⏪ Startup Rewind

Innovation Meets the 1970s

Hello there! 👋 

In this issue of Rustic Flute, we'll travel back 50 years to the 1970s to explore a fascinating thought experiment and figure out what would happen if we transported today's successful startups to a different era in history. 🧪 

Would they still be as successful? Perhaps even more so, or would they fail immediately? 📜 

There are too many questions to answer all at once, so without further ado, let's go back in time! ⌛️ 

adventure time illustration GIF by Bravest Warriors

🕰️Time Warp: A Journey to the 1970s

Let’s make things interesting; what if we entertained this thought experiment?

Sounds fun, right? But first, let’s set the stage by understanding the economic landscape of that period to help us familiarize ourselves with how things worked back then. 🪜

🧭Setting the Scene🧭 

The 1970s changed many economic aspects, including the necessary transition to technology. To help us reimagine startups today, we must grasp the economic landscapes of India and the United States, among the top 10 economies in the 70s. 🥇

Credits: Visual Capitalist

🛒Flipkart: Catalog Shopping Revolution of the '70s  

Here’s an incredible 70s AI reimagining of the logo.

Step back to 1975, where Flipkart is flipping the script on shopping! This catalog-to-doorstep dynamo is bringing the mall to your living room. 🚪 

🤔How would Flipkart work?

  • Colourful catalogues delivered monthly to subscribers📋

  • Orders placed via phone or mail-in cards 📞 

  • Regional warehouses for speedy delivery 📦

🗝️ Key features:

  1. Flip-N-Save: Weekly deals broadcast on radio and in newspapers 📻

  2. Try-N-Buy: Home trials for select products are a total game-changer! 🛍️


  1. Logistics: Coordinating deliveries without computers 🖥️ 

  2. Stock management: Keeping catalogues up-to-date with available items🚚

  3. Returns: Managing the flow of exchanged products ↩️

Flipkart's ‘70s flair would be unmissable! Picture vibrant catalogues landing in mailboxes, peppy radio jingles urging listeners to "Flip your shopping habits!" and delivery vans 🚐 painted in eye-popping colours zipping through neighbourhoods. Who needs a shopping trip when the latest trends are just a phone call away? 📞 

🚗 Uber in the 1970s: Retro Rides on Demand

A fun 70s AI reimagining of the logo.

It's 1975, and Uber has just pulled up to the curb - '70s style. Let's take a trip back in time to see how this ride-hailing giant might have operated in the era of bell-bottoms and classic rock. 🪩 

🤔How would Uber work?

  • A network of Uber dispatch offices in major cities

  • Drivers equipped with two-way radios for communication

  • Customers call a local Uber number to request a ride

🗝️Key features:

  1. The Uber Fleet: A mix of iconic '70s cars like Ford Mustangs, Chevrolet Impalas, and Volkswagen Beetles 🐞 

  2. Uber Pool: Introduced as a hip new way to share rides and meet people 🔗 

However, challenges will obviously be present because of the vast differences in technology and resources.


  1. Navigation: No GPS means drivers rely on street smarts and paper maps 🗺️ 

  2. Payment: Cash is king, with drivers carrying change and simple receipt books 📑

  3. Trust: Building a reliable reputation without online reviews or digital profiles 🤝

Uber's 1970s marketing game would be far out! Picture sleek logos on funky cars and cool jackets, catchy jingles on the radio, print ads promising "Your Ride, Anytime." and punch cards for frequent riders to earn free trips. 🪙 

To wrap up our retro journey, here's a thought-provoking question to ponder:

Had Flipkart conquered '70s retail, how might it have altered the evolution of the internet shopping boom? Would we have seen a different trajectory for retail and consumer behavior over the past 50 years?

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It has been a pleasure learning with you! I will see you again next week. Until then,

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