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8 Startups That Are Making Waves By Solving Big Problems If you want to be successful as a business owner, you've got to solve common issues.

By Sujan Patel Edited by Dan Bova

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Want to experience fast growth and immediate success as a startup? Then you've got to bring something new to the table!

Sure, businesses can do well following tried and true principles within their industries. But in this competitive global climate, it takes something truly unique, truly big, to make customers sit up and take notice.

Here are eight startups that have experienced rapid growth by doing just that -- making waves by solving big problems.


Problem: Web pages are full of data, but harvesting that data is often manual and always time-consuming.

Solution: Enter, a tool that allows you to scrape data from websites and transform it into an organized table or structured API in less than a minute with no coding or training required. According to the site, the tool can be and is used for everything from personal data projects to app creation, data journalism, database population, competitive analysis and much more.

Related: 5 Ways Your Startup Can Continue to Innovate in a Fast-Paced World

2. IFTTT (If This Then That)

Problem: Many devices are connected to the Internet, but nothing seems to connect all of those devices to each other.

Solution: If This Then That (IFTTT) allows you to schedule specific follow-up actions that occur automatically once you trigger the first step. IFTTT is quickly becoming a powerhouse, adding additional functionality with more and more devices every day. It now supports 23 different alternatives, including Phillips Hue bulbs, Nest Products and the Revolv smart home hub. IFTTT recipes include everything from social media sharing to automatically turning on lights when you return home.

3. Gigya

Problem: "Big data" provides a wealth of information about the customers of major companies, but breaking through the noise to find the truly meaningful statistics has proven difficult.

Solution: Gigya, an Israel-based data management company, produces software to help major corporations identify who their customers are and how to engage them online. Clients include Walmart, Adidas, Pepsi, Tommy Hilfiger and more, making it no surprise that the company could soon be valued at over $1 billion.

4. When I Work

Problem: Most business owners managing hourly employees are still building work schedules using programs such as Excel, or worse, a paper and pencil. It's an incredibly inefficient way to schedule and communicate with employees.

Solution: When I Work is an employee scheduling and attendance app that can save business owners a lot of time. It uses an innovative blend of collaborative communication technologies, including the web, mobile apps, text messaging, social media and email, to make teams more efficient, more accountable and better prepared. With the app, managers can build the schedule from anywhere, and employees can request time off or trade shifts in seconds right from their smartphones.

Related: 9 Startup Ideas That Were Ahead of Their Time

5. Fastly

Problem: When news breaks and sites need to update their content, old versions of the story remain out there, floating around the Internet. This causes confusion and makes organizations look unprofessional.

Solution: Turn to Fastly to quickly publish new content, delete old, outdated information and clear caches instantly. The company already has major high-profile clients, including Pinterest, Twitter, Shazam and The Guardian. The primary differentiator Fastly has to offer is the speed with which these updates are made. To date, the company's innovative technology has raised over $50 million in venture capital.

6. Zimperium

Problem: Mobile device security is a growing concern, and most security products focus solely on "locking down" phone to prevent unauthorized use.

Solution: Zimperium's unique approach is to secure the data that's transmitted by the device and stored on it. This secures the devices carried by employees and makes business data less vulnerable to hackers or other outside attacks. The company also offers security audits to assess the level of risk of an organization's network, allowing it to take preventative action before a hack can occur.

7. ZenPayroll

Problem: Smaller companies often have trouble keeping up with larger businesses when it comes to infrastructure and human resources tools.

Solution: ZenPayroll helps level the playing field for small business by offering a simple, affordable way to manage all aspects of payroll processing. From tax calculations to payments and direct deposits, ZenPayroll helps small companies develop the same efficiency as larger ones, while also offering advantages such as eliminating one-year-notice prior upgrades and pricing true-up practices. As a result, it's no surprise that ZenPayroll is making waves in the world of software solutions for small business.

8. FirstJob

Problem: Job boards have been around so long that every job posting and every candidate looks the same. There's no way to truly know who someone is from the drab text-only information and resume.

Solution: FirstJob allows job seekers to set up attractive candidate profiles that are full of color and feature photos. Positions listed to the board are focused specifically on millennial candidates and provide information about the soliciting companies, such as culture, perks and office styles. With over 1.3 million users, FirstJob is turning the idea of what a job board should be upside down -- with style!

To grow quickly and become truly successful, companies need to find a major problem and solve it in a new way. These eight companies are doing exactly that -- making waves in their industries and reaping the rewards of success as a result.

Know of any other companies that are solving big problems in a new way? Share your recommendations in the comments section below!

Related: 5 Tips to Create an Innovative Market Disrupter, From the Man Taking on Bloomberg

Sujan Patel

Entrepreneur and Marketer, Co-founder of Web Profits

In his 14-plus years as a marketer and entrepreneur, Sujan Patel has helped hundreds of companies boost online traffic and sales and strengthen their online brand reputation. Patel is the co-founder of Web Profits and Mailshake.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

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