With startups, you should also keep in mind the fact that there could be some consequences whether they be bad or work out for you in the end.
To look at it from a more common perspective, in the article, “For Nextdoor, Eliminating Racism is no Quickfix,” they use popular platforms such as Twitter, Airbnb and Facebook as examples and point out problems that even these mediums face on a day to day basis.
What I found out from this article that I hadn’t already known but wasn’t at all surprised about, was the fact that Airbnb has hosts that refuse to rent their space to African American people and the Airbnb founders are having a hard time preventing this from happening.
This is a prime example of how a good startup idea could have negative connotations surrounding it. With a company like Airbnb being so large that anyone can be a part of their organization, that can cause for problems down the line for the company because not everyone is a good person and one thing done by one person could be extremely detrimental to your career. The same thing can happen with ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft.
With Twitter, a problem that they’ve faced for years now is abuse from it’s members towards one another. There isn’t a monitor on twitter that prevents certain things from being tweeted so as a result anything can be said on the mobile app/ website, without repercussions unless someone reports the post. This is a huge problem for Twitter because for a company that’s so big, with people knowing that it’s so easy for people to say whatever they want increasing the chances of cyberbullying, that could make people not even want to join and make an account. It’ll keep some people away.
As for facebook, well facebook seems to be well off and normally ket out of a lot of controversy due to their strict however necessary policies (that I think all mediums should have), yet they still fall short with their advertisements. However this recently changed in early 2017 as Facebook put a stop to advertisers who would block some races from seeing their advertisements.
Another medium that has fallen short is Snapchat who is currently under fire due to an advertisement that they had on the application. The ad was for a, “Would You Rather,” gaming app that showcased a picture of superstars Rihanna and Chris Brown saying would you rather slap Rihanna or punch Chris Brown. Now aside from the ad not being age friendly with kids being on the application as well, the ad also received heavy backlash due to Chris Brown and Rihanna’s famous domestic abuse case back from 2009. Now although, it wasn’t a snapchat created ad it was an ad that as someone online pointed out, had to be approved my snapchat to be on their application so there’s really no excuse.
Nextdoor itself is also dealing with a similar issue of racial bias but has sprung into action by cutting it’s racial profiling down as well as its crime and safety category by 75%.
No matter what you come up with, the bigger your startup idea/ product becomes the more likely it is for you to have consequences to follow. But it’s all about how you make it out of that backlash that matters.