, so I’m free to spend my weekends roaming the city. But for anyone who falls into the categories above, having the time, patience and eye for shopping can be a huge issue.

Solution: Have stylists come to your house with a variety of clothes and accessories for you to try on. Get live coaching on how to wear the clothes and the honest feedback you need to make the best clothing choices. The bonus? These stylist don’t work on commission, so you can rest assured they aren’t just trying to make a sale. Take your time, when it’s convenient for you and build a wardrobe for your life.